Brooks, Alberta : Dinosaur Provincial Park
Canada travel, tourism guide - Canadian Badlands
( historic site, hiking, sightseeing, camping, picnicking, canoeing )
Dinosaur Provincial Park
The Dinosaur Provincial Park is a sightseeing attraction and recreation destination located northeast of the community of Brooks, Alberta Canada in the Southern Region of Alberta.
In 1979 the United Nations recognized the Dinosaur Provincial Park as a World Heritage Site. So much so , that 81 square kilometres of the heritage park is a natural preserve so to protect the fossil finds in the park. Access is by tour group only.
The public access areas in the Dinosaur Provincial Park includes a Visitor Centre, gift shop, exhibits (like the John Ware Cabin), concession, day use picnic area, boat launch, playground, grass lawns, campground and hiking trails exploring the amazing landscape of the Canadian Badlands.
The Dinosaur Provincial Park enjoys a reputation as THE place to go for researching fossils dating back to the Late Cretaceous Period. The fossil finds attract paleontologists from all around the world. North American schools visit the park as part of their studies.
The Dinosaur Provincial Park is in the heart of the Canadian Badlands. The Canadian Badlands are sea deposits sculpted by glaciation and years of erosion from winds and rain. The years of exposure and erosion have formed a landscape of coulees, hoodoos and red rock cliffs.
There are dinosaur tours with interpretive guides available at the Visitor Centre. Guided tours have access further into the park. There are also educational programs provided by the park - some are on site, some are in an amphitheatre and some in a research lab.
Within the park are interpretive trails exploring the moon-like landscape of the Canadian Badlands. The self guided trails include information signs, viewing decks, fossil houses and sightseeing benches.
The Prairie Trail: from the viewpoint near the park entrance is a short 300 metre loop trail exploring the grassland region of the park. A must stop for the best views of the Canadian Badlands. Views are enjoyed from a large cliffside viewpoint.
The Coulee Viewpoint Trail: from the Visitor Centre this 1 kilometre loop trail explores a coulee valley providing views of the Canadian Badlands and Little Sandhill Creek. Along the route are views of caves, hoodoos, popcorn rock, sinkholes, rills and rock lichens,
Badlands Trail: from the public loop road this 1.3 kilometre loop trail explores an environment typical of the Canadian Badlands. It is the only trail visiting a section of the Natural Preserve. The route follows a dirt path into a canyon environment surrounded by coulees and hoodoos. Favorite trail in the park.
Fossil Hunters Trail: from the #2 Fossil House is a 1 kilometre one way trail exploring the Canadian Badlands leading to an old rock quarry. The trail explores and provides exhibits of the life and times of the fossil hunter. Over 300 fossil finds have been recorded in the park and are now on display in museums located all over the globe.
Cottonwood Flats Trail: from the public loop road this 1.5 kilometre loop trail explores a prairie grassland environment before leading into a grove of cottonwood trees situated on the edge of the Red Deer River.
It is important to prepare for exploring in the Badlands. Prepare well with drinking water, hats and sunglasses as temperatures can get extremely hot. Also conditions can change quickly and the surfaces can become very slippery from wet weather - bring good foot wear and rain gear.
There are Rattlesnakes in the region watch wear you step. There are cactus in the region so be careful what you touch - some even look like yellow flowers. There are scorpions and black widow spiders too but they usually only come out at night... however I would still keep my hands and feet out of any holes or crevices.
How to Get to the Dinosaur Provincial Park
Travel to the community of Brooks, Alberta Canada. From Cassils Road in Brooks travel located 48 kilometres northeast of Brooks, Alberta