Dinosaurs Museums

St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm

(Last Updated On: April 12, 2021)

We’ve been to a lot of Dinosaur Destinations in Utah, but we always love stopping at the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm. In 2000, some developers were clearing a property known as the Johnson Farm. A large slab of sandstone flipped over, and someone noticed a perfect imprint fossil of a dinosaur footprint. Upon closer examination, the rock also had other tracks and traces. Soon, Utah had a great new site for Dinosaur lovers: St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm.

fossil
There are some amazing dinosaur tracks to see in this museum.

The Johnson Farm tracksite is so new that it is still becoming a museum. There is plenty to do there, and it is amazing, but we felt like if we went back in five years, the place would be entirely different. They had several displays, including a large portion of the museum floor still under construction.

dinosaur trackway
This is one of the largest dinosaur trackways in the world. And it was found right here!
exhibits at St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm
There are pathways to walk through the different exhibits.

Watch the Intro Video

The first thing you’ll do upon entering the museum is watch a five minute introductory video. I would recommend that you don’t skip the video. It only takes a few minutes, and it answered a lot of our questions. It has some cartoons as well as dinosaurs, so our boys were interested.

Kids watching intro video at Johnson Farm
Definitely watch the movie–it gives good background information about this museum and dinosaur tracks in general.
They had a scavenger hunt at the front desk for kids, so make sure to pick one up.

Visit the Activity Room

Next, there is a small activity room. The boys enjoyed doing dinosaur rubbings, tracing dinosaurs, making origami dinosaurs, and examining dinosaur teeth. One thing we liked about this area is that there were plenty of informative signs and displays in the craft room, so while the kids were working Mom and Dad could be looking and reading about dinosaurs. We spent a good 30 minutes in this room, and our boys probably would have stayed longer if we let them. You can visit this room at the beginning, or the end, or even both!

Activity room at St. George Dinosaur Museum
We had a lot of fun in the activity room.
Fossil at St. George Dinosaur Museum
This room is also full of dinosaur bones and other fossils. So while the kids explore the room, make sure you look at what there is to see.
boys folding origami
You can make a dinosaur chomper, and Mom also folded a pteranodon!
boy playing with dinosaur toys
There were even dinosaur toys to keep the littlest ones busy.
boy holding up dinosaur rubbing in activity room at Johnson Farm
Our boys had fun with the rubbings and coloring activities.

Walk Through the Museum

On the floor of the museum, there are many different sandstone chunks, each with different prehistoric markings. Most show dinosaur footprints from at least three different kinds of dinosaurs, but there are some pretty neat trace fossils of other types, too. One of the best is the dinosaur swim marks. According to the sign, there has been some debate over whether dinosaurs actually swam until this particular fossil remnant proved dinosaurs did swim. There are numerous mudcrack, ripple, tree root, and other fossils as well. You could spend hours and not see all of the fossils. At one end of the floor you can watch paleontologists working on carbon trace fossils of fish (at least that’s what they were doing when we were there). Johnson Farm is a very active dig, so there are paleontologists working everywhere.

This is the track that was first found and led to the discovery of this huge trackway site.
This is the track that was first found and led to the discovery of this huge trackway site.
st. george dinosaur discovery site at johnson farm
The signs give great info about all the different tracks and fossils here.
st. george dinosaur discovery site at johnson farm tracks
Our boys had fun finding the tracks on display.
st. george dinosaur discovery site at johnson farm
There is A LOT to see here!
st. george dinosaur discovery site at johnson farm
These dinosaur prints lead you in the museum’s recommended direction, but you can really walk any direction.
st. george dinosaur discovery site at johnson farm swim tracks
These are the dinosaur swim tracks. They are the only swim tracks ever discovered!
st. george dinosaur discovery site at johnson farm
They have a few fossils that are okay to touch which is SO nice because our boys want to touch everything!
st. george dinosaur discovery site at johnson farm workers clearning off fossils
You can watch workers cleaning off fossils.
st. george dinosaur discovery site at johnson farm
Here’s another amazing track. We couldn’t believe the variety.
st. george dinosaur discovery site at johnson farm T-Rex track
This was definitely the favorite–a T-Rex track. What boy doesn’t love that?
st. george dinosaur discovery site at johnson farm
There are skin imprints, too!
st. george dinosaur discovery site at johnson farm tracks
Some of the tracks are in glass cases, while most of them are out in the open.

As you make your way around the fossils, you come to a boarded walkway where they are still removing stones and finding fossils. No one was working when we were there, but you could see fossils they had uncovered recently. There are also some other track marks and fossils marked with signs as you walk on the boardwalk. This is the area of the museum that we feel will continue to change over time!

st. george dinosaur discovery site at johnson farm
You can see how they are slowly breaking out the layers.
st. george dinosaur discovery site at johnson farm
Workers mark some tracks that have been found with these little signs.

Explore Outside

The final stop is outside for the kids. There is a small sand box for brushing off fossils, and another where you can make your own dinosaur tracks, as well as a sand pit for the kids to play in. There is a little path to walk around and see fossils, and a shaded pavilion to sit for adults. We spent another 30 minutes here, and once again, our boys would have stayed longer if we’d let them. All in all, plan at least an hour and a half to two hours for the Johnson Farm Dinosaur Site.

brushing off fossils at the St. George Dinosaur Museum.
In this box, kids can brush the fossils off with brushes. When you are done, cover them back up for others to discover.
digging in the sand at st. george dinosaur discovery site at johnson farm
This big sand area is fun for all ages.
st. george dinosaur discovery site at johnson farm
This spot was super fun. We have never seen a spot where kids can make dino tracks at any other museum.

We thought this amazing dinosaur museum was well worth the price. They even have a group rate for groups larger than 10 so if you have a large family, or travel with some friends. For more info on their prices and hours, check their website.

Directions

St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm is located at 2180 E Riverside Drive in St. George. From the north, take exit 10 (Green Springs Dr/North Green Spring Dr) in Washington. Head west (left) off the 1-15.  This road is 3050 E and it turns into Riverside Dr. The Dino site will be on the left side of the road.

From the south, take exit 6 (Utah 18) and stay to the right as you exit. Turn right on Riverside Dr. Then follow this road to the Dino museum. It will be on your right.

For more fun Dinosaur Destinations, check out our list of Utah Dino Destinations.

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