The Cabazon Dinosaurs: A Surprise in the Desert

For more photos of Dinny and Mr. Rex, explore the Cabazon Dinosaurs location page.

For any adventurous road-tripper making the 157-kilometer (97.5-mile) drive between Los Angeles and Palm Springs, California, there are three surefire signs that you’re on your way: vast expanses of desert, fields of industrial windmills—and dinosaurs.

Dinny the Dinosaur and her companion, Mr. Rex, tower over the horizon of Cabazon, California. The pair were created by sculptor Claude K. Belle as a roadside wonder to attract customers to his Wheel Inn Restaurant located beneath their feet. Belle led the project without the help of external companies, opting instead to work with a few friends to complete his vision.

Dinny, an Apatosaurus, came first in 1981, built from salvaged interstate materials over the course of 11 years. In all, she measures 46 meters (150 feet) in length and stretches 14 meters (45 feet) into the sky. Mr. Rex, who is slightly taller at 20 meters (65 feet) came next in 1986. Made from concrete and steel, both dinosaurs weigh more than 100 tons each.

In addition to their photogenic exteriors, the dinos were designed as hollow structures that visitors can explore. Dinny’s belly contains a gift shop and adventurous Instagrammers can scale Mr. Rex for a shot of the desert horizon through the Tyrannosaurus’s mouth.


Roadside Dinosaurs - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

There are literally thousands of roadside dinosaurs in the world. The best website, if you love strange roadside attraction in general, is These dinosaurs are just a few of the strange dinosaurs located off major highways. Some good, and some terrible roadside dinosaurs across several states.

  • 1 - Outside of the town of Erlian in China on the Mongolian border, you can find this statue of two amorous sauropods kissing across the highway. It was built to showcase the region’s reputation as a fossil hotspot.
  • 2 - A very sorry looking dino located in the city of Victorville, California.
  • 3 - This 100-ton T.Rex was created in 1981 by sculptor Claude K. Bell to draw visitors to his Wheel Inn Cafe. At one time, a slide was built into the Tyrannosaurs’ tail, but it was later filled in with concrete. You can purchase souvenirs at a museum shop located inside Ms. Dinny, a 150-ton Apatosaurus considered the largest concrete dinosaur in the world, located in Cabazon, California.
  • 4 - Entrance to Kentucky’s Dinosaur World. One of the creepiest sites of all.
  • 5 - Cowboys and Dinosaurs, as well matched as cowboys and aliens, spotted in Natural Bridge, Virginia.
  • 6 - Rainbow Rock Shop in Holbrook, Arizona has a rather large display of very nice dinosaurs.
  • 7 - This is Wrinkles, a strange creature who greets visitors outside of the Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center in Jurupa, California.
  • 8 & 9 - Dinosaur World - an abandoned theme park of decaying dinosaurs in Beaver, Arkansas. All of the components necessary to be truly creepy.

sources 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6


Today the Geyser of Awesome salutes Otto, a lively and handsome white shepherd with awesomely big dreams of growing up to be a ferocious dinosaur. Otto and his human jchangart recently paid a fun-filled visit to Cabazon Dinosaurs, a roadside attraction located in Cabazon, CA that’s famous in part for being one of the most memorable locations from Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. jchangart took Otto to see the dinosaurs on their way to Joshua Tree National Park and, as you can see, Otto clearly felt right at home among the prehistoric beasts. Don’t give up on your dreams, friend!

[via Fashionably Geek]

This is a photo taken during the construction of one of the Cabazon dinosaurs. The website claims that these roadside attractions are the biggest dinosaurs in the world, with this one, Dinny, at 14 meters tall, weighing 150 tons, and housing a gift shop inside.

The T. Rex statue in Drumheller, Alberta is only 65 tons but is much taller, at 25 meters, or over seven-and-a-half stories. A person could fit inside his toenail.