Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park / Áísínai’pi National Historic Site | Alberta, Canada
Welcome to Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park / Áísínai'pi National Historic Site, Where Histories, Stories and Dreams Become One. Set in the prairie grasslands of southern Alberta, Writing-on-Stone / Áísínai'pi is a sacred landscape. The spectacular Milk River valley contains the largest concentration of First Nation petroglyphs (rock carvings) and pictographs (rock paintings) on the great plains of North America. This special area was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2019.
This remains a sacred place to the Blackfoot First Nation. Abundant petroglyphs, covering sheer sandstone cliffs, native grasses, and wildlife are are protected as a living part of the Blackfoot natural spiritual heritage.
The Milk River flows through sandstone hoodoos and coulees carved by wind and rain since the last Ice Age. Hoodoos are columns of sandstone protected by top layers of resistant rock. While the sandstone is eroded by wind and rain, the hard cap protects the formation from water infiltration and collapse.
This park is a sacred landscape that has special spiritual significance for the Blackfoot people who hunted & traveled the Great Plains for generations. The traditional culture of the Blackfoot is based on a long & intimate relationship with the land; this landscape is still part of that tradition. The First Nations petroglyphs (carvings) & pictographs (paintings) that cover the park's sheer sandstone cliffs are protected here as a legacy to this spiritual connection of a people with a place.
Writing-on-Stone became a provincial park in January 1957. The park's archaeological preserve was established in 1977 to ensure protection of the largest concentration of rock art on the North American Plains.
The park provides a 64-site campground amid the riverside cottonwoods and willows. Showers, power hook-ups, tap water and flush toilets are available. Campsites are available to reserve ahead of time through reserve.albertaparks.ca. Check out the comfort camping opportunity on our website www.albertaparks.ca search for Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park.
Notice: The environment of Writing-On-Stone / Áísínai'pi is extremely fragile. Please stay on trails at all times to prevent soil erosion and damage to plants and landforms. Do not deface rock art or landforms. Damaging any cultural resource, including rock art, may result in a $50,000 fine and a one-year jail sentence. If you see artifacts, please leave them in place and contact park staff.
Driving Directions to Key Access Points
Near the Alberta-Montana boundary, 32 km east of Milk River on Hwy. 501 and 10 km south on access road.
Best Seasons or Dates to Visit
The park is open all year; the visitor center is open seasonally.
Check www.albertaparks.ca and search for Writing-on-Stone for current Visitor Center hours of operation.