2018 Experience the Dinosaur Trails

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EXPERIENCE 2018/2019


The Dinosaur Trails

8 Helpful Map Pages T. Rex Poop Devil’s Coulee Jurassic Forest Historic Sites Grande Prairie Hudson’s Hope

Reader & Selfie Contests

To see more of his work, visit csotonyi.com Illustrations by Julius Cstonyi. Mural reproduced by permission of the Philip J. Currie museum, Grande Prairie.

So You Wanna be a Dino “Drawer” To many, scientists and artists would count as two separate species. But, as the husband and wife team of Julius Csotonyi and Alexandra Lefort prove, art and science can inhabit the same body, and even live together in harmony. They are both scientists and artists, specializing in “ancient space and times.”

Alexandra notes, “I had always been interested in astronomy and geology, which ultimately led to my studying planetary bodies in the solar system using remote sensing instruments aboard orbiting spacecraft.” Julius’ path was more down to earth - or deep in the earth.

While studying for his doctorate in microbiology, Julius also had an interesting sideline - drawing life-like reproductions of the ancient ‘kings of the earth’ - dinosaurs. As it turns out, his drawings were really, really good! Not many scientists’ work, after all, ends up on The Colbert Report. But we’ll get to that later… These days, Julius and Alexandra make a living working as fulltime artists, whose scientific illustration work is prominently displayed from museums like the Royal Tyrrell and the Philip J. Currie, to special collector editions of Canadian coins. “We met at a conference about Polar Science on Mars,” says Julius. “We were both doing PhDs about bioscience – me focusing on Earth life, she on Martian geology.” He studied life in extreme environments on earth, like those around hydrothermal vents, which are good for modeling environments on planets, like Mars, where one might expect to find non-terrestrial life. And the couple discovered a shared interest in astro-biology. And, yes, that’s a thing.

Like most people who end up working with dinosaurs for a living, Julius’ paleo-art fascination began as a youth. He grew up here in Alberta, after his parents escaped Hungary from behind the Iron Curtain. “I had an uncle who sponsored us as refugees,” he says, “and I remember when we arrived in December - the cold was a bit of a shock!” “Dinosaurs were always with me,” he continued. “My parents buying beautifully illustrated dino books. And when my mom hand-drew me a picture of one of the dinosaurs, I was very impressed.” Then, in 1985, the Royal Tyrrell museum opened, and on their first visit the artwork really “blew” Julius away. “My first big museum project was with the Tyrrell, just doing dinosaurs. Soon, the word of mouth spread and shortly after I worked on other images that required whole scenes – like the duck-billed dinosaur Brachylophosaurus at the Houston Museum, which has a mural and several other images of this amazing mummified dinosaur they have.” he recalls. “It was so complete that we could use the stomach contents to help us know what kind of plants composed its ecosystem!”

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Since then, Julius has gone on to become one of the key artists in making panels and murals for the Royal Tyrrell Museum, including the plaques for “Alberta’s Fossil Trail,” which feature reconstructions of particularly interesting paleo-ecosystems from key parts of Alberta with images of dinosaurs in lifelike, and scientifically accurate, ecosystems. Another type of art that the couple creates appears on many special collector edition coins created by the Royal Canadian Mint. Alexandra created a coin showing Canada from space in honour of Roberta Bondar, Canada’s first woman astronaut. Julius did one to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the NHL. But the most expensive coin is the maple leaf Julius drew. It was struck on a solid kilogram of silver or gold. The gold version costs $69,000 each!

A picture, says Julius “can illustrate the ‘take home’ message.” Turns out, whether it’s in deep space or a million years ago, a picture is STILL worth a thousand words.

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Equally spectacular are Julius’s ‘glow in the dark’ illustrations. These unique coins show the dinosaur in the light of day, but glow to display its internal skeleton in the dark. Those were so unique that Stephen Colbert talked about them on his very popular late night U.S. comedy show.

– AUGUST 2 THURSDAY, 6, 2018 ST U G U A Open MONDAY, Pass Doors Crowsnest l a iv ge Fest and Herita 28 – PTEMBER FRIDAY, SE 30, 2018 ER B M PTE SUNDAY, SE re Days ultu Alberta C

With chops like those, it’s no wonder that both science-artists are in demand nowadays to illustrate other people’s work. Julius says “On a new scientific paper, having a nice picture really helps, So a lot more people are doing it because it helps sell the science, especially to the public. A picture can convey findings or principles to people who would not bother to read the article.” By A. R. Gibson

UND Y, YEAR-RO OPEN DAIL 3, ay w h ig H ff ta 1.5 km o Pass, Alber Crowsnest 88 73 2. 56 3. Phone: 40 org frankslide.

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Experience the Dinosaur Trails Publisher’s Welcome You are about to embark on a fascinating journey, to a time and place long ago. Take a moment to ponder 65 million years! Realize that the wheat fields of North America were once covered by a great Inland Sea. The climate was radically different. Rather than an arid temperate zone, this was once a tropical paradise. Well, maybe it wasn’t a paradise for those being chased by an enormous T. rex, replicas of which we have all seen in movies such as Jurassic Park and Jurassic World. You and your family are about to enter a fascinating world. Let’s face it – everyone loves dinosaurs!

Welcome to the second edition of Experience the Dinosaur Trails, an annual visitor’s guide to the unique fossil landscapes and attractions within Western Canada and beyond. Here, you’ll discover compelling stories, amazing images, maps, and more maps: because everyone loves maps. Dinosaur bones are exposed through erosion of the soil by wind and water. It’s encouraging to know that most bones and tracks are found by amateurs. Think of it. You might find a whole new species of dinosaurs and have it named in your honour! We sincerely hope you have a magical time and are truly honoured to be of service. To view or download this magazine to your mobile device, check out experiencetravelguides.com/library

Our Contributors

Lee Hart is a long-time

Allen R. Gibson

Dr Shannon Tracey

Tanya Koob is a

Ross MacDonald is

Calgary writer. He began his writing career working as a newspaper reporter in his home province of Ontario before moving west 45 years ago. While the first half of his career he worked as a writer and editor with various weekly and daily newspapers, for the past 30 years he has specialized as a writer and editor for agricultural

is a writer and tourism marketer who’s enjoyed Western Canadian road trips since childhood.

is a scientific & technical writer/editor and an instructor in Human Anatomy and Physiology. She has had amazing opportunities to travel to practically every continent around the globe. She and her husband, Copeland, live in Sherwood Park. They love camping and unearthing hidden gems in Alberta. Reach her at

Calgary-based freelance writer and lover of all things adventurous in the mountains. She spends her weekends gliding through snow or water. She has an 9 year old son and loves hiking, camping, and exploring the backcountry with her husband and son. Visit Tanya’s Blog where she chronicles her adventures



(Experience the Jurassic Forest pg 38)

(Experience Dinosaur Provincial Park pg 22)

energized by the historic linkages between humans and landscapes. Ross was the founder and co-chair of the International David Thompson Bicentennial initiative that recognized the fur trader, explorer and surveyor. Now retired, Ross chairs the Wings Over the Rockies Bird Festival and spends time on his boat near Vancouver Island. (Experience Alberta’s History pg 36)

publications. (T. Rex Poop Tells an Important Story pg 13)

Now, he shares that love of the west with visitors through his writing and custom guided tours. Reach him at starmedia@shaw.ca

(So you wanna to be a Dino Drawer pg 2)

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Experience the Dinosaur Trails Welcome to the 2018 - 2019 Edition of Experience The Dinosaur Trails Welcome to the 2018-19 edition of Experience the Dinosaur Trails. Use it to plan your holiday and as your companion once you’ve arrived. CMI Publishing is a div. of Complete Marketing Inc., a privately-owned company with offices in Calgary, Alberta. We specialize in the production of our Experience Travel Guides & Maps in print as well as digital formats. Printed copies are delivered to our network of distribution outlets throughout the region. Travellers are encouraged to pick up a FREE printed copy through these outlets or use a mobile-friendly copy of this, or any of our current or archived guides from our Mobile Library at ExperienceTravelGuides.com/library. We wish to thank the Canadian Badlands Tourism, Alberta Parks, Chinook Country Tourist Association, Travel Alberta, and all of our advertising partners, for their support. Special thanks to Ray Johnson, one of our reps who in the spring of 2016 suggested we launch a dinosaur magazine. Sadly, Ray retired shortly thereafter having been injured in a rodeo accident, but we remain very grateful for his suggestion. Please support our advertisers and sponsors. If you get the chance, kindly mention where you saw their ad. Without their support this guide would not be possible. Publisher: Bob Harris, CMI Publishing Bob@cmiPublishing.ca Ph: (403) 259.8290 Designer: Christine Karchewski ckarchewski@extenddesign.ca Cartographer: Rob Storeshaw robstoreshaw@shaw.ca Book Keeper: Adrienne Albrecht bookkeeper@cmispeakers.com Circulation Managers: Dan Clements Ian Klein Warren Pearson Dale Schultz Kelly Schultz Chinook Country

Editor: Larry Thomas larrylt2solutions@gmail.com Advertising Sales Reps: Dan Clements, Dan@cmiPublishing.ca Allen Gibson, Allen@cmiPublishing.ca Joseph Macdonald, Joseph@cmiPublishing.ca Circulation: Through most Visitor Information Centres, AMA travel offices, Chinook Country Tourist Association, retail stores, attractions, and hotels & motels in the region. For a complete list: experiencedinosaurtrails.com/our-distributors Cover Illustration: Created by Julius Cstonyi. Photographic compositing of a Xenoceratops foremostensis. Alberta’s Foremost formation Share Your Experience: Upload your selfies, photos and videos to be eligible to win great prizes: ExperienceTravelGuides.com/Contests

Table of Contents Communities Balzac 26 Brooks 21 Calgary 24 County of Newell 21 Devil’s Coulee 18 Dinosaur Provincial Park 22 Drumheller 28-33 Edmonton 34 Gibbons 38 Grande Cache 40 Grande Prairie 41-43 Grasslands National Park 15 Hudson’s Hope 48 Medicine Hat 17 Milk River 18 Montana’s Dinosaur Trails 10 Saskatchewan 12-16 Tumbler Ridge 46 Wembley 44 Writing-on-Stone 18

Specialty Pages Alberta’s History 35-37 Alaska’s Dinosaur Trails 49 Burgess Shale 51 Campground Directory 50 Jurassic Forest 38 Philip J. Currie Museum 44 Reader Contests 52 Reader Survey 9 Royal Tyrrell Museum 28 So You Wanna Be A Dino Drawer 2

Map Pages the Best Loved Travel Guides in Western Canada!

