|Getting There |||East on the Trans-Canada Highway to Highway 9 turnoff. Follow Highway 9 north to Drumheller. Total trip time is approximately one hour and 45 minutes.|
Profile Last Updated: May 22, 2009
Alberta’s Dinosaur Provincial Park is a World Heritage Site where some of the most extensive fossil fields in the world have been found. The area is also known as the Badlands, and is characterised by hauntingly beautiful rock formations sculpted by wind and water. This array of hoodoos, mesas, buttes and coulees, where only a century ago buffalo roamed freely, contains one of the world's most important deposits of fossilized dinosaur bones.
About one-third of the Dinosaur Provincial Park is a natural preserve that can't be entered without an official guide. There are several other short trails hikers and bikers can check out, however, most of which are wheelchair accessible. The Dinosaur Provincial Park asks that visitors stay on the paths to help preserve the surroundings for many years to come. The 0.9 km Trail of the Fossil Hunters begins next to Fossil Display #2 and ends at an old quarry site excavated by Barnum Brown, one of the world’s very first palaeontologists. The 1.6-km Badlands Trail follows alongside the road and works its way through hoodoos and rock formations, and 1.4 km Cottonwoods Flats Trail explores the river and its habitats that were so important to the area’s first explorers for being able to initially access the area.
Surrounded by nature
Dinosaur Provincial Park has a 126-site campground including 59 powered sites. Camping is also allowed in winter, though no water is available. Many animals and plants thrive in the park. Cottonwood, willow trees, Saskatoon, rose and buffalo-berry bushes are present. Cacti, greasewood and many species of sage survive in the hot dry badlands. Prairie grasses dominate above the valley rim. Watch for mule and white-tailed deer as well as cottontail rabbits. Coyotes may be seen but are more often heard. Look for pronghorn antelope on the vast rolling prairie. Birdwatching is excellent in May and June in the cottonwood groves where warblers, woodpeckers and waterfowl are easy to observe. Golden eagles, prairie falcons, and mountain bluebirds can also be seen.
Bus Tour & Hike Reservations: 403-378-4344
Campsite Reservations: 403-378-3700