Wednesday, 10 May 2017 08:00

Dinosaur ProvincialPark an interesting attraction no matter how many times one chooses to visit

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One of the interesting activities to do in Dinosaur Provincial Park is to see active fossil dig sites and speak with people working at those sites. One of the interesting activities to do in Dinosaur Provincial Park is to see active fossil dig sites and speak with people working at those sites. Photo courtesy Alberta Parks

When something works as well as it does in Dinosaur Provincial Park, then it doesn’t take much tweaking to make it even better.


That’s what officials did this year with some of their programming — minor tweaks — but for the most part visitors can expect the same enjoyable experiences as in previous summer seasons with interesting tours in one of the best dinosaur fossil beds in the world.
The popularity of the specialized programming in the provincial park, located 48 km northeast of Brooks and at least a two-hour drive from Drumheller, remains strong with many offerings selling out in July and August, says Donna Martin, marketing and public relations specialist for Dinosaur Provincial Park.
Campsites too fill up quickly — especially comfort camping which is basically sold out already — if people don’t book far enough in advance.
“We want people to book (tours and camping) ahead of time,” she adds. “We don’t want people to be disappointed.”
A visit to Dinosaur Provincial Park offers individuals and families a chance to see “fossils in the wild,” points out Martin. The park features the richest fossil site in the world and is the largest badlands in Canada.
“When it rains or the wind blows, more fossils get exposed,” adds Martin.
Paleontologists spend months in the park on digs, and some of the tours feature the ability for visitors to see these people in action and ask them questions about their work.
Along with the dinosaur history, there is also a focus on the agricultural past as visitors can tour the John Ware cabin on site and learn more about local ranching history.
A visitor centre in the park includes an exhibit gallery and information about the plants and animals that call the prairies home. There is also some cultural history, geological information and a theatre where visitors can watch videos about the area.
There are more than 120 campsites, many with power hook-ups, as well as seven fully-furnished comfort camping sites, but they need to be reserved in advance as they are usually booked solid every weekend from now until October.
Martin points out Dinosaur Provincial Park is conveniently located near Brooks so camping is available elsewhere and the park is only an hour and a half drive away from other sites such as Kinbrook Island, south of Brooks or Tilleybrook Provincial Park.
“That’s a beautiful prairie oasis,” she adds about Tilleybrook. “It’s a great base from which to do day trips to Lake Newell or Dinosaur Provincial Park, and it’s not to hot.”
School programs are popular from April to June as well as in the fall from September to November.
Park staff will also plan many family activities for Parks Day, which is set for July 15 this year.
“We hope people will come out and visit Dinosaur Provincial Park,” adds Martin. “Especially people from Medicine Hat, and even in the shoulder season, from mid-September to April, it’s only an hour and a half drive.”
Information about the events at the park or tours can be found at: https://www.albertaparks.ca/dinosaur.aspx, while booking tours can be done at: https://atms.alberta.ca/dpp/default.aspx or phone 403-378-4344.

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Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor

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