View all our travel guides online at ExperienceTravelGuides.com/Library 5 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Central Alberta 39 Dinosaur Trail Map 6-7 Dinosaur Trail Map Keys 8 Drumheller & Area 29 Montana’s Dinosaur Trails 11 NE British Columbia 40 SE Alberta 17 SW Saskatchewan 14


Prince George



Prince George



Fort St. John

Hudson’s Hope Dawson Creek


Alaska Highway







Fox Creek








Drayton Valley











10 9




Fort Saskatchewan


300 Kilometres

200 Miles


Fort McMurray

North Battleford

Dinosaur finds; Dig sites, bones, eggs See pg 8

Dinosaur Attractions see pg 8



Experience The Dinosaur Trails

Grande Cache












Christina Lake





















Pincher Creek








Great Falls


Medicine Hat

Milk River



















Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park


St. Mary Reservoir


Midland Provincial Park





Three Hills

Lundbreck Falls




Fernie Crowsnest Pass 3


Rocky Mountain House







Fairmont Hot Springs

Radium Hot Springs


Burgess Shale
















Swift Current








Maple Creek


Dinosaur Trail Map Keys Attractions Along the

Some of the Famous Dinosaur & Fossil Finds: Dig Sites, Bones, Tracks & Eggs:

Dinosaur Trails 1 Grasslands National Park: Open year-round, this park has two separate blocks. Visitor centre open late May to mid Oct., reduced hours in spring/ fall

Lundbreck Falls

2 Eastend - The T.rex Discovery Centre: Located along Hwy 13. Home to “Scotty” the T. rex. Opens May 19, 2018

St. Mary Reservoir

3 Warner - Devil’s Coulee Dinosaur and Heritage Museum Contains dinosaur eggs, dinosaur models. Open mid-May to Sept. 4 Dinosaur Provincial Park: UNESCO World Heritage Site. Open year round. Visitor Centre is open 9 – 5 Sun. to Thur., 9-7 Fri. & Sat. during summer season. 5 Calgary - Calgary Zoo: Its Prehistoric Park features life-sized dinosaurs. This park is only open from Mar 23 – Oct 31. New Panda Passage opens May 7, 2018. 6 Drumheller - “The Dinosaur Capital of the World”: Visitor Center is at the foot of the World’s Largest Dinosaur, Open 10-5:30. 7 Royal Tyrrell Museum: Open year-round, hours vary seasonally. visit tyrrellmuseum.com 8 Red Deer - The Red Deer Museum & Art Gallery: Collections include archaeological and paleontological artefacts. Open 10-4:30 Mon to Fri and 12-4:30 on Weekends. 9 Edmonton - University of Alberta Paleontology Museum: Houses two extraordinary collections. Open 8-4 Mon to Fri. Groups of five or more call (780) 492-3265 in advance. 10 Royal Alberta Museum: New and expanded facility that is scheduled to reopen in 2018.

“Black Beauty” (A reproduction of its skull can be seen in the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre) Wally’s Beach, an area that is usually beneath the waters, has been exposed during construction, revealing tracks of extinct beasts including muskoxen, camels, and woolly mammoths.

Milk River The Wendiceratops pinhornensis, which was approximately six metres long, was found in a bone bed near Milk River by legendary dinosaur hunter Wendy Sloboda in 2010.

Hilda - Largest dinosaur graveyard found in Alberta Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park Once an important hunting ground for the ancient Plains Cree, it’s now famous for its dinosaur fossils and rich bonebeds of the Albertosaurus.

Burgess Shale Some 230 million years ago, what is now the Rocky Mountains actually formed the ocean floor. The first discovery was made in August 1909, when Dr. Charles Doolittle Walcott visited the mountains overlooking the town of Field, B.C. Over the next 16 years, Walcott collected more than 65,000 fossil specimens from the area. They now grace the halls of some of the world’s greatest museums.

Grande Cache Although west-central Alberta has not had many dinosaur skeletons, more than 10,000 dinosaur footprints have been uncovered in coal mines.


11 Jurassic Forest: Located close to the Goose Hummock Resort, 3 km north of Gibbons.

The remains of 3 dinosaurs were discovered on Aug. 18, 2010 by City of Edmonton workers digging a new sewer tunnel 30 metres underground

12 Grande Prairie - The Grande Prairie Museum: Admission is FREE! Summer: Mon to Fri: 8:30-8:30; Sat & Sun: 10-6

Fort McMurray

13 Wembley - Philip J Currie Dinosaur Museum Summer hours: Tues to Fri 10-8; Sat & Sun 10-6 14 Tumbler Ridge - The Dinosaur Discovery Gallery: In the Peace Region Palaeontology Research Centre. Summer: Open 9-5

In 2011, dinosaur bones were discovered at a Suncor Energy mine. The fossil turned out to be one of the best preserved Ankylosaurs in the world. “All the armor is in place as was skin and other soft tissues”

Hudson’s Hope This area is the richest site of fossils and footprints in the world. Hudson’s Hope Museum display is one of the finest collections in the area.

“Black Beauty, a magnificent Tyrannosaurus rex from the Crowsnest” Tyrannosaurus rex (T. rex) is the most famous dinosaur, partly because it has been known to the public since 1905, and because it is such an awesome animal. It is one of the largest, if not THE largest carnivorous land animal, and was one of the last and most specialized dinosaurs. One day in 1980, two secondary school students were fishing in the Crowsnest River close to the Crowsnest Pass. The fishing was not good, but they did find many black dinosaur bones in the banks of the river. One of their teachers contacted

me about the discovery, and we became involved in an enormous excavation after recognizing that the boys had found an all-too-rare T. rex. The specimen became known as ‘Black Beauty’ because of the beautifully preserved black bones. It is one of the few that has travelled around the world, and has been on display in various Canadian and Japanese cities, plus Singapore and Sydney, Australia. This amazing dinosaur can seen at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller. Dr. Philip J. Currie

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A Coffee Table Book Containing Dinosaur Illustrations created by Julius Cstonyi We’d like to know how we did and learn how we can better serve your needs. Please complete and return the following short questionnaire for a chance to Win. Where did you pick up this travel guide?

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All of our travel guides & maps can be found in our Mobile Library at ExperienceTravelGuides.com/Library Thank you for participating in this survey. In appreciation for completing and mailing this survey, you will be entered into the prize draw described above. The winner will be randomly selected by CMI Publishing on November 30, 2018. Please mail this survey to: CMI Publishing, 116 Parkview Way SE, Calgary, Alberta, T2J 4M8 If you prefer to keep your copy of this guide intact, please forward your comments to us through DinoSurvey@CMIpublishing.ca

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Experience Montana’s Dinosaur Trails

“Hello there.” Image courtesy Museum of The Rockies.

Eastern Montana shares a lot of the same geological attributes as Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. Thus, many of the kinds of dinosaurs you’ll find along our dino trails are also found along Montana’s Dinosaur Trails. Stretching from Glendive in the east to Bynum in the west, and anchored by the famous displays of the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, there are many museums to visit. Most have locally-discovered bones and are small operations, but there are notable exceptions. Let’s start with the big kahuna. The Museum of the Rockies is located on the grounds of Montana State University. Affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution, it is the most visited indoor attraction in all of the state of Montana, and the place has some serious dino chops! Its long time curator, Jack Horner, who served as the technical adviser on all of the Jurassic Park movies is considered one of the world’s leading dino authorities. “It’s a mind-blowing experience here,” says marketing manager Alicia Thompson. “It kind of starts slow, with the beginning of time... then we jump to the Jurassic period. You go through a media centre with videos of our field digs, then around the corner [are] egg clutches, which started the whole idea that dinos were nesting animals. Then you turn another corner and you’re staring a full-size T. rex in the face!”

“People just stop!” she adds. “They look up and their mouth’s drop!” The Museum of the Rockies has the world’s largest collection of T. rex fossils, helping you understand the complete life cycle and behaviours of these meat-eating mega-predators. Tyrannosaurus rex means “tyrant lizard king,” and the Tyrant Kings exhibit presents the science and research of T. rex in a very big way. It includes the Montana specimen, which stands 12 feet tall and measures approximately 40 feet from nose to tail and would have weighed almost seven tons! The museum has an 1890’s “living history” farm, and all this summer will feature the history of the world’s most recognized musical instrument – the guitar. It’s a great place for kids – in fact TripAdvisor ranks it the #1 thing to do in Bozeman! Admission only costs USD $9.50 to $14.50, and is good for two consecutive days if you really want to ‘dig in’ to the exhibits. For more information visit museumoftherockies.org Other notable stops are the Great Plains Dinosaur Museum in Malta, which offers the chance to go on dino digs all summer long. Just next door is the Phillips County Museum, where you can meet “Elvis,” a 33 ft long Brachylophosaurus fossil, one of the best articulated skeletons ever found.

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The Prehistoric Passport You can find all the info you need to plan your trip or circle tour of Montana’s Dinosaur trail on Facebook at facebook.com/ MontanaDinoTrail. The map of the museums is online at mtdinotrail.org

Many of the smaller museums on the Montana’s Dinosaur Trail have locally discovered fossils, and many even offer free admission. Those include the dinosuar museum in Havre, which is adjacent to a native buffalo jump site, making for an amazing two-for-one experience.

Two Medicine Dinosaur Center in Bynum, like the Great Plains Museum, is close to the Canadian border, and offers public dino digs running from half-day programs up to a twoweek long Paleo Training Course. By Allen Gibson

The Prehistoric Passport is a fun “tool”. Use it to unearth the primordial treasures of the Montana Dinosaur Trail. The passport describes the extraordinary dinosaur displays, exhibits and activities found at each of the trail’s 14 facilities in 12 Montana communities. Each passport includes Fun Fossil Facts, a section for field notes and space for the official “Dino Icon”; stamps that verify the passport owner has visited each trail facility. Once you’ve collected all 14 unique “Dino Icon”; stamps from the trail facilities, you’ll receive a gold seal, a certificate of completion and an exclusive Montana Dinosaur Trail Prehistoric Passport T-Shirt specifically designed for those who complete the trail. The Prehistoric Passport is available at each trail facility for $5.00 or purchase your Passport online for only $7 (Incl. shipping) Questions? Call the Prehistoric Passport Main Office at 406-449-8644 or write to mtdinopassport@outlook.com

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Experience Saskatchewan’s Dinosaur Trails

Photo Courtesy of The Royal Saskatchewan Museum

T. rex Discovery Centre, Photo courtesy of Paul Austring and Tourism Sask

You never know what you’ll learn on the Saskatchewan dino trails While one of the first thoughts of the Saskatchewan landscape today is one of grain crops and cattle, several museums across the southern half of the province in many respects “bring to life” the flora and fauna of a dramatically different landscape and climate from more than 150 million years ago. Whether you’re travelling through the small community of Herschel in west central Saskatchewan, to Regina or south to Eastend (and many points in between) you can discover the artifacts of the long-disappeared dinosaur era. During what’s known as the Cretaceous period (145 to 65 million years ago) Saskatchewan was covered by the shallow muddy Western Interior Seaway. Palaeontologists have learned much over the past 100 years about the vast array or prehistoric creatures ranging from marine reptiles, razor-toothed fish, and plant and meat eating dinosaurs that lived on, in, or near this expansive water body. The Ancient Echoes Interpretive Centre at Herschel (west of Hwy 4, northwest of Rosetown) opened in what used to be a community school more than 20 years ago. In the 7 former classrooms you can travel over the millennia. An impressive

display of marine fossils, many found in the nearby Coal Mine Ravine, provides examples of creatures that lived in or near the inland sea some 65 million years ago. One of the highlights at Ancient Echoes is a fossil of a Shortnecked Plesiosaur - Dolichorhynchops herschelensis found near the community. It is considered ‘one-of-a-kind’ marine reptile of the genus Dolichorhynchops identified from other specimens throughout North America. In the summer the centre also offers guided tours of petroglyph carvings, teepee rings and rubbing stones left behind by aboriginal tribes that lived in the area about 1,600 years ago. Indoors are extensive displays of these First Nations residents, as well as explorers and European settlers who came later. In the spring and summer the centre is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm - winters, by appointment only. For more details visit the website at: ancientechoes.ca

And In Regina! While it is all about history, there is always something new to experience at The Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Regina.

