The Alberta Badlands, once part of the subtropical swamps, is one of the world’s best repositories of fossilized dinosaur remains.
The most picturesque part of this territory, along the Deer River, 175 km east of Calgary, has been turned into a provincial dinosaur park, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From the observation deck, a magnificent view opens in front of the entrance: 7000 ha of sandstone landscapes with strange knotted formations, a consequence of erosion.
Having made a 5-kilometer trip, including short walking routes, you will see places where dinosaur bones are preserved in the form in which they were found. Other areas of the park are open for organized trips and bus tours (May-October; order by phone: (403) 378-4344).
At the town of Drumheller, 138 km northeast of Calgary, the wasteland abruptly breaks off and prairies begin. From Calgary, head north to the Canadian Badlands Trail, take Highway 2 to Crossfield, and then east, take Highway 72 (passing onto Highway 9). Stop at Horseshoe Canyon and then continue along Highway 9 to Drumheller, to the bridge where the Dinosaur Trail begins.
Before a tour of the lunar landscapes of Alberta’s badlands, inspect the murals with dinosaurs on the historic buildings of the city and the world’s largest fiberglass tyrannosaurus statue on the banks of the Red Deer River.
4 km west of Drum Heller, on the northern dinosaur trail, is the Royal Tyrrell Muséum of Palaeontology; open: mid-May-Aug daily 9.00-21.00; Sept.-Mid-Oct daily 10.00-17.00; mid-Oct. – mid-May Tue-Sun 10: 00-17: 00), perhaps the best dinosaur museum in the world.
In an excellently matched exposition of more than 200 reconstructed skeletons represented against the background of the prehistoric jungle, as well as moving models of several species of these giant reptiles, such as, for example, Albertosaurus, the terrible Tyrannosaurus Rex and the “tiny”, with a height of “only” 3 m, “charming »Lambeosaurus accompanied by a cub.
In the bowels of the territory where the provincial dinosaur park is located, the remains of 35 species of these prehistoric animals are hidden. The oldest of them date back 75 million years BC. e. Tourists are given the opportunity to visit the excavation site (daily).
The Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Interpretive Center, 18 km northwest of Fort Maclaod along Highway 785, shows the culture of bison hunters from ancient times to the arrival of Europeans. Crowsnest Pass, covering the border between Al Berta and British Columbia, is one of the most scenic routes through the Rockies.
Not far from here is Mount Tartle; On April 29, 1903, 82 million tons of limestone fell from its top; under a monstrous avalanche, a part of the city of Frank was buried. This event, as well as the theme of the enormous power of nature over man, is dedicated to the Frank Slide Interpretive Center.
A song with that name was the musical theme of the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. She now personifies this vibrant city, incomparable to any other in Canada.