Alberta’s Drumheller – from dinosaurs to hoodoos

I made many trips to my neighbouring province, Alberta. It wasn’t that it was the most exciting province, although there were a few unique sites, but my daughter lived in Calgary for over a decade.

Horsethief Canyon, close to Drumheller
Horsethief Canyon, close to Drumheller

One of the first places I was keen to explore was Drumheller, 135 kilometres north-east of Calgary. The drive was dead straight ahead with hardly a rise or dip along the highway. As we drove closer, I kept asking myself, where’s Drumheller? The sign said five kilometres, then one kilometre ahead, but still we couldn’t see the town until we actually entered because it was hidden in an oversized gully.

Dinosaur fossils were a common find around Drumheller so the Royal Tyrrell Museum was packed with displays to die for if you’re a dinosaur fanatic. Dinosaurs have never grabbed my attention, so we waltzed through the exhibits at record speed.

Drumheller hoodoos
Drumheller hoodoos

What did hold my fascination on that cold and windy visit, was the landscape, appropriately named, the Badlands. Horsethief Canyon revealed low hills, barren and lined with layers of exposed erosion. But by far the most amazing sight after crossing a suspension bridge over Red Deer River, was the hoodoos. These natural structures were formed by mainly wind erosion to leave these towering giants.

Drumheller hoodoo
Drumheller hoodoo

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