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Even T. Rex Poop Tells an Important Story Established in 1906, this provincial natural history museum offers exhibits and programming about Saskatchewan First Nations and Life Sciences but it is the Earth Sciences section that reveals the age of the dinosaur. While pre-historic study is always interesting it is not always glamorous. A new addition to the Earth Science Gallery is the world’s only T. rex coprolite or fossilized poop! How do they know this is from a T. rex? Because it is a massive poop with bone fragments, meaning it’s from a meat-eater, and the only meat eaters around during this geologic time were T. rex. This one of a kind coprolite is famous, with a copy of it in the Smithsonian Museum, and is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest coprolite in the world. The Royal Saskatchewan Museum has the original, which was found in the province, on display. Among other featured displays at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum is a Mosasaur from the late Cretaceous Period when giant marine reptiles ruled the sea. Mosasaurs were nothing to sneeze at; fossils found in areas between Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park and Riverhurst show they were over 32 ft (10 m) in length.

The fossil records show that Saskatchewan was home to both carnivorous and herbivorous dinosaurs. In fact, following a province-wide contest in 2016, in which leading provincial fossil exhibits were displayed, “Scotty” the T. Rex was named the provincial emblem. Favourite museum features include the Megamunch and the Paleo Pit. Unlike his ferocious ancestors that lived here over 65 million years ago, Megamunch, a half-sized robotic T. rex, greets children with a “friendly” roar during their visit. The Paleo Pit is a playroom for kids and their parents/guardians. Then take a break from the museum galleries and enjoy some prehistoric play together using the Colouring Table, Puppet Theatre, Climbing Structure, Discovery Wall, Puzzles, Play Tables and Book Nook.

Next Stop, Eastend At Eastend, Saskatchewan (about a four hour drive southwest of Regina) you’ll find the The Royal Saskatchewan Museum’s satellite facility — The T. Rex Discovery Centre. At the Centre you’ll see the fully erected, life size, skeletal structure of the first T. rex found in Saskatchewan.

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Experience Saskatchewan’s Dinosaur Trails

T. rex Discovery Centre in Easten, SaskatchewanPhoto courtesy of Tourism Saskatchewan

The latest addition to the T. Rex Discovery Centre is virtual reality (VR) glasses. The VR glasses let you travel with two of the Museum’s paleontologists to the quarry where ‘Scotty’, one of the largest T. rexes, was found. This 5-minute documentary takes you to an area visitors seldom get to visit. While visiting the T. Rex Discovery Center, sit under the new pergola that overlooks the beautiful Frenchman River Valley. The pergola surrounds a children’s sand dig pit and is perfect for picnics or for just enjoying the view. Red Deer

North Battleford

North Battleford




Off-season, participate in the Tea and Fossils program. The program provides a chance for the public to learn about and work with real Saskatchewan fossils. Following the lab work is tea, coffee and conversation. The T. Rex Discovery Centre can provide visitors with a closer look at a wide range of dinosaurs and their fossils. For more information on these facilities visit the Royal Saskatchewan Museum website at: royalsaskmuseum.ca By: Lee Hart

Prince Albert

And Don’t Stop There!






Museum’s main exhibit 4

features the “Hunter


Medicine Hat


Brandon 1

Swift Current


Maple Creek

Moose Jaw

over 9.75 meters








Wood Mountain








shore of Lake



It was discovered in 1994 on the south




(32 feet) in length.

13 6








of the Prairie Sea” a Tylosaurus skeleton


Gull Lake 724



The Swift Current









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Diefenbaker near Herbert.

Experience Grasslands National Park Grasslands National Park is located in southwest Saskatchewan near the Montana border. The Park has two separate blocks. The West Block centres on the Frenchman River Valley and is a 90-minute drive through Val Marie via Hwy 4 south from Swift Current. “Swift” is a full-service city of 16,000, so it makes a terrific hub from which to explore the region. The Park’s East Block can be accessed near the town of Wood Mountain on Hwy 18. The East Block features the Killdeer Badlands and the Wood Mountain Uplands. See map pg 14. Finding your way: • Cell phone coverage is not reliable in the park. • Technology can be wonderful, but sometimes doing things the old-fashioned way pays off. If you are travelling to Grasslands National Park this summer, please be aware that GPS directions are not always correct. Be sure to research your route ahead of time, including road directions to the Block of the park to which you are travelling. • The Visitor Centre for weather forecasts, road conditions and park maps.

Are you interested in camping but prefer the comfort of a bed and arriving to a camp already set-up? Parks Canada oTENTik tents in the Frenchman Valley (West Block) and Rock Creek (East Block) Campgrounds offer an easy and relaxing way to experience camping. The oTENTik is a spacious blend of a tent and an A-frame cabin equipped with beds and furniture on a raised floor. If you’re the adventurous type who loves solitude and nothing but the wind as your companion, strap on your gear and head for the Grasslands backcountry. Within minutes, not a sign of human presence is anywhere to be found. Valley of 1,000 Devils Backpacking Adventure With sweat dripping down your neck, you traverse the East Block wilderness. Watch out for hoo doos and quicksand on your way to the Valley of 1,000 Devils! You and your friends won’t want to put your cameras down as you walk where dinosaurs once roamed. Contact the East Block McGowan’s Visitor Centre at Rock Creek Campground prior to departure for safety and access information. 306.476.2018 grasslands.info@pc.gc.ca



parkscanada.gc.ca/grasslands parcscanada.gc.ca/prairies

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More than Just Fossils in Southwest Saskatchewan

Historic Reesor Ranch Photo Courtesy of Tourism Saskatchewan/Paul Austring

Grotto Gardens Photo Courtesy of Tourism Saskatchewan/Chris Hendrickson Photography

While tracking dinosaurs is interesting and entertaining, the Cypress Hills region of southwest Saskatchewan offers plenty of diversity for summer vacation plans. Camping, golfing, hiking, fishing, biking, geocaching and horseback riding, can all be part of the adventures as you travel the Dinosaur Trails. The folks over at the Cypress Hills Destination Area Inc., the official tourism organization for the region, have put together a great website. Especially interesting are the various tours, including culinary, worth checking out. For more tours information go to: visitcypresshills.ca/tours. Spend a day at the historic Reesor Ranch, which is near the boundary of Cypress Hills Inter-Provincial Park. Established in 1904 by W.D. Reesor, the operating guest ranch spans both sides of the Saskatchewan/Alberta border. Along with being an operating ranch, designated a Provincial Heritage Site, the operation offers ranch vacation packages, accommodation, meals and horseback riding. Visit reesorranch.com. If you are camping in, or just passing through Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park check out the eco-adventures options. At Treeosix Adventure Park take a zip line ride through the forest canopy; climb up to a 32-foot high perch for a treetop drop, there’s a climbing wall, and a mini zip line for kids. Check out the website at: treeosix.com.

Fort Walsh Photo Courtesy of Tourism Saskatchewan/Greg Huzar

Visit the 13,000-acre Old Man On His Back Ranch, donated by a long-time ranching family to the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Dedicated to preserving the native prairie grasslands and habitat of southern Saskatchewan, it is home to a wide range of wildlife species including the ferruginous hawk, swift fox, pronghorn antelope, mule and white-tailed deer. And you can still see herds of plains bison roaming free. For a relaxing break visit the Grotto Gardens Country Market near Maple Creek. A family operated Saskatoon berry orchard, it provides value-added services including a bakery, coffee shop with home baked pies and a gift shop and a log barn as a focal point. You’ll be entertained during a stroll through the gardens on Leo’s Goat Walk. You can even relax with goat yoga. Visit their website at: grottogardens.ca. And for a step back in time, visit Parks Canada’s Fort Walsh National Historic Site, southwest of Maple Creek. There are many seasonal events and activities at Fort Walsh, along with daily attractions such as gun slingers, western wagon rides, games and plenty of western-style food. You can learn much more about attractions and events in the Cypress Hills region by visiting the Cypress Hills Destination Area website at: visitcypresshills.ca. By: Lee Hart

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Experience Medicine Hat In southerneastern Alberta explore a vibrant new city rich with art, culture, history, and much more.

Most are located in the downtown area and make for pleasant stops when walking. The maple-and-bacon-frosted ‘Big Elvis’ at McBride’s Bakery is worth lining up for, and Medicine Hat Meat Traders has an award-winning beef jerky, while Chai Connect is an new tea blender with an old world recipe.

Are you making your way through the Canadian Badlands this summer? If your family is eager to learn about the uniqueness of the area, consider adding a few days to your itinerary to get acquainted with Medicine Hat.

If beer is more your style, a $33 Breweries Tour stops for beers and tours at Hells Basement Brewery, the Medicine Hat Brew Co, and an appetizer at Industry Pub where you can enjoy full glasses of the beers you just sampled. To book your tour call 1-800-481-2822.

“The Hat” is one of Alberta’s best kept secrets. It’s true. This gem of a city provides a fresh and enriching experience. It is especially true for first-timers! With several fun and inviting stops the whole family will enjoy, the kids won’t even notice that they are learning.

For flora and fauna, keep your eyes wide open around ‘The Gas City’ for groups of prairie antelope – yes, they really do roam wild! And everybody’s inner child will ‘ooo’ and ‘ahhh’ at the flying beauties in the Windmill Garden Centre. A TripAdvisor reviewer says, “Inside the garden there is a butterfly house that was totally amazing.” Home to about 500 butterflies at any time, The Butterfly house is open May to October. The centre also offers a huge variety of roses. Mmm. Nose candy.

Extraordinary ‘foodie’ experiences may not be the first thing on the mind when you ponder the southeast corner of Alberta, but we assure you they’re out there, and a little digging can unearth gastronomic delights worthy of any city slicker! Medicine Hat is stepping up the celebration of its local foodie culture with a new “Sunshine Skillet Culinary Festival” at the first farmer’s market in May. It will feature a top-chef style cooking competition. The city boasts a vibrant coffee culture, with 6 independent coffee shops with great names like the Zucchini Blossom, Mad Hatter Roastery and Heartwood Café.

Medicine Hat – a feast for all your senses! Who knew? For more information on great things to do in Medicine Hat visit the tourism website at tourismmedicinehat.com. By: Allen Gibson



Calgary 36

Dinosaur Provincial Park




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Pincher Creek

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Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park



Maple Creek


Medicine Hat

Experience Southeastern Alberta

Amelie experiences the dino-thrill at Devil’s Coulee Museum, near Warner, Ab

Discovering the Milk River Valley from the Water On a hot summer day in the badlands, there’s no better place to be than in a canoe as you lazily paddle down the Milk River. Families will also enjoy floating through the campground on tubes and playing in the sand at the beach. Last summer we leisurely floated down the Milk River through spectacular sandstone cliffs. We watched cliff sparrows flying out of their nests along the river, we stopped to swim and to play in the mud. From the campground, you can paddle 8 km downstream to the Deer Creek Bridge. You can also start upstream at the Weir Bridge and then paddle back to camp in 10 km. Both will require a vehicle shuttle, and it’s recommended you have actual boats (with paddles and life jackets) for both trips rather than attempting an 8-10 km float with tubes. Save the tubes for floating through the campground.

Guided Museum & Site Tours Make your own dinosaur footprint

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Dinosaur Country! Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park is a national and cultural heritage site dedicated to the protection of the First Nations rock art. Visit the Milk River Valley though, and you’re still in 'Dinosaur Country'. In the nearby town of Warner is Devil’s Coulee Dinosaur & Heritage Museum. It has a Hadrosaur (duck-billed dinosaur) nest and embryo, fossils, dinosaur models, and information on how dinosaurs cared for their young. You can also sign up for a guided tour through the museum to visit a Hadrosaur nesting site and see dinosaur eggs first hand. There is also a small museum located inside the Writing on Stone Provincial Park Visitor Centre. Here you can learn all about the area and its rich history before joining a guided hike through the reserve. Visit albertaparks.ca/parks/south/writing-on-stone/ Photos and Story By Tanya Koob

Visit Devil’s Coulee to discover the dinosaurs of Southern Alberta, and experience the spectacular badlands landscape of Writing-on-Stone/ Áísínai’pi.

