Okotoks Erratic - The Big Rock, Okotoks

4.3
#1 of 13 in Things to do in Okotoks
Big Rock is a 16,500-tonne boulder that lies on the otherwise flat, relatively featureless, surface of the Canadian Prairies in Alberta. It is part of the 930km Foothills Erratics Train of typically angular boulders of distinctive quartzite and pebbly quartzite.This massive angular boulder, which is broken into two main pieces, measures about 135by and is 30ft high. It consists of thick-bedded, micaceous, feldspathic quartzite that is light grey, pink, to purplish. Besides having been extensively fractured by frost action, it is unweathered. Big Rock lies about 5mi west of the town of Okotoks, Alberta, Canada, 11mi south of Calgary in the SE. 1/4 of Sec. 21, Township 20, Range 1, West 5th Meridian.Big Rock is a glacial erratic that is part of a 580mi long, narrow, linear scatter of thousands of distinctive quartzite and pebbly quartzite glacial erratics between 1ft and 135ft in length. This linear scatter of distinctive quartzite glacial erratics is known as the Foothills Erratics Train. The Foothills Erratics Train extends along the eastern flanks of the Rocky Mountains of Alberta and northern Montana to the International Border. The boulders and smaller gravel, which comprises the Foothills Erratics Train, consist of Lower Cambrian shallow marine quartzite and conglomeratic quartzite, which occurs only within the Gog Group and is found in the Athabasca River Valley of central western Alberta. Big Rock is the largest erratic within the Foothills Erratics Train. Lying on prairie to the east of the Rocky Mountains and like all the larger erratics, it is visible for a considerable distance across the prairie and likely served as a prominent landmark for Indigenous people.
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Okotoks Erratic - The Big Rock Reviews
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4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Not to often you get to see a massive boulder left behind from millions of years ago.. This piece of Jasper is something that you'll never see again  more »
  • Interesting to see and read about if you are in the area, but I wouldn't make a special trip. Fortunately when we were there the idiots climbing it didn't fall.  more »
  • It’s odd to see such a big pile of rocks in the foothills. This is an interesting stop to see the Erratic and read about how it got here. It used to be more impressive when the “arch” was still standi...  more »
Google
  • Great care given to my horse. Friendly people. Paddocks are good size and nice shelter. Got dusty though and indoor ring can be dusty at times but they are working on it.
  • One big rock in the middle of the empty field. It has history. Very nice place to visit if you want to go near Calgary. We enjoyed talking photos.
  • So sad that it is breaking apart ... it is so interesting but much smaller than when I was a kid. The signs say not to climb them, that it is dangerous, but people climb it. It is cracking and one day a hunk will come off and kill some foolish tourist ... there is a fence also for good reason
  • Pretty cool natural landmark, have to come back in the summer to check it out. Great view from here.
  • A decent change of scenery to stop at if you are in the area, although not really worth a trip out from Calgary if you aren't doing anything else. It is a historic artifact of sorts, and has Blackfoot pictographs on the rock, so as posted, people should stay off the rock. I notice alot of people climbing it, which damages or completely destroys the pictographs, and chips it. Humans are idiots.

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