Dinosaur Provincial Park in the winter, why not?

Quick Stats

  • Distance: 1.4Km Round Trip
  • Height Gain: 25m
  • Round Trip Time: 30m
Dinosaur Provincial Park is home to the largest badlands in Canada. People often think of the Drumheller area for badlands and overlook Dinosaur. Badlands can be common in some parts of the world but in Canada are very rare. Most people visit the badlands in the summer, but they are still interesting to explore in the winter. Added bonus, far less people. We only saw one other car during our visit.
Since the 1890’s, over 300 skeletons have been extracted from the badlands and sent to museums around the world. There are so many dinosaur fossils here due to ideal conditions for preservation. Thick sand and mud covered and preserved the fossils. Bones have been found here that date back over 75 million years.
In the winter, there doesn’t seem to be too much snow in this area so you don’t need snowshoes. If there is any exposed mud that isn’t frozen, it can be extremely slippery. So slippery that this mud is used for lubricating drill bits on oil and gas drilling rigs. In the summer, you need to watch for Cactus thorns, rattlesnakes, scorpions and black widow spiders. It can also reach 47 degrees Celsius so bring plenty of water.
Even in the winter, Dinosaur Provincial Park is a very neat place, particularly when contrasted with the surrounding prairie. It is hard to imagine that 75 million years ago this was a lush tropical paradise.
I assume this yellow ice is frozen dinosaur pee. It only makes sense.
This entire area was once under a large river. They have determined how fast the river once flowed based on the size of sand grains. Depending on the speed of the flowing water, heavy grain sands will sink to the bottom, but lighter grains get carried away. From this, they figure the river flowed at about 0.5KM/h. Neat.
Traditional Summit Selfie!
The trail back to the parking lot is very obvious.
The trail ends by passing some hoodoos. Eventually, these will erode away and fall over. You can see a rock on the left where this has already happened. So get out to Dinosaur Provincial park and enjoy it while you still can.


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *