The famous Cabazon Dinosaurs are something that almost everyone has seen in one way or the other. They have been featured in everything from music videos to Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, and if you live in Southern California, there isn’t much chance that you haven’t driven by them at least once on the way to Palm Springs or Arizona. According to the dinosaurs website, over 12 million people drive by them every year. If you haven’t stopped, then next time you go by, you should.
- Free to visit, $13 to enter the dino park and climb up the T Rex (as of 2019).
- You can see the dinosaurs from the freeway while driving past Cabazon.
The history of the dinosaurs is as follows:
The dinosaurs were built over 30 years ago. The apatosaurus (formerly known as the brontosaurus) took eleven years to build and is one of the biggest dinosaurs in the world. The belly of the dinosaur hosts an awesome store with something for everyone. The T-Rex, affectionately known as “Mr. Rex,” took seven years to build, and you can climb right up into its head if you feel so inclined.
The dinosaurs are free to admire, but it does cost if you want to go in the T Rex (more on that below). The apatosaurs has a full gift shop inside his belly, which is fun for kids to explore and doesn’t cost anything to enter. There is everything from old cavemen to toys inside.
I love walking around and checking out the dinosaurs as they provide a lot of great photo opportunities and are fun to show visitors when they come to the area. There is also a restaurant right next to them that you can stop at. I have not eaten there myself, though, so make sure to let me know if it is good in the comments.
Last time I visited, I saw they have plans to renovate the area thoroughly and to turn this exit into a premier stop off the freeway. It seems interesting to me that it has taken them so long to do this as Morongo Casino and the Cabazon Outlets have been drawing tourists for years now, and you would think the dinosaurs would want to cash in on that. I have not seen any progress made on this for years though, so I wouldn’t hold my breath.
The Dinosaur Museum
The Dinosaur Museum at the Cabazon Dinosaurs is a decent-sized outdoor museum that has a lot of different plastic dinosaur busts that you can see. The cost to enter it is $13 (as of 2019), and there isn’t a lot to see other than being able to climb into the famous T-Rex.
After paying the fee, you will head into the anamorphic dinosaurs area. I expected this to be cool, but the dinosaurs don’t do much of anything other than slight movements. A few have arms that move, and one moves its head. There are also a lot of toys and such that you can buy here as well.
After checking out the inside, I explored the back area, which was full of dinosaur scenes that they had created for the park. There was everything from lions to velociraptor represented, and there are misters to keep you cool during the hot summer.
As you proceed, you will see the T-Rex in the distance, which is your ultimate goal.
Once you reach the base of the T rex, you can proceed up the walkway into the staircases. Three flights of stairs lead you up to the head of the T Rex.
The head of the T Rex is pretty creepy from the inside, as you can see in the photo above. When you are up there, you do have a pretty good view of the surrounding area. When I went, there was no one else there, so I got to explore the T Rex all by myself.
I enjoyed this vantage point, and it was fun to look through the teeth at the other dinosaur and the crowd below. I think it is worth climbing the T rex at least once, but you can be the judge of whether this is worth the price or not for you.
Here is a video of my time exploring the Cabazon Dinosaurs.