So, what changed? How did I end up becoming the girl who actually started a camping project to camp 40+ nights in one season? I camped at Dinosaur Provincial Park last May and fell in love! I discovered my camping style and realized that for years I had been doing it all wrong! All wrong for ME that is. As much as I love mountains, I prefer to camp where it's warm, open, and not closed in by big trees. I like to camp with friends in large double sites and I like destination camping where you can hike, paddle, explore, ride bikes and play - without ever leaving camp. This is my definition of camp paradise and it is Dinosaur Provincial Park in a nut shell.
|Wild About Dinosaur Provincial Park|
Dinosaur Provincial Park is now my favourite campground in Alberta and we will be making an annual trek south every spring for years to come. I wrote about our trip to Dinosaur last year and I encourage you to read the story if you would like more information about the park's status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its location in the Alberta Badlands on the Dinosaur Trail, or the Alberta Parks Reservation Service for campground bookings.
Below is a look at our most recent camping trip in Dinosaur Provincial Park a couple of weeks ago. It's heavy on photos and short on words because the photos really do say it all!
Our Patch of Heaven at Dinosaur Provincial Park
Wide open camping under lush Cottonwood trees! We booked three double sites along the creek in the north loop for our group. Each family had their own picnic table and plenty of space to spread out. The creek had warning signs that we shouldn't swim in it and well, I guess we obeyed the sign. Nobody swam in it.
|How can you NOT play in the mud when it's right beside your camp site?|
|Daddy pulling our son out of the mud (same kid who wouldn't go NEAR mud last summer!|
|Playing in the Mud - best camping activity EVER! (and yes, that's me!)|
|Not bad for a camp playground (one of the best I've seen in fact!)|
|The kids could have spent hours in this puddle - oh wait, I think they DID.|
|My idea of chilling at camp|
|The kids hanging out at camp in our new Eno hammock|
Exploring the Park - Biking
The kids all had bikes with them so we tried to get them riding around camp a lot. Most of them were content to ride the loop around our campsites but we got a few of the kids out on a short hiking trail for a scenic easy ride. Fortunately the trail was very short because the mosquitoes LOVED this spot!
|Checking out a massive Cottonwood tree on the Cottonwood Flats Trail|
|Great bike ride for little kids|
|Our Junior Biker Gang takes on the Badlands|
We also had a lot of fun riding right in the campground and even tried a little mountain biking.
|Riding around the campground on the gravel loop road|
|Sweet little trail we found in the campground|
Exploring the Park - Hiking
I confess that this section is going to be a bit of a teaser because I have way too many photos to share here at the end of this post. (Watch for a sequel in the next day or two.) We hiked two trails while we camped at Dinosaur and both gave us breathtaking views of the badlands and hoodoos. If you are not from Alberta and don't know what a hoodoo is, the photo below features my favourite ones in the park.
|Hoodoos - Flat topped sandstone rock formations|
|The Alberta Badlands in Dinosaur Provincial Park|
|Climbing up to the top of the Coulee Viewpoint Trail|
I have many more spectacular photos to share with you from Dinosaur Provincial Park so check back in another day or so for part two - Hiking in Dinosaur Provincial Park.