Jump back in time as much as 145 million years. A good portion of North America's Midwest was a lush tropical habitat complete with a vast inland sea. This is where the dinosaurs roamed. Fast forward to the present to stand surrounded by the eroded limestone formations and maroon-striped canyons of the Canadian Badlands. The ancient seabed holds the world’s richest deposits of prehistoric fossils and dinosaur finds. Since the 19th century, many of the most important discoveries were made right here, including our very own Albertosaurus.
Alberta’s badlands can be found primarily in the central and southern parts of the province. But did you know we have badlands in the northwest? Alberta’s Fossil Trail spans 2,500 km (1,553 mi), running through the province from northwest to southeast.
Badlands. Bonebeds. Big. Here’s your Dinosaur Adventure checklist.
Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology
Plan to spend the better part of a day – or even two – at The Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, just seven minutes from the town of Drumheller. This world class facility houses of the largest displays of dinosaurs on the planet. Learn why they call their T-Rex Black Beauty. Stay for a family sleepover and snore with the dinosaurs in Dinosaur Hall. Go on a genuine guided dinosaur dig. Learn about the "last sea dragon," a 75 million year old sea reptile.
Dinosaur Provincial Park
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is famous for its bonebeds and much of the Tyrrell’s excavations take place through their field station here. Visit our page on Dinosaur Provincial Park to learn about all the incredible experiences to be found here.
In Alberta’s northern badlands, close to Grande Prairie, lies the recently discovered Pipestone Creek bonebed – a massive gravesite of the Pachyrhinosaurus, a plant eating dinosaur, dating back 73 million years. Much of the site is yet to be excavated. Soon to open is the new Philip J. Currie Museum. This much-heralded facility will be a mecca for palaeontologists around the world. Tours of the area and special programming are already in place.
Dinosaur Road Trip
Calling all fossil hounds! Load up the RV, bring the family and hit the Northern Fossil Trail, which winds through the Peace Region in the north. Stop along the way at the local museums with their collections of prehistoric treasures including fossilized footprints, dinosaur bones, shells and plant fossils.
Minutes from Edmonton but millions of years from the present, the dinosaurs roam! Take a guided safari around this 40 acre “prehistoric preserve” where more than 50 life sized prehistoric creatures live and breathe. From the graceful Brachiosaurus to the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex, these animatronic exhibits are bound to thrill dino fans of all ages. You’ll also find modern creatures at Jurassic Forest, including flying squirrels and a resident moose.
Visit the Calgary Zoo and visit Prehistoric Park to see life-sized dinosaur models around every corner. And soon to return is the popular Dinosaurs Alive exhibit, with realistic, fleshy models that move and roar!