Drumheller

Overview

Introduction

About 75 mi/120 km northeast of Calgary and two hours away by car, Drumheller is one of the hubs of Alberta's "dinosaur country," renowned for the large number of prehistoric reptile bones found there. From Drumheller, you can take the Dinosaur Trail, a 30-mi/50-km scenic route that circles through the badland terrain in the Red Deer River Valley.

Along the way, stop at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, a must-see for anyone interested in prehistoric beasts and an interesting experience for everyone else.

At the trail's halfway point, you can cross the Red Deer River on the Bleriot Ferry, one of the few remaining cabled ferries in North America. The route also runs near Midland Provincial Park, where travelers seeking a little exercise will want to take a walking trail to the site of the former Midland Coal Mine.

Hoodoos—massive toadstool-like pillars of stone formed by erosion—can be seen southeast of Drumheller, along Highway 10. Despite the fact that they've survived several millennia, the hoodoos can crumble easily: Climbing on them is prohibited. They can also be seen in several other locations in Alberta.

Though it's a bit of a drive, dino fanatics will want to visit Dinosaur Provincial Park, 70 mi/110 km southeast of Drumheller (near the town of Brooks). At the field station, you can view a collection of fossilized dinosaur bones that were unearthed in the area and watch paleontologists meticulously preparing the fossils for research. Bus tours that delve into the park's hilly terrain are available.

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