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Dinosaur Provincial Park

Dinosaur Provincial Park
Photo by Rolf Hicker: Alberta Pictures
Dinosaur Provincial Park protects the area where dinosaurs once hunted and mated - and ultimately met their demise, leaving an amazingly rich fossil and bone record. 60 species of more than 45 genera of seven families of dinosaurs have been found in the park.

75 million years ago, this region was a subtropical paradise populated by turtles, crocodiles and sharks - and featuring a lush vegetation similar to the coastal plains of the south-eastern United States today. It preserves an extraordinarily diverse group of freshwater vertebrates. Fish include sharks, rays, paddlefish, bowfins, gars, and teleosts. Amphibians include frogs, salamanders, and the extinct albanerpetontids. Reptiles include lizards (such as the large monitor Paleosaniwa), a wide range of turtles, crocodilians, and the fish-eating Champsosaurus. Mammals such as shrews, marsupials, and squirrel-like rodents are also represented, although usually only by their fossilized teeth, rather than bones.

The park boasts a very complex ecosystem including three communities: prairie grasslands, badlands, and riverside cottonwoods. Its ecosystem is surrounded by prairies but is unique unto itself.

Year Decision Comments
1979 Inscribed Reasons for inscription


Linda Bean (Canada):
Very immense and incredible, even if you're not into fossils. If you're not into evolution and the whole "millions of years" theories, don't let that detain you. If you are in Alberta Canada, it is definitely worth the visit.
Date posted: April 2013
Xeres Nelro ():
This site is incredible. there are hardly words to describe it. A Canyon of Badlands and hoodoos; i think is the best description. the hoodoos are rock formations, of of unusual and wonderful shapes.

when we drove into the park, the first turnoff lead us to a breathtaking viewpoint; over a large canyon/valley, filled with badlands. there was a surprising amount of plant life; i had expected the badlands to be barren, but there were trees, grass, bushes a plenty. a trail led from the top, all the way to the bottom, it was quite steep, and in some places narrow and scary. but is was a great trail. we got about half way down, before turning around, and climbing back up.

there are two sections to the park, the reserve, and the non-reserve. the reserve covers 70% of the park, and is only accessible by guided tour, there are several hiking trails in the rest of the park, that you can hike by yourself.

we took a tour, and the guide led us to a part of the park, which was a dry lake bed. Bones littered the ground. everywhere you look, there were dinosaur bones on the ground. not big ones, most were smaller then your fist, but they were everywhere. it was remarkable!

after the tour, we hiked on a trail, that took us, through badlands, to an overlook over a wide valley, with a river at the bottom.

it was an amazing trip. this is in my opinion, the best thing to see in all of Alberta.
Date posted: June 2008
Emilia Bautista King (U.S.A.):
The badlands do truly come out of nowhere while you are driving through the prairie, which seemed neverending but beautiful. Upon entering the park, my husband and I were welcomed by the sight of the province of Alberta's flag, the Canadian flag, and the UN flag waving side by side. This not only marks the entrance but the location of the World Heritage site plaque as well. As of 16 June 2006, the road to the plaque's location was under construction, so we walked to the plaque. I highly recommend you do this, as the most stunning view of the badlands is here!

I encourage you to take the bus tour around the park, which includes a drive to the natural preserve. Three-fourths of the park is in the preserve, where the dinosaur fossils have been found in the past and where some can still be found. There were mushroom-shaped rocks called "hoodoos" throughout the preserve and some took on very interesting formations, like a pyramid and camel (as if you had your piece of Egypt within the preserve)! Even if dinosaurs aren't your thing, I'm sure you will find Dinosaur Provincial Park interesting. A fact about the park is that it is home to 3 distinctive habitats: prairie, badlands, and riverside forest. There are many chances for spotting wildlife as well.
Date posted: June 2006
Joyce (Netherlands):
I had seen pictures of the park before, and I really tried visiting the site. Lots of people only visit the town of Drumheller for itís well done Dinosaur museum and the badlands surrounding it, but Dinosaur Provincial Park is much more impressive. When you drive up to the place the only thing you see is plains, but then suddenly, when you look below, you see these badlands! When the sun is shining the brown rocks turn orange, itís a beautiful place! You might see some deer and rabbits too. Unfortunately, only a small piece of the park is open for visitors; the rest of the park is only open to researchers with a special permit. For them this is a great place since it has the most Dinosaur Fossils in the world.
Date posted: December 2005
Lesley Anne Turner (Canada):
Dinosaur fossils are dug up by scientists and their students during the summer months then transported to the Tyrell Museum (not included in the World Heritage Site), in Drumheller, to be studied and reconstructed.The Feild Station in the park is undergoing major renovations and will be open spring 2006. There are great, inexpensive camping facilites in the park. Staying a few days gives you time to explore the 3 main areas of the park:the ancient cottonwoods along the Red Deer River,the lookouts over the valley from the prairies and the actual Badlands. The guided tours with the rangers are highly recommended when you first arrive. Then when you go exploring the many trails by yourself you have some idea of what you are looking at.
Date posted: November 2005
Ivan ManDy (Philippines):
One of my most vivid memories of visiting this site is the Tyrell Museum with its excellent displays of dinosaur fossils as well as the hoodoos rock formation, numerous oil wells and Amish(?)communities dotting the wheat(?) fields.
Date posted: July 2005
Stephanie Butler (Canada):
While visiting my uncle in Alberta, my family took a trip to Dinosaur Provincial Park. We had an amazing time exploring the trails and visiting the exhibits. I would definitely recommend this place to anyone with an interest in paleontology.

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