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Hike the Hoodoo Trail or take a guided Rock Art Tour.

403-647-2364 albertaparks.ca/writing-on-stone

Experience Writing-on-Stone

My family has been traveling south to visit Writingon-Stone Provincial Park for several years now, and it’s become one of our favourite places to explore. Plan a trip to the Milk River Valley, and explore native prairie grasslands, discover First Nations rock paintings on a guided tour, or spend a day on the river as you float alongside towering sandstone cliffs. This park is located about a 1-1/2-hour drive southeast of Lethbridge, Alberta. The park is set in the heart of the Alberta badlands near the northern boundary of the Great Plains. Accommodations can be found in the small town of Milk River, 30 minutes to the west,

Áísínai'pi National Historic Site Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park is a National Historic Site. The Blackfoot name for it is “Áísínai'pi” which translates to: it is pictured. The park contains “the largest concentration of First Nation petroglyphs (rock carvings) and pictographs (rock paintings) on the great plains of North America.” You can hike the Battle Scene Trail to view a rock mural of Blackfoot art depicting a historic battle. A fence protects the tableau, but you’ll still get a good look at the rock art. Join an interpretive guided hike and you’ll gain entrance to the private reserve to see more examples of First Nations rock art without the protective fences. This is the best way to capture photos of the art and learn the history of this fascinating area.

but I recommend reserving a campsite in the popular Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park Campground. You can walk out of your tent and be on a great hiking trail within minutes. Free evening interpretive shows at the visitor centre are fun and you can launch boats from the campground beach. Campsites in the provincial park can be reserved up to 90 days in advance of your scheduled arrival date on the Reserve.AlbertaParks.ca website. There are 60+ sites in the small campground, 47 with power. There are also 3 canvas wall tents for comfort camping and 2 group sites.

Hiking in the Badlands of Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park Take a walk on the Hoodoo Trail from the provincial park campground, it is a 4.4 km return hike, and explore a wild landscape of hoodoos, coulees, sandstone cliffs, and native prairie grasslands. The trail, which also connects to the Battle Scene Trail, offers many viewpoints over the milk river and is especially stunning at sunrise or sunset. While camping in the park, you can also hike the trail up to the Visitor Centre where you’ll be able to climb and scramble on the cliffs and hoodoos.

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Experience Southern Alberta


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Experience Brooks and Newell County Located on Hwy 1, an hour northwest of Medicine Hat, the City of Brooks has a population of 14,450 and offers travellers a full range of services. Brooks is bounded on the north by the Red Deer River and on the south by the Bow River. It is surrounded by the County of Newell, known for great camping, fishing, and hunting. Sites to see include: the Brooks Aqueduct, a National/Provincial historical site; the Crop Diversification Center, a research center that supports the horticultural industry; Brooks and District Museum, representing life in this area from 1900 to 1950; Lake Newell, one of the country’s largest man-made lakes; and Dinosaur Park, a World Heritage Site and home of the field station of the Royal Tyrrell Museum. Brooks Museum was built in 1974. Their extensive collection includes exhibits portraying the life of early ranchers, the war years, the N.W.M.P., the Canadian Pacific Railroad, and the Eastern Irrigation District. Cory the Dinosaur stands outside the museum and represents the Corythosaurus Casuarius, a species native to the area some 70 million years ago. One of its major distinguishing features is a hollow skull that may have allowed the animal to swim and remain above the water level.

Dating back one century, Brooks Aqueduct is an enormous concrete structure that spans across the parched prairie landscape like a giant centipede. Learn why the Canadian Pacific Railway constructed the Brooks Aqueduct as part of the Eastern Irrigation District. Get your camera ready as you walk along the new wetland interpretive trail and listen to red-winged blackbirds in their natural habitat. brooksaqueduct.org Just 15 km south of Brooks, there is an oasis of water, trees, and beaches known as Kinbrook Island Provincial Park. In 1910, due to the limited amount of rainfall in the area, the Canadian Pacific Railway began the construction of an irrigation system. It was the local Kinsmen Club that initially planted trees here. To honour their work, the “Kin” from Kinsmen, was used in the park’s name. What was initially a large depression holding a small body of water became a beautiful lake with 69 km of shoreline, a shaded campground, and a lovely beach. Kinbrook Island became a provincial park in 1951. In 1952 the boundaries were expanded to include all of the islands on the lake to protect nesting sites. The Kinbrook Marsh Trail winds through wetlands and provides excellent bird watching opportunities. Today, the park has 170 campsites, a sandy beach, 2 playgrounds, a concession, shower and laundry, a boat launch and several picnic areas.

Kinbrook Island Provincial Park Photo Courtesy of Alberta Parks

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Experience Dinosaur Provincial Park My family plans an annual spring camping trip to Dinosaur Provincial Park (DPP) since my son was a wild preschooler ripping around the campground on a balance bike. We love camping in the heart of the badlands where we can hike out the door of our tent onto great family-friendly trails, walk over to the dinosaur-themed playground, or send the kids down to play in the mud beside the creek.

amazing viewpoint over the Little Sandhill Coulee. It’s a great sunrise or sunset hike and kids will have fun scrambling down the end of the steep trail back to the campground.

The DPP campground has become one of our favourite base camps where we can go hiking, biking, and exploring without having to jump in a vehicle. Families with young children will especially love camping here for the options of short walks or adventures between naps and rest periods.

Exploring along the public loop road – You can drive, walk or bike the 3.5 km long scenic public loop road around the campground. We love biking the road through the badland landscape, stopping at the fossil display houses along the way.

Regardless of your family’s interests or outdoor hobbies, there is something for every adventure style in this fun park.

Top Things to do while Camping in DPP Guided hikes and interpretive tours - There’s always something new to see or discover in this park. This year my family participated in a guided quarry hike to a Centrosaurus bone bed where we saw an astonishing number of dinosaur bones and fossils all over the ground at our destination. The hike was interesting and we had a lot of fun scrambling around inside the natural reserve. For families with younger children or folks not up for a big hike, there are bus tours where you view the beautiful scenery of the natural reserve from the comfort of your bus. Families will also enjoy the guided safari, a short walk to a site where you can learn about fossil finding and identification. Insider Tip: Programs fill up early in the summer months so book before you arrive at the park. For more information visit albertaparks.ca and navigate to the DPP visitor centre or call 403-378-4342 ext. 235. Hiking the public trails through the badlands – The park has 5 public trails including the amazing Badlands Trail, our family favourite, the only trail bordering the natural reserve (restricted to visitors with a park guide.) The trail is a 1.3 km loop with interpretive signs along the way. The other trail we love is the Coulee Viewpoint Trail, starting from the visitor centre. This short 0.9 km trail climbs up to an

Insider Tips: Start early, bring lots of water, and avoid the heat of the day if visiting the park in summer. If mornings aren’t your thing, sunset hikes are gorgeous in this park.

We also love scrambling on hoodoos, climbing up and down coulees, and running around inside the “random access area” inside the public loop road. This is the one area of the park where hikers are free to explore off-trail. It is illegal to remove fossils from a provincial park so please leave any fossil material where you find it. Paddling on the Red Deer River – We like to drive up river to the Steveville Campground for a 14 km float back to the DPP. At a relaxed pace, this is a half-day outing that can be enjoyed on those hot summer days when it’s refreshing to be on the water. I like to make the trip on my stand up paddleboard, and my 8-year old used a sit-on-top kids’ kayak this year for his journey down the river. Needless to say, it’s a very mellow float most of the time.

Know before you Go The DPP Campground is open all year. It is especially enjoyable in the “off-season” when the deer and other wildlife come around. The temperature is also much more comfortable in spring or fall, and you’ll enjoy camping without any bugs. Comfort camping in canvas wall tents is available for visitors from May to October. There is also a group campground in the park, which can accommodate 10 units (tents or trailers.) Book your campsite at Reserve.AlbertaParks.ca. You can book 90 days in advance. Comfort camping and group campsite reservations begin in February for the whole booking season. Make sure you reserve a campsite in advance if planning on traveling in peak summer season. Images and Story By Tanya Koob

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Experience Dinosaur Provincial Park

The hamlet of Patricia is 20 km northeast of Brooks and minutes away from Dinosaur Provincial Park, making the hotel here a great place to grab a bite or crash for the night. The Patricia Hotel was built in 1915 and offers an authentic, rustic, western vibe with great food as well as bed and breakfast accommodations.

Patricia Hotel Step into the old west Famous Steak-Pit Clean Comfortable Rooms The Waterhole Tavern


Located 10 km South of Dinosaur Provincial Park

The famous Patricia Hotel Steak Pit enables you to savour the taste of a tender, juicy beef steak or genuine Buffalo Steak with all the trimmings. You can even cook it yourself! The Water Hole Tavern features a dance floor, satellite TV, pool table, off-sale and Family Day Sunday.


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Experience Calgary Calgary is located at the confluence of the Elbow and Bow Rivers, it has a population of 1.2 million people, making it the largest city in Alberta. Every year, this vibrant community hosts numerous events, such as: the Calgary International Film Festival, Calgary Folk Music Festival, Beakerhead Arts, Science and Engineering Festival, FunnyFest, Folk Festival, Greek Festival, GlobalFest, the Calgary Fringe Festival, Summerstock, Calgary Pride, and many more. visitcalgary.com/things-to-do/festivals In July, during a 10-day celebration of our authentic western heritage, The Calgary Stampede hosts more than one million attendees to the greatest outdoor show on earth. To learn more, pick up a copy of Experience the Cowboy Trails. Calgary is also home to major attractions. Including Heritage Park, Telus Spark, Glenbow Museum, Canada Olympic Park, Spruce Meadows and the Military Museum. The Calgary Tower is another “must-see”, celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2018! On the Observation Deck, 191m above the downtown core, you’ll enjoy a spectacular 360-degree view of the bustling city, the majestic Rocky Mountains, the Foothills, and the prairies. Dine in the rotating restaurant or stand on the amazing glass floor for a bird’s-eye view of the city streets below.

