Imagine being able to go back in time millions of years ago and walk with dinosaurs. Wouldn't that be amazing? (Okay you're right, it would be a little scary and dangerous...but it sounds like a great time!)
Well it just so happens, you can come quite close to doing just that at the Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada, allowing you to step into a different world, called The Badlands.
This park, which is located 18 km from the village of Patricia or 48 km northeast of Brooks, has the richest deposits of dinosaur bones in the entire world! As recent as 2016, a new kind of dinosaur species was uncovered with new fossils found. When you walk around, you definitely get the feeling that there is much to be discovered yet. Be amazed by the abundant fossils, unusual wildlife and stunning landscapes of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The park doesn't have a set address and it can be tricky to find, use these coordinates in your GPS: Latitude: 50.7537 | Longitude: -111.528. You won't know you are there until you get there. It's sort of hidden in a valley.
When you enter the park, and follow the road, it takes you to the campground. There are over 120 RV and tent-friendly sites, including un-serviced, powered and pull-through options. No need to worry about the sun and shade, the campground is shaded by old cotton wood trees, I find it beautiful and different than always being in the mountains. The Red Deer River flows along the park and the campground as well. A bonus for hot summer days!
All throughout, the park includes a scenic driving loop and spots with interactive stations, teaching you about the fossils being displayed, or you can go further into the preserve but only on guided tours. Maybe you would like to even participate in digs! I highly recommend booking your tour seats ahead of your visit. These programs are very popular and sell out during the summer months. Children friendly. But for free, you can do the little loop and walk around freely in some areas, with kids in the hot summer days that's enough. It gets really dry and hot, some days it is very windy! Plan accordingly.
It is truly a wonderful experience, especially for my kids! My son went a little crazy when he saw the dinosaur bones, then he wanted to go find some real dinosaurs, haha!
I was amazed at how soft the sand felt. I had to touch it. Great rivers that flowed here 75 million years ago left sand and mud deposits. These deposits make up the valley walls, hills and hoodoos of modern day Dinosaur Provincial Park.
In the park, if you keep an eye out, you may get to see mule and white-tailed deer, as well as cottontail rabbits, coyotes and pronghorn antelope on the vast rolling prairie. Added are snakes and 160 species of birds including the Golden Eagle. This province will never stop amazing me!
If you are planning a different kind of trip this year, I definitely recommend coming to Alberta, and experiencing this in person.
Check out this website for more information: Alberta Parks
-> What is your favorite park? Let me know in the comments!