Southern Alberta is home to some of the most impressive Native American petroglyphs in North America. Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park in Aden, Alberta features stone etchings and paintings that were created over the course of 900 years by the Blackfoot people. Depictions of hunters, spirits, and a few Ford Model T’s are a testament to the life and times of the Blackfoot people.
Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park is located on a unique prairie that is punctuated with towering stone hoodoos that resemble melted, petrified pyramids. The sandstone hoodoos are the last remnants of an ancient seabed. The Blackfoot people believed that powerful spirits inhabited the hoodoos. The stone hoodoos are a sacred canvas where the Blackfoot people recorded every aspect of their lives for centuries.
Hiking the Hoodoo Trail is one of the best ways to experience the striking beauty of Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park. The Hoodoo Trail winds through Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park’s stately hoodoos and offers hikers an up-close view of the park’s petroglyphs. Hikers can also gain a sweeping view of the Milk River and the surrounding prairie. It is not uncommon to see herds of deer and antelope grazing in the distance.
Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park offers a public tour led by an interpreter who is well-versed in the history, spiritual practices, and lore of the Blackfoot people. If you’re curious about the narratives behind some of the images etched in stone, a public tour is the perfect way to learn about the cultural significance of the region.
Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park is a striking landscape that is steeped in history. If you’re curious about how Native Americans such as the Blackfoot people hunted and thrived in a region that is prone to harsh winters, a trip to Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park is an excellent place to learn, observe, and get lost in the beauty of nature.