Visiting The Amazing Canadian Badlands

A National Geographic show called Departures, introduced us to The Hoodoo’s in Drumheller, Alberta. Commonly compared to the Grand Canyon in Arizona, Alberta is home to the Canadian Badlands.

The Canadian BadlandsWe decided we must visit this amazing looking place on our cross country road trip. So, after breakfast in Saskatoon, we hit the road for Drumheller, Alberta.

Approaching the small town, most famous for its bounty of dinosaur fossils, we slowly drove down into the canyon. Such a strange feeling, driving along the flat Canadian parries, then slowly descending and watching the walls of a canyon grow around you. It was nothing like we expected. You watch these sandy canyon walls as you drive along the highway, and it opens up to an area wide enough to house a whole town. Drumheller is located at the bottom of this sandy canyon. An interesting observation, it was quite a few degrees warmer at the bottom. I was dressed for an average July day in the prairies, and I was sweating!

The trail isn’t much of a trail, and more like an area safe enough to climb and walk on. We took the path less travelled, literally. We climbed up the side, away from all the other tourists, we wanted to let Lincoln wander on his own. There are all these little caves and “hoodoos” to explore. We climbed about half way up the side of the canyon and decided to head over to where all the other tourists were.

Kiefer noticed some people were climbing a specific path that would take you straight to the top of the canyon. I could think of all kinds of reasons not to climb an almost straight up ascent along a sandy, slippery, canyon side.. with a dog tied to me. So I stayed at a safer level with Lincoln while Kiefer climbed to the top.

The history of this unique Canadian landmark is not clear. Most accredit it to a series of deltas and river flood plains extending east into a warm, shallow inland sea. The channels of the canyon were carved by melt water torrents in the wake of retreating ice sheets, 10,000 to 15,000 years ago. Today, the Red Deer River still flows through the canyon.

Drumheller is definitely a place I would like to visit again. Next time I want to visit the dinosaur museum and perhaps check out some other trails. This Alberta attraction is a must see!

Chelsea Parkinson

A Canadian travel writer and photographer, living on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. You can find me chasing waterfalls and better views. With my pooch Lincoln as my ultimate adventure sidekick, we enjoy living life, trail by trail.

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  1. onegoodlifefamily says:

    Looks neat! I’ll put it on the list for if I ever make it to Canada!

    • I’ve been to Canada but along the coast lang, hopefully someday I can reach this place to.

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