Alberta’s Writing-on-stone Provincial Park/Aisanai’pi

The drive from Calgary seemed long, perhaps because of the relatively flat landscape. Like Drumheller, even one kilometer from the site, nothing could be seen. Then, rounding a corner, I pulled over to a canyon ablaze in countless rock formations—coulees and hoodoos. This was just a stone’s throw from Canada’s border with the U.S.

On a hot and sunny afternoon, I roamed through the strange landscape where the Milk River snaked its way through rocky outcrops. The loud rattling noise of a grasshopper sung in the otherwise silent air. Purple wildflowers grew amongst the rocks, but I could hardly take my eyes from the undulating rock formations.

The park’s name was inspired by Blackfoot drawing on a sandstone boulder. The rock’s inscription was enclosed in a wire cage with graffiti already punctuating one lower section, thus making it difficult to see. 

Like the Milk River, I meandered through the strange landscape transported along a winding path past a rocky terrain like nothing I’d ever seen before or since except in Drumheller. To make the experience even better, there were few other visitors on the day I arrived making the experience worth the drive.

The Milk River in the coulee below, Writing-on-stone Provincial Park