The Cabazon Dinosaurs

On the way to Joshua Tree you pass a very beloved roadside attraction off of Highway 10, the brontosaurs and tyrannosaurs rex statures/buildings known collectively as the Cabazon Dinosaurs or Claude Bell’s Dinosaurs.

This attractions was built by the Knott’s Berry Farm artist and sculptor Claude Bell to bring visitors to his Wheel Inn Restaurant. The brontosaurs, named “Dinny” was started in 1964 and completed eleven years later. The T. Rex, known as “Mr. Rex” was completed in 1986.

The dinosaurs became famous when they were featured in Tim Burton’s first feature length film, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (1985). In the film Pee Wee Herman is dropped off by Large Marge (“Tell ’em Large Marge sent you!) at a truck stop (the Wheel Inn Restaurant) and he strikes up a friendship with the waitress Simone. Together they watch the sunrise through the teeth of Mr. Rex’s mouth.

dinny

Dinny is not only a stature but is a building, you can visit the gift shop in the brontosaur’s belly.

 saurs

The Wheel Inn Restaurant has now been demolished but Dinny and Mr. Rex still watch over the traffic on Highway 10.

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