If you live in Alberta and are looking for a unique, beautiful road trip destination that’s not too far away, you should definitely consider a trip to the Canadian Badlands. This area of Canada boasts gorgeous canyons, eerie rock formations, dinosaur bones, and wide open prairie. It’s a great place to explore interesting scenery, learn about dinosaurs and frontier history, and feel far away from city life for a few days or a week. Here are some ideas for planning a trip to the Canadian Badlands:
Visit the Dinosaur Provincial Park
If you only check out one destination in the Badlands, it should be the Dinosaur Provincial Park. Here your family can camp under the stars, hike, check out interesting rock formations, and of course see dinosaur bones and fossils, all in a stunningly beautiful and peaceful setting. Check out the park’s official website to book guided tours and learn about upcoming children’s programs.
Learn Some Local Mining History at Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site
For something interesting and different, bring the family to this historic site where they will tour old mine shafts and learn all about the hard-working miners who came from all over to seek their fortunes in the Canadian Badlands. This site offers both aboveground and underground historical tours for the whole family.
Bring the Family to Fort Whoop-Up
Whoop-up is a historic fort and interpretive center where you can witness live reenactments and learn all about the history of the region, including the history of the aboriginal people who come from the area and settler and Mountie history. The fort began in the 1860’s as a trading post and stockade where fur traders from America brought furs, whiskey, and other coveted goods to the frontier as part of a wagon train. On your way to or from the fort, don’t skip a stop at the beautiful Japanese gardens nearby.
Check out Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park
This provincial park is a great place to camp, hike, check out hoodoos (tall, thin, and dramatic rock spires), and see some amazing First Nation petroglyphs and pictographs. It’s best to book a tour with the park, as only those on guided tours are allowed to access many of the petroglyphs and pictographs. This is also the perfect spot to go floating down the Milk River. You can book a guided tour through the park’s official website.
Visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum
If you didn’t get enough of dinosaurs at the Dinosaur Provincial Park, and could use a little time indoors out of the sun after all that camping and hiking, the Royal Tyrrell Museum is the perfect place to end your visit to the Badlands. The Royal Tyrrell Museum is the only museum in all of Canada dedicated to paleontology. You and the kids will have a blast exploring fun, educational, creative exhibits and programs all dedicated to dinosaurs and other aspects of paleontological history.
We hope these tips help you plan your own Canadian Badlands adventure very soon.