The Getaway
Things to Do in Dinosaur Provincial Park

Nestled in the heart of the Canadian Badlands, Dinosaur Provincial Park offers a journey back in time to an era when giants roamed the earth. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, renowned for its significant paleontological discoveries and striking geological formations, captivates visitors with its otherworldly landscape. The park isn't just a haven for scientists; it's a playground for adventurers, history buffs, and nature enthusiasts eager to explore the land that dinosaurs once called home. From hiking through ancient riverbeds to participating in real fossil digs, the park presents a unique blend of education, adventure, and natural beauty. Whether you're camping under the stars or embarking on a guided tour through the badlands, Dinosaur Provincial Park promises an unforgettable experience that bridges the gap between past and present.

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01 Step into the past at the Visitor Centre

The Visitor Centre serves as the perfect starting point for any adventure in the park. It's more than just a place to pick up maps and book tours; it's a gateway to the ancient world. With exhibits and interactive displays, visitors can learn about the dinosaurs that once inhabited the area, the geological forces that shaped the landscape, and the ongoing scientific research uncovering the park's secrets. It's an essential stop for anyone looking to deepen their understanding of this remarkable site.

World's largest dinosaur exhibit at Drumheler's Visitor Centre Todamo / Shutterstock.com

02 Embark on the Badlands Interpretive Trail

This accessible trail offers a comprehensive introduction to the unique landscape of the badlands. With informative panels dotting the path, hikers can learn about the natural history and geology of the area at their own pace. It's a gentle walk that provides stunning views of the park's most iconic features, making it a must-do for first-time visitors.

03 Join a Fossil Safari tour

Unidentifiable tourists explore Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada, a UNESCO World Heritage Site noted for its striking badland topography and abundance of dinosaur fossils.

For families and dinosaur enthusiasts, the Fossil Safari tour is a highlight. Guided by experienced paleontologists, this tour takes you to real fossil sites where you can see dinosaur remains just as they are found. It's a rare opportunity to connect with the ancient past in a hands-on way, making it an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages.

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04 Camp under the stars

Tenting and camping sites in Dinosaur Campground of Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada.

Camping in Dinosaur Provincial Park isn't just about finding a place to sleep; it's about immersing yourself in the natural beauty of the badlands. With a variety of camping options available, from traditional tent sites to comfort camping, visitors can choose their own adventure. Falling asleep under a canopy of stars and waking up to the sun rising over the hoodoos is truly magical.

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05 Hike to the Centrosaurus Quarry

The hike to the Centrosaurus Quarry leads adventurers to a significant dinosaur bonebed, offering insights into the park's paleontological significance. It's a journey that not only challenges the body but also stimulates the mind, as guides share stories of the dinosaurs that once roamed the area and the scientists who've dedicated their lives to uncovering these ancient creatures.

06 Capture the landscape through photography

photographer take pictures Snapshot with camera. man hand holding with camera looking through lens.Concept for photographing articles Professionally

The park's stunning vistas are a photographer's dream. From the intricate details of the rock formations to the vast, open skies, there's no shortage of breathtaking scenes to capture. Photography enthusiasts will find endless inspiration in the changing light and shadows that dance across the badlands.

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07 Visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum

Just a short drive from Dinosaur Provincial Park, the Royal Tyrrell Museum is a world-renowned center for paleontological research and education. It's not just a museum; it's an immersive journey through time, showcasing one of the largest displays of dinosaurs in the world. With interactive exhibits, life-sized dinosaur replicas, and actual fossils unearthed from the surrounding badlands, the museum offers a deeper understanding of the ancient creatures that once dominated these lands. It's a must-visit for anyone looking to complement their adventure in the park with a comprehensive look at the science of paleontology and the history of life on Earth.

Visitors and tourists enjoy dinosaur exhibits at the Royal Tyrrel Museum of Palaeontology in Alberta. Nick Fox / Shutterstock.com

08 Uncover history at the John Ware Cabin

The John Ware Cabin offers a glimpse into Alberta's ranching history and the life of one of its most legendary figures. Ware, a former African American slave who became a celebrated cowboy, embodies the spirit of resilience and determination. Visiting his cabin isn't just about stepping back in time; it's about connecting with the stories that shape our understanding of the past.

09 Dine at the Cretaceous Café

While the Cretaceous Café might not win any culinary awards, it's a welcome oasis in a place where dining options are sparse. Offering simple fare like burgers and wraps, it's a convenient spot to refuel after a day of exploration. Plus, it's where campers check in and can purchase supplies, making it a hub of activity in the park.

10 Take the Explorer's Bus Tour

The Hoodoos trail in Drumheller, Alberta, Canada

The Explorer's Bus Tour provides an extensive overview of the park's highlights, from its geological wonders to its rich history. It's a comfortable and informative way to experience the park, especially for those who prefer not to hike the trails. The knowledgeable guides bring the landscape to life, sharing stories and insights that enrich the journey.

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11 Walk the Trail of the Fossil Hunters

Hoodoos in the valley and canyon of Drumheller

This trail takes visitors on a journey through the early days of fossil hunting in the park. With stops at historically significant sites and interpretive panels along the way, it's a fascinating look at the people who first uncovered the secrets of the badlands. It's a reminder of the enduring human curiosity that drives us to explore and understand our world.

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12 Visit the outdoor fossil displays

The outdoor fossil displays offer a tangible connection to the ancient creatures that once inhabited the area. Seeing real dinosaur fossils up close isn't just educational; it's awe-inspiring. It's a powerful reminder of the passage of time and the incredible history beneath our feet.

13 Enjoy a picnic with a view

With its stunning landscapes, the park is the perfect backdrop for a picnic. Whether you're enjoying a meal at one of the designated picnic areas or finding your own spot with a view, it's a relaxing way to take in the beauty of the badlands. It's a simple pleasure that enhances the experience of visiting the park.

DRUMHELLER, CANADA - Sep 06, 2021: A wooden "Welcome to Drumheller" sign with a decorative dinosaur at the entrance to the town of Drumheller Wirestock Creators / Shutterstock.com

14 Participate in a hands-on dig experience

Happy child digging the dinosaur and having fun with archaeology excavation kit. Boy plays an archaeologist excavated, training for dig fossil

For those who want to get their hands dirty, the park offers simulated dinosaur dig experiences. It's a chance to learn about paleontology in a hands-on way, uncovering replicas of dinosaur bones buried in the earth. It's an educational and fun activity that offers a glimpse into the work of scientists in the field.

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15 Attend a star-gazing event

The park's dark skies make it an ideal location for star-gazing. Attending a star-gazing event is a chance to marvel at the universe's vastness and beauty. With the help of telescopes and knowledgeable guides, visitors can spot constellations, planets, and other celestial phenomena. It's a peaceful and profound way to end a day of exploration.

Dinosaur Provincial Park offers a rare blend of adventure, education, and natural beauty. It's a place where the past and present converge, offering visitors a chance to explore the land that dinosaurs once roamed. Whether you're hiking through the badlands, participating in a fossil dig, or simply enjoying the stunning landscape, the park promises an experience that's both enriching and unforgettable.

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