Dinosaur Provincial Park

Dinosaur Provincial Park

We drove 166 miles to stay at our next spot.  The day started out with a light shower but ended with beautiful sunshine.  Our destination was the Dinosaur Provincial Park about 45km from the small town of Brooks, AB.

 Most of us arrived about 1:00pm and waited in their parking lot.  We were told we could not go into the camping area until 2:00pm, when the other campers were supposed to leave.   At 2:00pm we all caravanned into the group camping area we were assigned, but unfortunately the previous campers had not left.  In fact they weren’t even ready to leave.

We called the ranger and he notified them that they were supposed to leave.  It took us another hour for them to leave and us to finally get settled in.  If any of you are planning on staying at an Alberta Provincial Park I would suggest that you not even get there until 4:00pm.

 I have a beautiful site with lots of sun for the solar panels and the Badlands in the distance.


Chica and I were napping in the afternoon when Linda came pounding on the door telling me to come out and check something out.  It was John and he was on a very high spot overlooking our campground.  I hurriedly grabbed my camera and we both hiked up to meet John.  This was our view from up there.


This is the plateau we were on.


And this is a pic of the river.


Coulee Viewpoint Trail

The trail we were hiking is called the Coulee Viewpoint Trail.  It is only .9km long, but climbs to ridge tops with beautiful views.  We even saw some hoodoos.


Since it was late in the day we decided to come back in the morning and hike the remainder of the trail.  Again we had spectacular views.





Here is a pic of the river as it winds it’s way through the campground.



Hiking among beautiful rock formations.

The rock formations were really great!




Lots of nice flowers

Several different types of flowers were in bloom.  These pics are a bit out of focus because of the wind blowing at the time.



Another bonebed

Later John and I hopped in the car and drove a loop trail that wound through the Badlands.  They had displays of bone beds where the dinosaurs were actually found and left.  They enclosed them in a glass house so you can look in and see them.  It was neat to see them in the original state as they found them.



I have never truly been interested in dinosaurs that much and I probably didn’t get much more information then watching the movie Jurassic Park.  But these last 4 days have really peaked my interest.  Being able to travel through this area known to have many dinosaur fossil grounds was really something.

I know these pics do not really do it justice, as you really have to been here to see the scope of it all.  But I hope you also were able to enjoy them as well.

Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum

Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum

If you are ever in the Drumheller area you MUST see the Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum.  Don’t expect to get through this in just an hour or two.  It is huge and would take several days if you were to stop and read all the signage.

It was Senior Week in Canada and since I am an old fart I got in for nothing.  That’s right!  Nadda!  That made it even better.

The first thing that greets you when you enter the displays are these guys.



Then they show you how dinosaur fossils are found.



This was an employee who showed us the meticulous job of chipping away at the rock that was surrounding the fossil to finally expose the bone.  He used a very small tool and it takes extraordinary patience.


Dinosaur Hall

This is the dinosaur hall where you will see actual dinosaur skeletons assembled as they really are.  It was a fantastic site and there were many different dinosaur types from many different ages.  All these were found in the Drumheller area of Alberta.




There was even an undersea dinosaur display.



There were many more on display in the Dinosaur Hall.




Heavy bones

The Tyranosaurous Rex display was particularly interesting.  The hip bones were lying on the floor since they had such enormous weight they could not hang them.  Instead they recreated a hip bone that was used instead.


This is a triceratops.



This is a pic of a bonebed much like how the bones are actually discovered.  They map out the entire area before actually removing the bones.



Aside from the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC, this has to go down as one of the finest exhibits I have ever seen.  As I mentioned previously it is a MUST see.

Grand Tour of Drumheller

Drumheller, AB – Land of the Dinosaurs

Our next stop on our fabulous tour through Alberta was Drumheller, AB.  Prior to this trip I had never heard of this town.  But anyone who has studied dinosaurs is sure to know of it’s existence.

We were camped at the Dinosuar RV Park within walking distance to the entire town.  It was a nice campground with plenty of washers and dryers.  Here is a pic of my site.


We are going to be here 3 nights so we had time to do the laundry as well as relax..  Chica offered to help me with the wash, but I couldn’t get here to fold the socks.


Drumheller Tour

The first full day we were here many of us decided to go on a tour of the area, which was offered by the RV Park for $25.  They had a bus that carried us to many unusual sites in the area.  Our guide had lived here most of his life so could answer our many questions.

Our first stop was Drumheller’s Little Church.  It would seat 10,000 people but only 6 at a time.


OOPS, wrong picture!



The next stop on our tour took us to Horse Thief Canyon where a local tour guide met us.


The views were awesome.



Then we crossed the Red Deer River on the Bleriot Ferry.  It was named after Andre Bleriot who homesteaded here around 1904.  A homesteader could buy 160 acres for only $10.  I sure wish you could do that now.  What a bargain!!!


Then we proceeded to an overlook of the Red River Valley.  What a view!


Up close with the Hoodoos

Then we traveled through Drumheller to the other side of town where we saw a fantastic display of hoodoos.  You could walk among them and see them up close.




A wiggly suspension bridge

We then all hopped back in the bus and drove to the Star Mine Suspension Bridge.  Miners used this bridge to get to the other side of the Red River and the coal mine .




Lots of buffalo

The last stop on our tour was at a ranch that raised buffalo.  These were the females approximately 2 years old weighing approximately 850 lbs.  They were very curios as you can see and started walking toward us.  They are probably saying to each other, “humans have to be the weirdest thing I have ever seen”.  They walk on their hind legs and talk way too much.


Then we headed back to the RV Park.  It was a great tour and I would highly recommend it to anyone passing through Drumheller.  The next day we planned to visit the Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum.  It is known as the most famous dinosaur museum in the world.  I will cover that in my next post so stay tuned