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July 18 2015, arriving at Dinosaur Provincial Park
After leaving, at the end of the day, a little bit disappointed, the abandoned village of Dorothy, I drove to Dinosaur Provincial Park ( “Dinosaur Provincial Park”), 130 kms away.
Park facilities are at the bottom of the valley, at the bottom of the canyon. There is big parking at the top of the valley overlooking the whole area, with magnificent views. Down the valley, everything is organized around the camping. Another visitor parking and the interpretation center on one side, the tourist loop to do by car, with hike departures and information booths on fossils.
I arrived just before sunset. The park information center was closed, but maps were available. I barely had the time to make a small hike before the sun disappeared behind the mountains. While it was still bright enough, I had the time time to do a second walk.
The first trail (No. 3 on their map), is called the “Badlands Trail”. This is a 1.3 km loop that begins just after the campsite, which brings you through hills and across plains. The entire route is equipped with signage explaining the creation of this badlands environment and why dinosaur bones are found here.
The second one (No. 2 on their map), is called “Viewpoint Coulee Trail”. It starts behind the interpretive center, and climbs up to a ridge with a beautiful view before going down through deeply carved rills, and tunnels. This part is much more gray, like piles of clay eroded by rain. The whole loop is about 1 km.
I went through all the park by car, but no way to find a quiet place to sleep unnoticed. It’s too small and no trees to hide. So around 9:30 pm, I got back to the parking lot at the top of the valley, where I ate and slept.
July 19, Departure
I got up at 4:40 am to see the sunrise over the valley. I filmed and took pictures, but there were a lot of clouds and the light was not as I had imagined. It was still amazing, seeing the sun rise over the canyons with coyotes howling in the distance. I even saw 2 “Whitetail Deer” crossing on the parking … maybe the same ones as last night at the end of the walk 🙂
For the video you will have to wait … my old laptop is not powerful enough for video editing. But for the photos, I selected the ones not too bad, to give you an idea 🙂
After all that, I had breakfast and I took the road to the next step: Waterton Park!