In the midst of the Canadian Badlands in the town of Drumheller is a place of great wonder called the Royal Tyrrell Museum. The Royal Tyrrell Museum is Canada’s only museum dedicated exclusively to the science of paleontology. It also houses one of the world’s largest displays of dinosaurs. After visiting this museum on our first trip to Alberta we decided we needed to see it again to take in all the amazing history and science that this place has to offer.
The adventure beings in the parking lot of The Royal Tyrrell where dinosaurs can be found posing with the amazing Canadian Badlands as a backdrop. There are even some trails that you can hike up to take photographs of the spectacular views. I found this stunning in the snow and had to stop and think of what it must have been like for these reptiles found in Canada during a winter of the past. BBRrrrrr!
The Royal Tyrrell Museum was named after the famous geologist James B. Tyrrell. He accidentally discovered the first reported dinosaur fossil in the Red Deer River valley in 1884 while searching for coal. Drumheller was once quite the coal mining town and still runs tours through the Atlas Coal Mines. James’ discovery was aptly named the Albertosaurus Sarcophagus and a cast of him is seen in this photo.
Museums take fossils and make casts to put on display like this one here. This way they can preserve the fossils while still letting the public enjoy the treasures that are found. The Royal Tyrrell Museum does a fantastic job of displaying their exhibits and creating scenes that are fun mock ups of what the dinosaurs and the environment would look like in the appropriate periods.
This prehistoric creature is related to the turtle. I found it to be absolutely fascinating that this animal hasn’t changed very much in appearance even though its been millions of years. While everything else on Earth has evolved in some way, the turtle seems to have started off as the perfect version of itself.
We enjoyed this museum so much that it was the first place on our list to take my mom when she came for a visit. She later told me that this was a life changing experience for her. She knew dinosaurs existed, but to see the fossils and stand beside them really solidified there existence in her mind. She slowly made her way through the museum stopping to read every sign and watch every video, soaking it all in while in complete awe.
My mother also loves to garden so she really enjoyed the Cretaceous Garden where she was able to walk through an exotic, lush collection of prehistoric plants that would be descended from the plants of the Cretaceous Period. Her favorite though were the larger dinosaur exhibits like this Woolly Mammoth. She would just stand at the exhibits and stare in wonder.
The Royal Tyrrell Museum is a perfect way to spend a day whether you are 6 or 60. There is something for everyone and it’s a fun and educational trip that we highly recommend.
1500 North Dinosaur Trail