This post is dedicated to my son without whose passion for the prehistoric wonders we would have missed out on something so fascinating. Yes, the reason for going to Calgary apart from visiting Banff and Jasper was my 8 year old son’s obsession with dinosaurs. So around a year back I started searching for dinosaur excavation sites which are open for tourists. That’s how I came across Dinosaur Provincial Park which is around a couple of hours drive from Calgary.
We usually see dinosaur fossil displays in museums. But walking on the same tracks on which these beasts themselves had one day walked on was an unique thrill for all of us and a dream come true for my 8 year old.
There are different tours which you can book in advance through their website. Some are at a very nominal price of $15 , some other intensive ones which give you a hands on excavation experience, are priced higher and have an age limit so we had to choose accordingly. We had booked the centrossarus hike tour. It was 3 hour hike through the badlands with stops in between.
Hiking Through The Badlands
The landscape of the badlands was simply fantastic. The guide was a connoisseur in his field, was humorous, and the whole tour was very interactive and entertaining for both kids and adults. Be ready for some gracious hosts to greet you through out the tour, yes! the mosquitoes. After all it’s the badlands and you are expected to be rough and tough if you want to become a palaeontologist even if it is just for one day!! Carry a bug spray and use it liberally and don’t forget the sun hat. The Centrosaurus quarry has a well preserved fossil bed and around the main fossil bed there were innumerous other fossils lying around. The guide filled us with information about how the fossil beds were formed, the age of the badlands, how it looked when dinosaurs actually lived there, how to differentiate between a rock and a fossil, etc. It was indeed a memorable experience and I never thought that something so barren as the badlands can appear so remarkable.
The Land of Dinosaurs -The Badlands
The Centrosaurus Quarry
Too many hotels to choose from in Calgary. We stayed close to the airport in Residence Inn by Marriott. All the hotels in Calgary come at a very good price, so there is basically a problem of plenty.
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