Discover one of the world's richest fossil locations right here in our own backyard! Located roughly 2 ? hours away, the prairie landscape suddenly vanishes into the valleys of pillar like hoodoos, many of which still house the bones and fossils of species that once roamed this area 65 million years ago.
A Hoodoo is a pillar of sandstone or mud-stone that is carved away by wind and weather erosion due to its soft, sedimentary material. The tops of the hoodoos usually look like caps that are made of ironstone, a more hardy sediment that is not as susceptible to erosion. According to our tour guide on the explorer bus and the very informative and picture-esc displays in the visitor center, the hoodoos erode about ? cm on an annual basis. This erosion is the reason for the uniquely carved landscape and the reason why dinosaur bones and other fossils are being exposed and easily discovered in the Badlands.
The visitor center is pretty neat to check out. It is open year round and inside you can look around a small fossil and dinosaur museum. You also purchase your tickets here for any guided tours that you want to take part of. Guided tours allow you to wander into the Natural Preserve, an area of the park not normally open to the public. We were lucky and made it just in time to try out the Explorer Bus Tour. The 2 hour bus tour was definitely worth the $10 it cost for each person; a tour we definitely recommend for anyone traveling down to Dinosaur Provincial Park.
This UNESCO protected site provides a unique landscape that is extremely fascinating and captures your interest as you quickly leave the prairies and drive straight down into the valley of the badlands where the Dinosaur Provincial Park Visitor Centre is located. Check out the outdoor fossil exhibits and short hikes around the area. If you have enough time, stick around to see the setting sun and watch how it paints the Badlands in bright, warm color... a view that is truly magnificent.
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