Giant Pandas Photo Courtesy of Toronto Zoo

This young and vibrant city’s history dates back to 1875 when a troop of North West Mounted Policemen found the ideal place to build a fort. Colonel James McLeod came up with the name “Fort Calgary”, after his home in the Scottish Highlands. Visit Fort Calgary to discover the rich scarlet history of the North West Mounted Police. It is located just east of the downtown on 9th Avenue South. Close by, take the kids to the Calgary Zoo. It is open from 9am to 5pm each day, 364 days each year and hosts about 800 animals from around the world. Already Canada’s most visited zoo, they expects to host 1.5 million visitors over the next year. Why? Because the Giant Pandas have arrived! That’s right, after many years of planning, and $100 million in upgrades, the Calgary Zoo will open the doors to its new stateof-the-art Panda Passage on May 7, 2018. Bringing the pandas to Calgary was part of an international agreement signed in 2012 between China and Canada. The panda habitat, located at the heart of the zoo, promises to be one of the best animal facilities of its kind in the world. “Not only is Panda Passage the most unique animal habitat we’ve ever created, but we have also renovated every corner of the zoo,” says Dr. Clément Lanthier, President and CEO of the Calgary Zoo. “We expect a 25% increase in the number

Red Panda Photo Courtesy of Mathias Appel

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Experience the Calgary Zoo

Photo Courtesy of L. Thomas

of visitors in the first year of the pandas’ five-year stay we needed to make necessary changes to very specific areas of the park in create an amazing experience for our guests.” The opening of Pandas Passage culminates four years of major projects across the zoo. Beyond the Great Wall is an exciting habitat for Japanese snow monkeys, Amur tigers, and takin will draw together species from Eastern China, Korea and Japan. The Shadow of the Himalayas sees a complete redevelopment of the west end of the island, creating a new and vibrant fiveyear home for giant pandas and permanent homes for other animals from Asia including, Przewalski’s horses, Bactrian camels, snow leopards and red pandas! When you see the zoo’s irresistibly cute red pandas, chances are they’ll be up in the trees. They eat, climb, walk and play in the branches, rarely venturing down to ground level. This tree-house lifestyle is made possible with their semi-retractable claws and acrobatic skills. They even sleep in the trees using their bushy tails as pillows and blankets for extra warmth. Another of the key projects was the opening of an $8 million Land of Lemurs habitat in 2017 which added 1.3 acres on the east end of zoo island. Other important changes include upgraded and new food concessions, suspension bridge, new wayfinding system, widened pathways, an expanded parking

lot with fully automated parking payment system and new play features in Canadian Wilds and the Prehistoric Park. The landscaping within the Prehistoric Park was designed to recreate an environment reminiscent of the Mesozoic Era from 225 to 65 million years ago. Dinosaurs lived towards the end of that era, in what is now Alberta. That’s right, when you visit the Calgary Zoo, you should expect to see dinosaurs! The iconic ‘Dinny the Dinosaur’ started welcoming visitors to the Prehistoric Park in the 1930s. Since 1987, this dino has been officially classified as an Alberta Historical Resource. Dinny is a 118-ton replica of a brontosaurus. It was one of 56 dinosaur sculptures that were initially installed in the park. Fossils found in Southern Alberta inspired these models and it is rumoured that the artist added several mystery contents to Dinny’s stomach to add to its bulk. Dinny’s Green, located at the heart of the zoo, will bring him out of retirement. A food services and a new children’s play area, as well as the replacement of the suspension bridge from the North Shore, makes this an exciting gathering place. Please note that the Prehistoric Park at the Calgary Zoo is only open from March 23 – October 31. For more information, call (403) 232-9300. calgaryzoo.com

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Experience Drumheller Photos Courtesy of The Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology



It’s surprising what you’ll discover beneath your feet, and the Royal Tyrrell Museum at Drumheller, Alberta has an amazing collection of fossils to prove that point. The extensive displays throughout the museum are both real and incredulous as they raise awareness of the vast array of the strange looking flora and fauna once covering this region. The Grounds for Discovery exhibit, which opened in 2017, features some of the best examples of fossils unearthed during routine construction and industrial activities right here in the province Alberta. As fossils were accidentally discovered during an oil and gas development, road construction, and even home bilding, palaeontologists worked with companies to excavate and preserve scientifically important specimens. The nodosaur Borealopelta markmitchelli, the oldest known dinosaur found in Alberta, is an amazing example. A fossil of

Hadro Block

this armored dinosaur, believed to be 112 to 110 million years old, was found at a Suncor mine site in northern Alberta in 2011. It is the best-persevered specimen of an armored dinosaur in the world. It includes skin and armor complete from the snout to the hips. But there is much more. A fossil of a pantodont, a large plant-eating mammal that roamed Alberta about 60 million years ago is also on display. This fossil was found during road construction east of Red Deer in 2001. It’s hard to believe that most of western North America was once covered by the Western Interior Seaway. This occured about 112 million years ago — at least until you see the fossil of a Nichollssaura borealis, a marine reptile that once swam in these waters. It is the oldest and most complete fossil of a plesiosaur found in North America. It was uncovered near Fort McMurray at a Syncrude mine site.

How It All Started In 1884 a geologist by the name of Joseph Burr Tyrrell (pronounced TEER-uhl), working for the Geological Survey of Canada not only came across coal in the Red Deer River valley, but he also stumbled across the skull of a 70-million-year-old dinosaur near Kneehill Creek, not far from the site of the present museum. It was the first of its species ever to be found. A few years later it was identified and named Albertosaurus sarcophagus (“flesh-eating lizard from Alberta”). The find launched a 132-year, and counting, era of a palaeontology study, investigation and discovery in Alberta, BC and Saskatchewan among other locales.

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Circa 1904

Experience the Royal Tyrrell Museum There are also great fossils of fish from 62 million years ago. Some of these fossils were discovered during the construction of a residential community in Northwest Calgary.

let up. The museum hosted some 465,000 visitors from 150 countries in 2015, contributing to a total of about 12 million visitors over the museum’s history.

Along with the Grounds for Discovery exhibit, the Fossils in Focus is a rotating display changed periodically to showcase some of the tens of thousands of fossil specimens at the Royal Tyrrell Museum. There are fossils of rodents that lived about 65 million years ago found in the Sheep River area of Alberta; bony fish, and soft-bodied aquatic creatures found in the Ya Ha Tinda Ranch area west of Sundre; fossils of duck-billed dinosaurs found in the Castle River area of southern Alberta, as well as near Spirit River in the Alberta Peace River region and even fossilized palm leaves suggesting the Alberta climate was considerably warmer 65 million years ago. All that and much, much more.

The dinosaurs are obviously the stars of this prehistoric show having roamed over the world, and much of what is now North America, during an estimated 180-million year-period often referred to as The Age of Reptiles. The first dinosaurs appeared 245 million years ago during the Triassic Period, followed 208 million years ago by dinosaurs of the Jurassic Period and then starting 146 million years ago were the new kids on the block. They are known as the dinosaurs of Cretaceous Period. T. rex was the headliner at the end of this period, before the curtain closed on the era about 66 million years ago.

Ranked as one of the top palaeontology museums in the world, the 120,000 sq. ft. Royal Tyrrell Museum, after a decade of planning and later construction, was opened by then Premier Peter Lougheed in September 1985. It opened with a blockbuster 500,000 visitors the first year, and the interest has never

The museum, located 6 km west of Drumheller, is open yearround and is reasonably accessible to all. The city is about a 90-minute drive northeast of Calgary, and about a three-hour trip southeast from Edmonton. Museum hours vary seasonally. For information visit: tyrrellmuseum.com. By Lee Hart



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years since coal mining disappeared in 1957, but this old west hotel and saloon are booming through the summer months nowadays.

Unique Museum Makes Drumheller Its New Home An off-the-wall museum relocated from Vulcan to a new facility in Drumheller. The Trekcetera Museum houses a vast display of authentic and original costumes, props and set pieces used on various Star Trek episodes and movies. But that’s not all. There are plenty of other interesting authentic props and costumes from many other TV series and movies as well as artifacts, including from the R.M.S. Titantic. Hosts Michael Mangold and Devan Daniels assure visitors their extensive collection is all-real. They continue to add to their collection as time goes on and have a gift shop for those seeking some mementos of their own. The Trekcetera Museum is located at 802 Hwy 9. trekcetera.com

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Experience Drumheller

Photo Courtesy of Dinosaur Valley Express Trolley

Photo Courtesy of Fossil World Discovery Museum

Photo Courtesy of Jungling Works

Visiting the Royal Tyrrell Museum is a “must-see” when in Drumheller, but many other attractions in the area provide remarkable experiences. The World’s Largest Dinosaur Step right up, folks, and see “The World’s Largest Dinosaur” in the heart of Drumheller. No, literally step right up – 106 steps to be exact. This fibreglass and steel model T. rex stands all of 86 ft (26.3 m) high and stretches out 151 ft (46 m) in length, approximately 4.5 times bigger than a life-sized T. rex. At the top of the 106 steps is a viewing area in the mouth of the dinosaur that can hold between 8 and 12 people at a time. worldslargestdinosaur.com

Fossil World Discovery Museum Discover where the past comes to life. This unique museum is filled with animatronic dinosaurs and fossil specimens, which will excite all ages. Our museum features hand’s on programs for children where they can dig up a dinosaur and take home a piece of bone or another fossil or Pan for minerals from all over the world like they did in the Klondike. It also features a 4 level Dino climb Zone, Crayon Creation Station, Apple iPad Stations and Kids Dinosaur Cinema. This is the place where Dinosaur Fun Happens.

Dinosaur Valley Express Trolley and Star Mine Suspension Bridge The Dinosaur Valley Express invites visitors to enjoy a guided tour on a unique 1920’s-style trolley ride. This exciting 3 hour adventure connects you with several local area attractions. Featured sites include the Star Mine suspension bridge, the hoodoos, and the vintage Last Chance Saloon. This familyfriendly saloon serves snacks and beverages, and The Bee’s Knees confectionary and the Sage Shoppe are just next-door. The Star Mine Suspension Bridge is a 384 ft long (117 m) pedestrian suspension bridge crossing the Red Deer River in Rosedale, just outside of Drumheller. You cross 11 bridges once used to transport coal through local mining communities. This gauntlet of bridges actually holds the Guinness Book of World Records title as the most bridges found within the shortest distance! The Last Chance Saloon is family-friendly, serving snacks and beverages. The Bee’s Knees confectionary and the Sage Shoppe are just next-door. dinosaurvalleyexpress.com

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Experience Drumheller The Canadian Badlands Passion Play Performed over six weekends in July and August, it is one of Canada’s largest annual outdoor theatrical events. Attendees are carried back 2000 years to witness the dramatic portrayal of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. All within an acoustically superb natural amphitheatre. The hundreds of actors and musicians performing this play are all volunteers, but they are incredibly talented and devoted. They race over hills in the set that would challenge a mountain goat, all while delivering their lines superbly. canadianpassionplay.com

Horseshoe Canyon and Horsethief Canyon Offering stunning vistas and scenic hiking trails, the Horseshoe Canyon is located 17 km southwest of Drumheller along Hwy 9. This glacier-carved “U” shaped lookout is surrounded by golden prairie and is a must-see attraction. There is a pathway leading to steps to the east of the parking lot and lookout. Numerous unmarked trails allow hikers to explore the valley and maybe even discover a dinosaur or two! traveldrumheller.com/attractions/horseshoe-canyon/ The more secluded Horsethief Canyon, located about 18 km northwest of Drumheller, offers endless views of layers of rock

carved out of the midst of yellow canola fields. Adventuresome souls can hike deep into the valley where horse thieves used to go to rebrand their stolen animals. Just be careful, there are no interpretive signs and it’s easy to get lost. traveldrumheller.com/attractions/horsethief-canyon/

Red Deer River Adventures Renting kayaks and canoes for self-guided trips on the Red Deer River and surrounding area, they also offer guided tours ranging from 2 hours to a full day, which take you through an area of the river where you can enjoy badlands scenery as well as coal mining and fossil hunting history. In 2018, “escape room” style hikes, where you have to follow clues and solve a mystery, will be offered. reddeerriveradventures.com

Valley Doll Museum and Gift Shop & Jungling Works At the Valley Doll Museum and Gift Shop, Linda Schuler has 1000 enchanting antique and vintage dolls displayed. For more information, visit the website: valleydollmuseum.com. At nearby Jungling Works, Debra cites a friend’s challenge to share, rather than hoard, her many photographs of the natural

A Shopping Adventure ! Home Decor Kitchenware Gifts

Featuring Canadian Crafted Products inspired by the Wonders of the Badlands and designed by owner/artist Debra Jungling

Eat In and Take Out Bake Shop and Deli 403-823-2208 www.junglingworks.com 299 1st Street W Downtown, Drumheller


87 Bridge St., Drumheller


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The Fossil Shop


Come touch the Past

collectors & preparators of fossils Fossils • Minerals • Jewellery • Giftware • Souvenirs Art for the Home

#75-3rd Avenue W, Downtown Drumheller 32 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests

61 bridge street | 403-823-6774


Experience Drumheller beauties in and around Drumheller, as her inspiration for the gorgeous fashion accessories and home décor items imprinted with these images. All of which are featured in Debra’s store. junglingworks.com

Escape This! Drumheller Drumheller’s first escape rooms feature local flair. You need to use your wits to foil a Prohibition era police raid, or crack the manager’s safe at the coal mine, or figure out where to locate a missing paleontologist before the night watchman catches you. escapethisdrumheller.com

Fourth Annual Badlands Boogie This music festival is a labour of love to support “Save the East Coulee Truss Bridge Fund”. The East Coulee Truss bridge is the last one of its kind in all of Western Canada. The only other one like it is in Ontario and it is protected. It’s a railroad, single lane traffic, and pedestrian bridge that has been featured in many movies and music videos and is threatened with demolition. The 4th Annual Badlands Boogie, September Long Weekend 2018, will feature over 30 bands donating their time to help save the this historic bridge. The East Coulee School Museum and the Historic Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site are other must see attractions in East Coulee. facebook.com/Badlands-Boogie-888570684580048 By Dr. Shannon L. Tracey

Come check out the selection of native collectibles, genuine moccasins, trapdoor underwear, dreamcatchers and many other unique items. Enjoy the gallery of local artists work. If you are looking for one-of-a-kind gift you’ll find it here!

403-856-3556 SIDE BY SIDE 175 - 3RD AVE W., Drumheller

THE FAUX DEN Owners Tom and Amie invite you to experience their wide selection of old and new gift items unique to Drumheller Valley. With a down-home friendly attitude the Faux Den will take you on a journey of the history of the valley through antiques, souvenirs, garden ornaments, toys, t-shirts, fossils, unique jewelry and lots more. With a salute to farming, mining and the railway, there is something for everyone.


towering high over drumheller,

… the World’s Largest Dinosaur, is designed for dino-enthusiasts of all ages to explore, inside and out. Climb 106 stairs inside the giant T-rex lined with beautiful murals to admire the breathtaking badlands from her gaping jaw!

a must-see attraction! WorldsLargestDinosaur.com 1-866-823-8100 | OPEN YEAR-ROUND! 60-1st Avenue W. Drumheller, AB

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Experience Edmonton

Photo Courtesy of Travel Alberta

Dino diggers will be pleased to learn that there are now two major paleontology attractions in Edmonton!

believe each dinosaur looked and sounded, these replicas were designed to be as lifelike and true to form as possible.

The Royal Alberta Museum (RAM) is scheduled to open

Admission is free for TWSE members and it varies for nonmembers: $16.95 children; $19.95 seniors, students, youth; and, $23.95 for families.

in their expanded facility in 2018. The new RAM will be one of the province’s greatest cultural attractions and the largest museum in western Canada. Quaternary Palaeontology is the study of fossil organisms that lived during the last 2.6 million years. RAM’s collection includes Holocene bison, mammoth, muskox, camel, lion and short-faced bear. Other specimens come from cave sites in the Crowsnest Pass, Plateau Mountain, and near Banff (Rat’s Nest Cave). royalalbertamuseum.ca

The Telus World of Science Edmonton (TWSE) features an exciting exhibit that takes you on a prehistoric journey into life on Earth when dinosaurs ruled. Opening June 1, 2018, Dinosaurs: Down to the Bone will challenge conventional thought and explore prehistoric scenes. This exhibit pays particular attention to extinction theories and the most wellknown dinosaur of our time – T. rex, as well as the recently discovered group of dinosaurs called Dromeosaurs. There will be lots of cool interactive activities. You’ll marvel at life-sized animatronics that were custom designed and handcrafted by a team of palaeo-artists. Accurate to how scientists

A slumber party 65-million years in the making! Book a DinoSnores Sleepover and your entire class can sleep beneath prehistoric giants, June 1 - Nov 4, 2018. You class will become palaeontologists: · Explore Dinosaurs: Down to the Bone like never before on an after-dark tour. Your flashlight will be your guide as you step in the shadow of these massive creatures. · Extract bones using picks and brushes, just like your favourite palaeontologists do in the field! You’ll learn about the delicate work of uncovering fossilized remains. · Unwind the clock and discover the massive (and crazy) scale of dinosaur times. Bet you didn’t know that less time separates iPads and Tyrannosaurus then the time between Tyrannosaurus and Stegosaurus? For more inforation call 780-451-3344 or visit their website at telusworldofscienceedmonton.ca.

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Experience Alberta’s History

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Experience Alberta’s History Victoria Settlement Provincial Historic Site, Photos Courtesy of Alberta Culture and Tourism

Birthed in glacial waters, Alberta’s rivers have profoundly shaped the province’s geography carving valleys and creating passes. These watersheds nourish cities, agriculture and wildlife, and support industry before emptying into Hudson’s Bay or the Atlantic Ocean far away. Long ago, Alberta’s rivers supported human activity. First peoples used rivers for travel routes, as markers of tribal boundaries and as a hunting aid. Overlooking the Oldman River is Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump World Heritage Site. For 6000 years plains peoples stampeded countless bison over cliffs to kill sites where the carcasses were butchered. This award winning centre is one of the oldest and best preserved examples of such hunting sites in the world; unveiling archaeological sites and the importance of buffalo to first peoples. history.alberta.ca/headsmashedin With the arrival of European traders the traditional bison jumps ended in the 18th century. Manufactured goods (such as guns, knives, pots, fabrics and alcohol) came west on rivers. In return, the indigenous-supplied furs moved eastward and across the Atlantic to be made into fashion items including hats and clothing. Built upon the collaboration of the first peoples, the fur trade lasted for hundreds of years. Trading posts were built along indigenous trade routes. Aboriginal

technology, the birch bark canoe, dog sled, snowshoe and bison pemmican, enabled a transcontinental trade network. The offspring of indigenous and European peoples, the Métis, developed their own distinct cultures. Thus, Canada was born in the process of the fur trade. European trade items made life easier, but the fur trade had profound impacts on first peoples - stirring intertribal rivalries and increasing violence, traditional religions were displaced by Christianity, populations were decimated by smallpox, fur bearing animal numbers collapsed and bison were hunted to near extinction. Places of note include: Fort George and Buckingham House Provincial Historic Site is the location of two rival trading posts established in the 1790’s by the Hudson’s Bay Company and the North West Company. Here archaeological remains are brought to life by dynamic presentations. history.alberta.ca/fortgeorge Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site is located at the confluence of the North Saskatchewan and Clearwater rivers. Here, 5 trading posts across 75 years witnessed trade with plains peoples and served as a jumping-off point for trans-mountain exploration. pc.gc.ca/rockymountainhouse

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Experience Alberta’s History

By the 1830’s Christian missionaries had arrived in what is now Alberta. There was intense religious competition between the Protestant and Catholic missionaries. Father Lacombe Chapel Provincial Historic Site: Father Albert Lacombe (1827-1916) travelled a vast area building an understanding and peacekeeping between the indigenous and Europeans while teaching Catholicism. He wrote several dictionaries in indigenous languages, and established settlements and missions. Father Lacombe Chapel became the basis for a mission in the community of Saint Albert. history.alberta.ca/fatherlacombe Victoria Settlement Provincial Historic Site: This is where, on the bank of the North Saskatchewan river, Reverend George McDougall founded a Methodist Mission to the Cree in 1862 and where the HBC established the Fort Victoria trading post in 1864. The Mission and Fort became the nucleus for a once thriving Métis community. history.alberta.ca/Victoria The Historic Dunvegan Provincial Historic Park: Above the Peace River, 4 original buildings remain of the 100 year old HBC trading post. Discover trade with the Dunne-za people and the St Charles Mission. history.alberta.ca/dunvegan

The rivalry between the competing Hudson’s Bay Company and North West Company ended with their merger in 1821. Although HBC ceased trading of alcohol, independent traders continued to trade copious quantities. Fort Whoop-Up: Located near the Oldman River, is the infamous Fort Whoop-Up. American traders exchanged cheap whiskey and repeating rifles for buffalo robes. Such trade brought disease, instilled intertribal warfare between Blackfoot and Cree, contributed to the collapse of the bison herds and led to the establishment of the North West Mounted Police to curb the violence. fortwhoopup.com Sit beside one of Alberta’s rivers. Listen, close your eyes and let history flow by. Behind the water’s murmur imagine the snort of drinking bison. Are those the voices of Cree and Blackfoot riders encouraging their mounts to cross the river? Do you hear the rhythmic splash of oars and paddles timed to the cadence of voyageur songs? Is that the squeak of Métis red river carts beside the waterway? Do you hear the crack of a musket or the voice of a French missionary? Alberta’s historic sites share the stories of the turbulent and important role that rivers have played. By Ross MacDonald

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Experience The Jurassic Forest

Parasaurolophus Family

Utah Raptor

Embarking on the Discovery Trail of the Jurassic Forest, you might believe that you’re just taking a serene stroll along the boardwalk meandering through this 40 acre natural preserve near Gibbons, Alberta. That is, until the roars, chirps, and howls of dinosaurs start reverberating through the trees. As you round the bend, you glimpse a pair of Edmontosaurus duckbilled dinosaurs reaching for the tree-tops. They lived alongside T. rex and named in 1917 for the Edmonton Formation (today called the Horseshoe Canyon Formation). Just around the corner, an Albertosaurus, a true home-grown “Alberta lizard”, bares its chisel-like teeth alongside a large Styracosaurus looking for other members of its herd. Located on Hwy 28 approx. 40 km north of Edmonton, this seasonal tourist attraction set in a boreal forest is a hidden treasure waiting to be unearthed.

As you set out on the two-1 km loops, you will encounter more than forty animatronic dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes. There are walking, running, and flying dinosaurs plus plant-eaters and carnivores. There are creatures that look deceptively like dinosaurs, but are not. There is even a Triceratops laying eggs. The wooden boardwalk trails are wide and easy to navigate with strollers or wheelchairs / motorised scooters. Two side trail extensions feature animals other than dinosaurs: In the north extension, “Taking Flight” traces the anatomical and physiological adaptations necessary for flight. In the south “From Scales to Fur” describes the development of mammals. Placards along the route give a lot of information about the dinosaurs, including their habitats, their diets and their habits. The information is not limited to the fossil record – the flora and fauna of northern Alberta are also featured. Depending on the amount of time you linger at each factoid post or stop at each exhibit to take pictures, it will take you one to two hours to navigate both loops. Guided safaris led by expert Jurassic Forest staff are available. Folks of any age will enjoy a full day at Jurassic Forest. Launched in 2010, this edutainment venue set in a “living forest” features an interpretive centre, a basic concession, and a gift shop. A playground and mini-golf course round out the opportunities for fun. There is plenty of scope here for unique school outings, birthday parties and corporate events. Frequent special events, guest speakers and charity partner events further expand the centre’s offerings. Story and Photos by Dr. Shannon L. Tracey

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Experience The Jurassic Forest Wembley


Fort McMurray




Fox Creek

Jurassic Forest


Whitecourt 43

Grande Cache



Fort Saskatchewan



Sherwood Park




Drayton Valley

Jasper Rocky Mountain House






14 Wainwright

Admission is purchased at the gate; child (2-12), youth (13-17), adult, senior (60+), and family (2 adults + 2 or 3 children) tickets are available. Check jurassicforest.com for hours and rates. A 40-ACRE PREHISTORIC PRESERVE, JUST MINUTES FROM EDMONTON AND MILLIONS OF YEARS FROM THE PRESENT!

