I’ve driven over Pacheco Pass in California dozens of times and wondered about the dinosaurs on Dinosaur Point road. I finally stopped there yesterday. Dinosaur Point is part of the 6,890 acre Pacheco State Park. The Pacheco family acquired the land in 1843 for ranching. A descendant of the original ranchero, Don Francisco Pérez Pacheo. gave it to the state of California in 1997. Some of the park is devoted to a wind farm; those areas are closed to the public. But there are plenty of trails in the rest of the park that are available for public hiking, biking, and horseback riding—about 28 miles of them.
Dinosaur Point is on the shore of the San Luis Reservoir. There are no dinosaur fossils here, at least nothing has been discovered. The story goes that someone flying over the park thought the land looked like a dinosaur head. Let’s hope that is was a passenger, and not the pilot, that hallucinated that one. With the availability of overhead photos of just about any place on Earth, it is easy to see what geographical features resemble from the air. I don’t see any resemblance to a dinosaur. In any case, it is a beautiful park. I’m pleased that I finally stopped to see Dinosaur Point. (Image is a tree in the Dinosaur Point parking lot of Pacheco State Park.)