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Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada

Updated on April 1, 2012

Something I hate is when I hear that the Americas are "new" and that there is nothing old and significant to be seen. Well you don't have to go to Europe or Asia to see ancient ruins. The ruins of Aztec temples in Mexico, Viking settlements in Newfoundland, and Blackfoot petroglyphs on the stone walls of southern Alberta.

Near the Alberta/Montana border and just 44 km east of the small town of Milk River is Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park. Canada recently nominated the park to UNESCO for World Heritage status. The park boasts having over 50 petroglyphs (stone-carved images) created by the Blackfoot Native Americans, which date as far back as 7000 B.C. Some of the petroglyphs have been damaged so it is hard to discern many of the images.

Little is currently known about their significance and there is still allot of research needing to be done.

The park covers a vast territory, and its remote location makes accessibility possible only by vehicle. Take you camper because there is allot to see and the park has first rate camping amenities.

The park also has many hoodoos and arches that make for an interesting hike along its trails.

There are few things you should know about the park before you venture into it:

  • The park also has a strong wildlife; sightings of bears, cougars, and rattle-snakes are common.
  • The park and campground facilities are open year-round. No reservations are necessary.
  • Camping fees are between $20 - $25 per night.
  • Guided tours are available upon request.
  • Defamation of the petroglyphs will cost you $50,000 in fines and up to one-year in jail. So don't touch them!

Information Hotline: (403)647-2364

Milk River, Alberta, Canada
Milk River, Alberta, Canada

The following images were taken from various websites and sources. I wanted there to be a place where interested viewers could see as many of the petroglyphs as possible in one place.

If you have images of Alberta's petroglyphs and would like to contribute to this collection, please contact me.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Writing-on-Stone, Alberta, Canada
Writing-on-Stone, Alberta, Canada
Writing-on-Stone, Alberta, Canada

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    • profile image

      Dan Lucas 6 years ago

      We are sure hoping to get a campsite here on Friday near 22 looking forward to seeing all!

    • profile image

      Writing-on-Stone Staff 7 years ago

      To correct some mis-information about this article:

      The park has over 50 petroglyph sites including hundreds of individual images (stone-carved images) created by the First Nations of North America, the images may be as old as 3,500 year old

      Bears are not in the area and cougar sightings are extremely rare. Rattlesnakes are found in and around the park and are considered a species at risk.

      The park and campground facilities are open year-round. Reservations can be made at Reserve.AlbertaParks.ca or by calling 1-877-537-2757 for May through August; during the off-season camping is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

      As of spring 2010, camping fees are between $21 - $27 per night during the peak season.

      Guided tours are available during the peak season and can be booked on-line at https://sales.tpr.alberta.ca/wos.

      Contact park staff at:(403)647-2364 or writingonstone@gov.ab.ca

    • profile image

      edwardss 7 years ago

      this sucks

    • profile image

      Bob Berentz 7 years ago

      "Pale Ink" by Henriette Mertz states that the Chinese explorers came through here in 2,000 B.C. The round bodies seem to say to me .. five travelers .. a rolling stone .. moving. Very interesting site and a book you should read.

    • LRobbins profile image

      LRobbins 8 years ago from Germany

      Thanks for showing Writing On Stone. In my opinion this is one of the best kept secrets in Alberta.

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      canon cameras 8 years ago

      Wow, a really great looking place, and nicely written, good hub, thanks..

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      Graceful Guardian 9 years ago

      I think this article is great,more things should be written about the Native peoples. I realize there are articles out there,but more should be done.Good job.