AlbertaBadlandsCanada has badlands. I know. Big surprise.


And they look pretty bad. Weirdly capped hoodoos and pointed hills and sharp banded walls where a river has cut through the landscape over the millennia. Also, scorching hot. Plus, as a bonus, Alberta’s badlands come with many, many huge dinosaur skeletons. (Some assembly required.)


In fact, Dinosaur Provincial Park (about 140 miles east of Calgary) claims to have the world’s largest deposit of dinosaur bones. And there’s more than just dinosaurs, though that ought to be enough for anyone who has ever been eight years old. Species from 500 other specimens have been discovered at the site, but no one cares because there are 40 kinds of dinosaurs there. Forty.


You can see why people might come from Japan or Germany, and decide to visit Banff, and wander through the park—which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site—on their way to, say, the Winnipeg Folk Festival. And if you’re traveling through Canada in the summer, you want to be outdoors. But who hauls all their camping gear onto the JAL flight from Tokyo?


This is how glamping can make perfect sense. Just figured it out. You travel light and still spend a night among the fossils, instead of at the piano bar at a Holiday Inn. And lucky for us all, Dinosaur Provincial Park has “comfort camping”—safari tents with a fridge, barbeque, heater, fan, mosquito netting and queen size bed (along with a convertible fold-down couch so you can accommodate four people).


There are two options: the riverfront premium units with a “spacious floorplan” for $120 and the less glam standard units with “park views” and the appropriate “standard floorplan” for $95.


Either way there isn’t a lot of high-end glamor here—you’re close by the tenters and RVs—but it qualifies as upscale compared to the hard ground. Also, it is easier to forget about the snake-crossing signs as you drift off to sleep on your raised bed. And at the end of the day, you’re snoring your brains out in a dinosaur necropolis, which says opulence to me.


Photo: Alberta Badlands, via Wikimedia Commons