Long ago, a large inland sea covered the area where the park is located. Deposited sand was eventually buried and compressed into sandstone rock, creating the cliffs of the Milk River Formation.
As the glaciers from the Ice Age receded, much melt water flowed through the area, carving the sandstone and creating the valley of the Milk River. The upper sections of the cliffs have formed hoodoos.
On the lower levels, former native residents created many works of art. Other landscape formations are mounds and badlands.
Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park protects the native petroglyphs and pictoraphs. It was created in 1957 and was expanded in 1962, 1964, and 1991.
Its archaeological preserve was created in 1977. A portion of the park was designated a provincial historic resource in 1991.
The park is 1718 hectares (4243.5 acres) in size and is situated just north of the Montana-Alberta border. It is an example of the dry mixed-grass sub-region of Grassland Natural Region of Alberta.
The area was the hub of peacekeeping by the Northwest Mounted Police in the region during the latter part of the nineteen century and the early part of the twentieth century.
We would like to thank Lesia Boyko, Department of Community Development, Government of Alberta, for providing information for this page.
(This page was updated in November 2012.)