Seasonal memberships available. If you are exploring in and around Edmonton, admission to the Jurassic Forest can also be purchased as part of the Edmonton Attractions Pass, which gives admission to 15 of the most visited attractions in the city and region exploreedmonton.com Please note, pets are not allowed. 39 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Experience Grande Cache

Located approximately 430 km northwest of Edmonton, Grande Cache was founded as a coal mining town less than 50 years ago. Dinosaur footprints were first discovered during the late 1980’s by staff at the former Smoky River Coal Mine as coal-mining operations exposed the rocks in which the tracks were preserved. Many of these track sites were muddy bogs 90 million years ago in the Cretaceous Period, but due to the upheaval of the geological layers near the Rocky Mountains, the trackways are all located on steeply angled (between 40° and 60°) footwalls exposed during open pit mining activities.

Alaska Highway

Fort St. John


Hudson’s Hope


Dawson Creek 2 52 43


Currently, public access to the trackways is restricted, as they are located in an area currently leased by Grande Cache Coal Corp. Visitors can learn more about the fascinating history of these dinosaur tracks through the exhibits and displays at the Grande Cache Tourism & Interpretive Centre located on Hwy 40. Additional exhibits feature aboriginal heritage, ice age artefacts, and fur trading, full animal mounts, tree and geological descriptions and local industry. 40 | Enter our Photo & Selfie Contests





Thousands of footprints are congregated across more than 20 track sites from the Gladstone and Gates formations (Lower Cretaceous period); all of them show tracks of ankylosaurs, a heavily armored, plant-eating, tank-sized dinosaur that had stocky legs and a short, heavy body. In some locations, traces of small, medium, and large-sized meat eating, bipedal theropod dinosaurs are co-mingled with a dusting of bird traces. Mr. Jim Merrithew, Supervisor of Culture and Tourism for the Town of Grande Cache, says the diversity and profusion of dinosaur tracks is not seen elsewhere in Canada and in only a few rare sites worldwide.

The Centre, which offers hiking guides, maps and loads of information about the Grande Cache area, also includes the Bighorn Gallery Gift Shop, the Esson Gale Art Gallery, an intimate movie theatre and space for meetings & conferences.



Valleyview 43

Fox Creek 40



Experience Grande Prairie The Grande Prairie Museum and the Heritage Discovery Centre, both located in Muskoseepi Park in Grande Prairie, offer a wonderful learning experience for dinosaur enthusiasts in Northern Alberta.


oto Courtesy G

ge Museum Ph

Heritage Villa

The “Bones and Stones” exhibit at the Museum features a replica dig site of the Edmontosaurus dinosaur. Robert Cochrane collected the specimen featured in the exhibit in the 1950’s. Other gallery exhibits include prehistoric stone artefacts used by the first Aboriginal people to settle this area, transportation artefacts, and military displays. The Discovery Centry portrays the vast history of the Peace Region from the Mesozoic Era, to the last Ice Age, the Aboriginal and Metis settlement, the arrival of the pioneers and the development of local resources. An animatronic model of ‘Piper’ the Pachyrhinosaurus and a replica of a Pachyrhinosaurus skull will draw the attention of dinosaur hunters. A number of other fossils are also on display, including some on loan from the local college. A program area is available for hands-on learning experiences. Both sites are in Muskoseepi Park in Grande Prairie and are open year-round, 7 days a week. Please contact the museum for hours of operation for specific holidays.

Heritage Disc

overy Centre, Piper Photo Courte sy GPRTA

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Experience Grande Prairie

a t r e b l A , e i r i a r P e Grand

Photos: Sack race at the GP Musuem Phillip J.. Currie Museum - Canada’s newest award-winning dinosaur museum. Eastlink Centre: One of the largest Adventure Aquatic facilities in Canada.

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Experience Grande Prairie


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Experience The Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum

Photo Co urtesy Tra vel Albert Dinosaur a, Philip J. Museum Currie & Sean T rostem

Photo Courtesy Travel Alberta & Mike Seehagel

What does the Stay-puft Marshmallow Man, the paranormal monster from the 1984 movie Ghost Busters, have to do with dinosaurs near Grande Prairie? The Canadian-born movie star Dan Aykroyd has hunted them both. Inspired by his 2010 participation in a dig in the area with his dinosaur-obsessed daughter, Danielle, and wife, Donna Dixon, Aykroyd became an ardent supporter of the museum. The hunt for dinosaurs in Wembley, AB, about a 20-minute drive west of Grande Prairie, starts back in 1974 when school teacher Al Lakusta discovered the Pipestone Creek dinosaur bone bed. Today, Pipestone Creek is shallow, and often dries up in the heat of the summer. However, 75 million years ago it was a different story. Pipestone Creek was a turbulent torrent racing through a land of active volcanoes and hulking dinosaurs. A flash flood swept thousands of these giants down river; their carcasses jammed up in a bend in the river, eventually becoming fossilized skeletons melding into the landscape. While out for a walk one day with a friend, Lakusta noticed rib fragments in the creek bed. Clambering up the bank, he

discovered a seam of fossilized bones, including the remains of what was eventually recognised as a new species of dinosaur, officially christened Pachyrhinosaurus lakustai in honour of his find. At the time of Lakusta’s discoveries, northwestern Alberta was not known for its dinosaur bones. After he sent specimens to the Royal Tyrrell Museum, Dr. Philip J. Currie, Alberta’s, and arguably Canada’s pre-eminent paleontologist, began an official excavation of Pipestone Creek in 1986. The density of bones, up to 100 bones/m2, established the site as one of the richest in Canada. In addition to unearthing thousands of Pachyrhinosaurus bones, Dr. Currie and his colleagues at the UofA discovered bones from flying pterosaurs, armoured nodosaurs, predatory tyrannosaurs, marine plesiosaurs, and duck-billed hadrosaurs. Given the bone bed is almost football-field size, many more dinosaur fossils and their mysteries have yet to be discovered. One well-preserved hadrosaur fossil caused a stir in 2013 as it contained “mummified” head crest skin impressions from the duck-billed Edmontosaurus regalis - this fossil confirmed

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Experience The Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum the existence of a fleshy head crest, or cockscomb. In March of 2016, Boreonykus certekorum, a new raptor (dromaeosaur), was described by Dr. Phil Bell and Dr. Philip Currie. Given the value of the Pipestone Creek bone bed to the world of palaeontology, it soon became apparent that a new museum was needed to appropriately house and display the fossil finds. A site was chosen in Wembley, AB. Inaugurated in September of 2015, the Philip J. Currie (PJC) Dinosaur Museum features extensive gallery spaces, two classrooms, the 60-seat Aykroyd Family Theater, research and collections areas, the Dine-OSaur restaurant, an outdoor discovery fossil walk, large outdoor playground, and the Kaleidosaur gift shop. The permanent exhibits use conventional display methods and modern technology, transporting the visitor 360 million years back to the bone bed and the devastation of the flood plain. The gallery houses some of the most interactive technology for paleontology. In addition to regularly changing exhibits that focus on regional collectors and artists, the museum also boasts the only National Geographic theatre in Canada, with new films shown several times every day.

Dinosaur fans of all ages and all interest levels find something to engage them, with activities ranging from prehistoric art projects to hands-on fossil preparation. The museum hosts free lectures from experts in palaeontology and other fields, as well as symposia and other community-oriented events designed to inspire and educate. By expanding its school programs, field trips, day camps, and drop-in programs, the museum is aiming to accommodate more learners in a variety of age groups. In addition to all the displays and activities available onsite at the museum, the Pipestone Creek bone bed site, located about 18 km from the museum, is open to the public. During the summer, committed enthusiasts can assist the museum staff with fossil excavation in the Palaeontologist for a Day program. Camping is available at the Saskatoon Island Provincial Park and near the bone bed site at Pipestone Creek Campground. Numerous hotels and motels are available in Grande Prairie for accommodation, and there are hotel packages featured on the museum’s website. By Dr. Shannon L. Tracey

Palaeontologist for a Day Program In our Palaeontologist for a Day program, you will join a real excavation and go shoulder-to-shoulder with field crews as we explore the Pipestone Creek bonebed for dinosaurs, and with them, the answers to what was really happening right here millions of years ago! You’ll start your day with a delicious breakfast and a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum. You’ll be transported to the bonebed with the other dinosaur hunters, get equipped with a museum tote bag, water bottle, and real fossil hunting tools, then set about scouring the site for the next big discovery with the assistance of our palaeontology team. The program includes a hearty dinner and staff will follow-up with photos and an update on your find.

discover the undiscovered. PALAEONTOLOGIST FOR A DAY


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Experience Tumbler Ridge

Dr. Buckley with fossil bird trackway Photo Courtesy of Dr. Charles Helm

Future of Tumbler Ridge Museum Unknown In March 2018 the District of Tumbler Ridge denied the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation’s request for funding. As a result the Foundation, The Peace Region Palaeontology Research Centre and Dinosaur Discovery Gallery were closed. All may not be lost though. The Foundation remains committed to reopening the facilities and were actively seeking funding through grants or corporate donations at the time we went to press. To stay on top of the situation visit the Foundation’s website trmf.ca.

200 km west of Grande Prairie lays the coal mining town of Tumbler Ridge, BC. One footloose and fancy-free summer day in 2000, two local boys, Mark Turner (11) and Daniel Helm (8), were tubing in the rapids of Flatbed Creek near Tumbler Ridge. After falling off their tube, they walked back upstream on bedrock. Noting some unusual depressions on the banks, they became convinced they were dinosaur tracks. Although he was sceptical, Daniel’s father, Dr. Charles Helm, ultimately contacted palaeontologist Dr. Rich McCrea. He confirmed the prints were a trackway of a heavily-armoured ankylosaur. Unlike the body fossils, such as bones or shells, these trace fossils preserve a record of an animal’s activity. Little did any of the players know that this discovery would change their lives and their community forever. Along with other fossil discoveries made by enthusiastic locals, the dinosaur trackway served as the catalyst for Dr. Charles Helm to form the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation (TRMF). In 2002, the TRMF led a prospecting tour in a deep canyon along Quality Creek. A local prospector showed Dr. McCrea

a bone he’d spotted in a large sandstone slab beside the creek which had slid down from the nearby cliff face. Ribs, vertebrae and a fibula embedded in the block represented a colossal find as the first massive concentration of dinosaur material in BC. The site turned out to be a treasure trove of dinosaur tracks and the bones of theropods, hadrosaurs, ankylosaurs, crocodiles, turtles, fish, a freshwater ray and a smattering of bivalve shells. The bones from this Kaskapau Formation (Turonian; about 90 million years old) proved much older than any others found in western Canada to date. With such an explosion of dinosaur findings, Dr. McCrea spearheaded the creation of the Peace Region Paleontology Research Centre (PRPRC) in 2003. This centre is the only one in BC which excavates, prepares, researches, interprets, exhibits and stores fossils. Since its creation, the PRPRC has carried out many excavations and studies in the Peace Region. In 2016 the PRPRC published the analysis of T. rex trackways found in the region; it provides the first record of the walking gait of tyrannosaurids. That same year, the PRPRC team

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Experience Tumbler Ridge began excavation and analysis of a track site from the Gething Formation (Lower Cretaceous; about 120 million years old) near Williston Lake west of Hudson’s Hope, BC.

