Alberta, Canada ~ Dinosaur Provincial Park

August 3 & 4th ~Dinosaur Provincial Park, Near Brooks, Alberta, Canada

Viewpoint overlooking the Badlands, Dinosaur Provincial Park

The dinosaur story is best told in two parts – where they have been found (Dinosaur Provincial Park), and where they are displayed (Royal Tyrrell Museum). The two places are located about a 2 to 2.5 hour drive from one another. We decided to start just outside of Brooks, Alberta where Dinosaur Provincial Park is located. 

Welcome sign

Dinosaur Provincial Park

Dinosaur Provincial Park is also called the Royal Tyrrell Museum Field Station

Located just 30 miles (48km) NE of Brooks, it was a convenient diversion along the drive from Waterton Lakes National Park en route to Calgary.

“Dinosaur Provincial Park contains some of the most important fossil specimens discovered from the “Age of Dinosaurs” period of Earth’s history. The property is unmatched in terms of the number and variety of high quality specimens which, to date, represent more than 44 species, 34 genera and 10 families of dinosaurs, dating back 75-77 million years. The park contains exceptional riparian habitat features as well as badlands of outstanding aesthetic value.” ~ whc.unesco.org

Badlands of Alberta, Canada

There is an RV park right at the park, so we chose to arrive the night before. After getting set up, we decided to do the short scenic drive part that is open to the public. It gives you an introduction to the Badlands topography as well as two stops where dinosaur bones have been left where they were found, but encased in a plastic dome to protect them.

If you are just passing through and only have an hour, this would at least give you a taste of where the vast number of dinosaur bones and other fossils have been found.

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BUT…

If you have the time, I recommend visiting the park visitors center and making a reservation for one of the daily tours that takes you to the “closed” section of the park with a guide for a much more in-depth experience.

We were bemused by the vast number of dinosaur statues EVERYWHERE

Since Tim and I are often flying by the seat of our pants and like the flexibility to stay for a while at places we love, and move on when ready, we usually don’t have any firm dates which makes it next to impossible to make those afore-mentioned reservations. So, up bright and early on the 4th, we were the first ones through the door at the park visitors center when they opened at 9:00. We inquired about any of the tours and were sadly told they were all sold out for the day.

I inquired if they had a waiting list for cancellations. No, sorry. Could we wait and see if perhaps someone would not show up? That was OK, and we were told to return at 9:25.

On our best behavior, we returned on time and were introduced to the waiting guide. But when time came for the tour, 23 of the 24 seats on the bus were taken. Oh well, we said our thanks anyways, and went back inside to view the rest of the displays and watch a short movie.

The display area itself is well done, but quite small. It simply whet our appetite to see more of the amazing dinosaur skeletons. This area is also considered the field station for Tyrrell Museum.

A vegetarian duck-billed dinosaur locked in battle with a pack of Lambeosaurus lambei

They may be small in comparison, but vicious in a pack

Skull of Styracosaurus

Full size skeleton of Chasmosaurus

When viewed from the front, this Long-frilled ceratopsian appears heart-shaped.

See the heart?

As it was found – death pose of Daspletosaurus

Part way through the movie, I had a tap on my shoulder. The sweet cashier had tracked us down and said someone had just called to cancel for the 10:30 trip and if we wanted to stick around, she thought she could get us on that tour. We thanked her profusely and with a big smile, Tim and I took the last two seats on that bus.

I love how things seem to always work out!

The park is renowned for three things:

  1. Dinosaur fossils 

    Corythosaurus, chiseled out of the side of the mountain next door to the display

    The background image, shows what it looked like

    The big U-shaped cut is where it was found and removed from

    Dinosaur tooth that was passed around from a meat eater

    Our tour bus

  2. The Badlands 

    Viewpoint overlooking the badlands

    There are quite a few pictures of the badlands in this slide show, but I was quite taken with its unique beauty.

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  3. A type of Cottonwood trees that need floods to reproduce and are now threatened – Sorry no pictures of the trees to share 😦

After seeing WHERE all the fossils were found, we were even more interested to see WHAT had been found. So, to complete the saga, we hopped back into Ellie Mae and drove the two and a half hours to the town of Drumheller to visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology.

But that will just have to wait for our NEXT post.

GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for the kindness and professional courtesy that we were shown by the staff at the Dinosaur Provincial Park. They went out of their way to find us, and got us on the tour we wanted to take. The guide was excellent, well-informed, and was able to keep the commentary engaging for both the adults and children on the tour.

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our "next chapter". At a stage in life where traveling the world, taking pictures, and sharing our adventures with friends and family will be our dream come true.
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34 Responses to Alberta, Canada ~ Dinosaur Provincial Park

  1. Camie says:

    What a cool dinosaur park!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. LTodd says:

    Great photos and information. If you haven’t visited before, you might enjoy Dinosaur National Monument near Vernal, Utah.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Widdershins says:

    We camped there for three wonderful days two years ago. It’s kinda spooky to see some of your pictures matching up with ours. 😀 … we had the added adventure of getting caught in a rainstorm and walking back along one of the trails after the very, very, fine clay dust had turned to mud, very, very, slippery mud. 😀
    This was also where I discovered that the rainbow icecream they sell in the main kiosk/restaurant area turns your poop green!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now, having green poop is one experience I am glad to say I missed! And I know what you mean about matching pictures. It is kind of fun seeing how other people frame a shot when snapping the exact same scene. That slippery mud sounds challenging as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. We have been to Dinosaur Provincial park many times. It is one of those family traditions for us. As our kids grew they also have been taking their kids.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I went here once as a kid. It was so much fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You gave us a guided tour also. What a fabulous experience and thank you so much to share the photos and video!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Anabel Marsh says:

    I wondered if you’d go here! We were there last month and absolutely loved this park, though it’ll probably be months before I get round to blogging about it. We didn’t go on any of the tours as we just had one day so did all the open trails and the visitor centre which easily filled it. We’d been to Drumheller just before so I’ll be interested in your post about that too. Like someone who commented earlier, it’s interesting to see how much of your photographs I recognised.

    Like

  8. joylennick says:

    Fascinating, as ever. Glad there aren’t any dinosaurs now. Too many toes would be trodden on, . not to mention skulls!
    . .

    Like

  9. Terry says:

    That looks like a wonderful place, Have to check to see if I can fit it into my trip next year. Or it will be for another Adventure.

    Like

  10. tippysmom2 says:

    Sounds like a great park and glad it worked out that you were able to go on a guided tour. Again, patience payed off. I would love to visit here – would love to take my mom. She has confided in me that she would have liked to have been and archeologist. I think she would enjoy this park.

    Like

  11. curvyroads says:

    So glad the cashier was kind enough to find you for the tour cancellation! Sounds like a neat place to visit and we will have to do that when we finally make it to that part of Canada.

    Like

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