By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: My wife and I are both retired now and have been talking about taking a road trip across Canada for years. Once we get to Alberta, we both thought of checking out the southern part of the province. Friends have recommended that we visit the badlands there. What do you think?

A: Home to our very own "Jurassic Park," the Canadian badlands appropriately houses Dinosaur Provincial Park, a place that even film director Steven Spielberg would envy. Amid pointy rock turrets and arid hills, the Red Deer River slices through the valley creating smooth craterlike mounds. The setting hasn't changed since the first discovery of dinosaur bones in the 1880s. Designated as a World UNESCO heritage site, this area possesses the world's greatest concentration of dinosaur fossils.

Over 300 complete dinosaur skeletons have been discovered from the late Cretaceous period. No doubt this bad land is perfect land for touring in spring, summer and fall. For best views, you might want to peg a few extra days on your itinerary to explore the majesty that has baffled scientists for centuries. Hike one of the self-guided trails or join a group hike through Dinosaur Provincial Park.

Even if your time is budgeted, make sure your road trip includes this corner of Alberta, home of the world-class Royal Tyrrell Museum. Open all year at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology ( you can view impressive skeletons and life-sized models and explore exhibits via multimedia presentations. Ascend 106 stairs and step inside a platform nudged between the gapping jaw of the world's largest dinosaur, a 151 foot long, 86 foot tall Tyrannosaurus Rex that overlooks the Drumheller Valley.

Serious dinophiles will enjoy day digs, a program organized by the museum that allows you to roll up your sleeves and participate in a real dig. Over 1000 specimens have been reportedly excavated from the Day Digs quarries including a femur from a duck billed dinosaur.


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