Williston Lake Photo Courtesy of Brandon Braam

Recognizing the abundance of paleontological phenomena in the Tumbler Ridge region, UNESCO designated it the first global geo-park in western NA in 2014. The international organization cited the global significance of the Cretaceous dinosaur tracks and bone bed, and the presence of Triassic fish and marine reptiles in making this designation. In the summer of 2017, Drs. Helm, Buckley and McCrea discovered avian trackways in this area in rocks of the Gates Formation (Lower Cretaceous, about 100 million years old). Coal mines operated by Conuma Coal Resources, Ltd. of Tumbler Ridge have also proved to be rich sources of dinosaur tracks. In the summer of 2017, several large ankylosaur and theropod tracks were discovered in their Wolverine Mine. Their Brule Mine near Chetwynd, BC, yielded a presumed ankylosaur trackway in rock from the Gething Formation (115 million years old). Adding to the excitement of 2017 was the discovery of the first ever dinosaur skull in BC. It was unearthed beside a creek near Tumbler Ridge by a chiropractor, Dr. Rick Lambert. He wandered down the creekbed after heaving rains, and realized that a rock formation that had caught his eye contained dinosaur teeth. It is likely that his finding is part of the skull of a tyrannosaurid-like Albertosaurus (around 75 million years old). Not every person can make the rigorous trip to the track sites and bone beds in northern BC, so the PRPRC has developed the Dinosaur Discovery Gallery in Tumbler Ridge to exhibit and interpret fossil finds. Hands-on experiences are available via educational programs, dino-camps and trackway tours. A network of hiking trails near the centre leads to numerous geo-sites, including spectacular waterfalls, mountain summits, sedimentary rock formations, caves and canyons. The PRPRC also sports a gift shop with unique gifts and mementos of this world-class global geo-site. For more information visit the PRPRC website at: prprc.com phone (250) 242-DINO [3466]. The Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation website is at: trmf.ca. By: Dr. Shannon L. Tracey 47 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com

Wolverine mine Photo Courtesy of Dr. Charles Helm

Experience Hudson’s Hope All photos courtesy of the District of Hudson’s Hope

Peace Canyon Dam

Dinosaur Footprints at WAC Bennett Dam Visitor Center

This road trip travels through the untamed wilderness and unique geological features of BC’s magnificent north country. In addition to learning more about dinosaurs and fossil finds, you can enjoy bountiful fishing holes, jaw-dropping scenery and amazing wildlife viewing opportunities. Let’s get started… From Tumbler Ridge, travel north on Hwy 29 about 75 min to Chetwynd. This municipality is strategically located at the intersection of Hwy 97, a major east-west corridor between Prince George and Dawson Creek. Because this road was northeastern BC’s first connection to the rest of the province, Chetwynd has been a significant hub for the development of the region since 1952. Known as “Little Prairie” by the First Nations over 100 years ago, Chetwynd’s museum has retained that name. The Little Prairie Heritage Museum is located in one of the town’s oldest buildings and displays artifacts of the early times. A public art program, showcases over 50 chainsaw carvings spread throughout town with a downtown monument that declares Chetwynd the “Chainsaw Sculpture Capital of the World”. About an hour north of Chetwynd, Hudson’s Hope was first settled in 1805. In 1942, construction of the Alaska Highway stimulated the local economy and major development came in the 1960s, when W.A.C. Bennett Dam was constructed to generate hydroelectric power. Shortly thereafter, the Peace Canyon Dam was built a few kilometers downstream. Until

Wooden Statutes in Henry Stege Park

recent years, Hudson’s Hope has marketed its extensive outdoor recreational opportunities as reasons to visit the area. However, the dinosaur tracks found in the area, should provide the town with a significant new tourism attraction. In the summer of 2016, field work began on Hudson’s Hope’s newest attraction the Six Peaks Dinosaur Track Site. The site is located just west of Hudson’s Hope and consists of nearly 1,200 tracks from at least 12 different types of dinosaurs. The area around Hudson’s Hope is one of the richest sites of fossils and dinosaur footprints in the world. You can get a unique prehistoric experience to view actual dinosaur footprints at Gething Creek. However, this is a remote area near the W.A.C. Bennett Dam, so we would recommend you stop at the Hudson’s Hope Museum. Their fossil display is one of the finest in the Peace River area. Established in 1794, Fort St John is BC’s oldest settlement and with a population of more than 18,000, it is the largest city on the Alaska Highway, at Mile 47. The drive east to Fort St John takes about 70 minutes. One hour south, with a population of a bout 12,000, Dawson Creek is known as the “Mile 0 City”, referring to its location at the southern end of the Alaska Highway. The city has been called the “Capital of the Peace”. It has an art gallery, museum and a heritage interpretation village.

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Experience Alaska’s Dinosaur Trails If You’re In The Area, Anchorage Museum Worth The Visit A little gem of a museum, a bit off the beaten path, features some interesting dinosaur exhibits. The Alaska Museum of Science & Nature is a hands-on facility in Anchorage featuring dinosaurs, Ice Age mammals, really cool gems, minerals and more. Their exhibits include ‘Alaska Polar Dinosaurs’ - an exploration of Alaska’s dino finds including bones, teeth, claws and eggs; ‘Bare Bones’ where visitors can compare the bones of modern and ancient animals; ‘Talkeetna Seaway featuring extinct sharks, flying Pterosaurs and more. The museum’s other exhibits include ‘Ice Age Alaska’ with mammals like mammoths, bison, American lions, saber tooth cats, short face bears, touchable wolves, giant beavers and even a whale! Our mission is to inspire, through many educational exhibits and programs, a better understanding and appreciation of the natural world, the sciences, and ourselves. This is a toddler-friendly facility that has activities for every age. Visitors will see skeletons of Hadrosaurs, Ceretopsians, large & small carnivores including Albertosaurs and raptors. There’s marine reptiles and flying pterosaurs too. Also on display are a wide variety of skulls representing animals from around the world, including a 2-headed one. “Rocks & Minerals Exhibit” features meteorites, fluorescent rocks, multi-coloured minerals and fossils from prehistoric forests such as petrified trees, sequoia leaves and palm fronds. Opened in 1994, the Alaska Museum of Science & Nature takes young and old alike on a learning adventure around the state. This museum fills a special need for science education focusing exclusively on Alaska’s unique geological, cultural, and ecological history. They have world-class collection, and created an exciting and interactive learning experience. If you ever find yourself wandering off the beaten path to Anchorage make sure you pay this sweetheart museum a visit. For more information check them out on Facebook or their website at: alaskamuseum.org/visit_us.html. By: Larry Thomas ns Courtesy Photos by James R. Eva

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Crowsnest Pass Adanac Adventures

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Brooks & Area Kiwanis Campground

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27 403-362-5073 brooksmuseum.ca

Kinbrook Island Prov. Park* May 8 - Sept 5 $26.00 - $33.00 169 • • • 13 km south of Brooks on Lake Newell. Winter camping Sept 5 - May 5 first come, first serve basis.



Tillebrook Provincial Park* May 8 - Sept 5 $29.00 - $36.00 85 6 km east of Brooks. Fall camping Sept 5 - Nov 30, first come, first serve basis.



Dinosaur Provincial Park* May 5 - Oct 9 $29.00 - $36.00 122 • • • • • • 48 km NE of Brooks. Winter camping Oct 10 - May 4. Interp programs visit dinosaurpark.ca or 403-378-4344.



Emerson Bridge Park

May 16 - Sept 5

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Rosemary Rosemary Municipal Camp. May 15 - Sept 30

Calgary & Area Calaway RV & Campground May 19 - Sept 5 $29.00 - $41.00 104 • • • 403-249-7372 calawaypark.com Calaway Park invites you to Western Canada’s Largest Outdoor Family Amusement Park and the Calaway RV Park and Campground! Spring Hill RV Park

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Sundre & Caroline Coyote Creek Golf & RV

Clearwater Trading Year Round $25.00 - $35.00 47 • • • • 403-722-2378 clearwatertrading.ca Proud to offer you a seperate, private venue for all your events’ needs. Call us today! Check us out on Facebook @clearwatertradingevents.

Edmonton Shakers Acres RV Park Year Round $35.00 - $50.00 153 • • • • • 877-447-3565 We are conveniently located right at Edmonton’s doorstep where you can enjoy some of Alberta’s best known tourist sites. With 40 full hook up winter sites (Monthly Oct. to Apr.) and an onsite playground.


Fox Creek Iosegun Lake Campground May 19 - Sept 4 $25.00 52 • 780-622-3896 Iosegun Lake Campground is 10 kilometers north of Fox Creek. Rustic sites set amongst birch or spruce trees with good fishing and a nice beach. $25 per night or stay the season for $1500. Or reserve the popular group site at 780-622-3896.


Smoke Lake Campground May 19 - Sept 4 $25.00 49 • 780-622-3896 foxcreek.ca Smoke Lake Campground is 10 kilometres south of Fox Creek. A beautiful rustic setting with good fishing. One soon doesn’t miss the luxuries of modern life (running water, cell phone, electricity). $25 per night or stay the season for $1500.

Grande Prairie Camp Tamarack RV

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McGoverns Campground


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Nitehawk Wilderness RV

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Country Roads RV

County Campgrounds

Every County campground has a golf course within a 20-minute drive! Visit county gp.ab.ca/EN/main/community/parks.html

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All Open Dates are weather dependant. All fees are subject to change without notice. *These campgrounds accept reservations.

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Experience The Burgess Shale They say that some secrets are just too good to keep, so we’re going to let you in on something special, here in Yoho National Park. Located near the village of Field, BC, the Burgess Shale fossil beds are home to some of the earliest modern animals ever to grace this planet. They come from a period when life was only found in the world’s oceans; you see, most of Western Canada was underwater. Up until 230 million years ago, the summits of what is now the Rocky Mountains actually formed the ocean floor. The ocean teemed with life and wonderfully some of the bones of those fish and reptiles have survived and been found. The first discovery of fossils on the mountaintops was made in August 1909, when Dr. Charles Walcott, then Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution visited the mountains that overlooked the town of Field, BC. Over the next sixteen years, Walcott collected more than 65,000 fossil specimens from the area now known as the Burgess Shale. These and other fossils recovered from expeditions over the past century, grace the halls of some of the world’s greatest museums, helping to bring an ancient world, dating back 505 million years, back to life.

If you want to learn more while you are in the area, stop by Yoho National Park Visitor Information Centre in Field to see the interactive Burgess Shale display and gallery.

Through exquisitely preserved deposits of soft-bodied animal fossils, the Burgess Shale fossil beds provide an unparalleled glimpse into the development of life on this planet. As a result, the Burgess Shale fossil beds have been a scientific discovery the entire world deserves to know about. In the summer of 2018, Parks Canada Heritage Interpreters are offering guided hikes to the restricted Burgess Shale fossil beds once again. Hikes incorporate traditional interpretive techniques such as storytelling and hands on activities.

P. Zizka

This time in history is referred to as the Cambrian Period. It bore witness to an explosion of life that laid the foundation for most of the modern animals that inhabit the planet today. In fact, 95 percent of today’s animals, including snails, sea stars, crabs, insects, spiders, fish and, remarkably, mammals, can all trace their very first ancestors to this unique period in time.

Burgess Shale Fossil Hikes Kootenay and Yoho National Parks We offer daily hikes to see and touch these fossils. Three family friendly hikes: Walcott Quarry: Classic Expedition (Yoho National Park) Mount Stephen: Stone Bug Galore! (Yoho National Park) Stanley Glacier: Meet the “Stan” Animal! (Kootenay National Park) For more information visit pc.gc.ca/burgessshale

The Burgess Shale Geoscience Foundation also leads hikes to the fossil beds. To learn more: burgess-shale.bc.ca Note that hikes to the Walcott Quarry are 20 km round trip; hikes to the Mount Stephen fossil beds are 6 km.

To make a reservation go to reservation.pc.gc.ca or call 1-877-RESERVE (1-877-737-3783)

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