This time, my lack of adventurousness is pretty lame-o.
For our Grand Canyon visit, I’d torn my hamstring so we had to take it easy. That’s fair enough. Torn hamstrings are pretty serious things.
During our visit to Lake Agnes, it was a bizarre inner ear thing that afflicted me.
For our visit to Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta’s Badlands it was mosquitoes.
I was eaten alive. They even managed to get a dozen bites through on my backside in my thick Lululemon yoga pants.
So we got in a quick hike around the outskirts of the park, and checked out the Dinosaur Museum before we got me and my bites back into our motorhome. Dinosaur Provincial Park is actually a world heritage site, due to three significant features:
- An exceptional abundance and diversity of dinosaur and other vertebrate fossils.
- Largest, most spectacular area of badlands in Canada.
- Unique riparian (riverside) habitat.
It also has turtle, crocodile, reptiles, fish and small mammal fossils. The magnolia, sycamore, redwoods and fern fossils suggest it was once a warm, temperate landscape.
The area’s attracted fossil hunters and archaelogists for quite some time. During the “Great Canadian Dinosaur Rush” of 1910-1920 where rival collectors would try and find the best dinosaur fossils.
The dinosaur fossils alone are a great reason to visit the Dinosaur Provincial Park, but the badlands are a spectacular sight.
There’s a certain beauty to their barrenness.
And looking at the ancient hollows into the stone, it feels almost like you’re a giant at the Grand Canyon.
As with the Grand Canyon, and Utah Arches Park, water played a large role in the formation of the Badlands. Cold meltwater from the glacial Lake Bassano carved through glacial and lake sediments, forming the Red Deer River Valley. The torrents exposed layers of sandstone and mud laid down during the Crataceous Period.
Tips for enjoying your hike:
- Bring your bugspray and wear loose clothing. Apparently it’s harder for them to bite through it than running skins or yoga pants! And wear your sunscreen, too.
- The badlands part of the park can be really slippery, so wear good hiking shoes.
- Don’t stick your hand into cracks. There are rattlesnakes, scorpions, and black widow spiders. Sounds almost as dangerous as going for a walk in Australia!
Getting there: Follow the blue provincial park signs from Brooks, north on HWY 873. Turn right at HWY 544, drivr 15k, turn left on to PR#130. Keep going until you see a four way stop, turn right and follow the paved road until you reach the Park.
Contact Details: Po Box 60, Patricia Alberta Canada T0J 2K0, Park Admin (403) 378 – 4342 Museum
Cost: $3 per adult.