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Adventure Awaits: Hiking Trails to Experience Drumheller Hoodoos up Close

Captivating view from atop the Hoodoos in Drumheller, Alberta, Canada travel hiking dinosaurs history geology world
Captivating view from atop the Hoodoos in Drumheller, Alberta

If you haven't been to Drumheller, Alberta yet, you don't know what you're missing! As you approach this marvel of erosion and geography, the landscape rapidly changes from prairies to valleys, coulees, rills, and hoodoos. They're a must-see for any avid traveler!

Fun Fact: Sage is native to Drumheller and grows all along the valleys and coulees.

Drumheller may be the "Dinosaur Capital of the World", but there is more to experience in this small town nestled in the Badlands of Alberta, which has something for even the less dinosaur-inclined person.

Climbing the Hoodoos, which are tall, thin spires of rock formed by erosion, it's difficult to imagine that seventy-five million years ago this area was a subtropical paradise adorned with giant ferns and towering redwoods. There is an amazing diversity of animals and plants among the vast layers of multi-hued sedimentary rock.

Here are the Top 5 Things to Do in Drumheller:

1. The Suspension Bridge

Unfortunately, the bridge was closed when we arrived. And although we weren't able to walk out onto it this visit, we still stopped by to admire the craftsmanship and history.

The suspension bridge was built in 1931, spanning 117 meters along the Red Deer River in Rosedale. It was used to allow miners on the north side of the river to get to the Rosedale community without the use of rowboats. The bridge was reconstructed in 1958 after a mudslide destroyed the mine and bridge in 1957.

I have ancestors from Drumheller, so this area has significant history for me. My grandfather even worked in the mines as a child! Some of my past family members are resting in the cemetery that we drove by as we entered town. Although we didn't stop this trip to visit them, I have walked along the cemetery to find their headstones in the past.

2. The Drumheller Hoodoos

Located on Highway 10, Hoodoo Trail offers a beautiful hiking experience along the tall, thin spires of eroded rock. Not only are the rocks and formations beautiful to look at as you climb the winding trails, but the view from the top is incredible. As you look out among the layers of sedimentary rock and contemplate the vastness and the miracle of the erosion that took place over millions of years, it is humbling and impressive. The process really is a fascinating miracle and an astonishing feat, reminding us of how remarkable this planet truly is.

Hoodoo Drumheller Alberta Badlands rock formation erosion geology dinosaurs travel bucket list

3. Cactus Coulee Fun Park

Continuing Northwest down Highway 838 past the Royal Tyrell Museum, you'll find Cactus Coulee Fun Park. I remember going here as a kid, and I love that now I can take my kids here as well.

Cactus Coulee Fun Park Drumheller Alberta go karts bungy mini golf family fun

We started off our visit with the Go Karts. My daughter, who is eleven years old, didn't want to ride alone so she came with me... a decision she may have regretted after we lapped her brother and a lot of Talladega Nights: Ballad of Ricky Bobby quotes were thrown around. She was too scared to take photos or video, and just held on tight for the entire ride. Her older brother got to take the Tomcat kart which goes a little faster than the Bobcat. We cautiously passed a kart that went off-track, but everyone was safe and had a lot of fun! They offer options of 10 or 20 minute drives. We only went for 10 minutes, but that was the perfect amount of time.

go karts drumheller cactus coulee fun park family fun

After the Go Karts, we wanted to try the EuroBungy, but with the thunderstorm warnings in effect that day it was shut down. So we played a round of mini golf at their adorable 9 hole, par 3 course.

I definitely recommend stopping by. The park is fun for all ages and is reasonably priced. Check out their website for more information:

4. The World's Largest Dinosaur

Drumheller is home to the World's Largest Dinosaur at the visitor information center. After climbing 106 stairs to the top, we stepped out into Tyra's mouth and got one of the best views in Drumheller. She's 86 ft (25 meters) tall and about 4.5 times bigger than a real T-Rex. If you're afraid of heights, it can be a nerve-wracking experience, but definitely worth it. And when else will you get to say you were inside a T-Rex's mouth?!

View from inside mouth of world's largest dinosaur drumheller alberta hoodoos travel alberta family fun things to do as a family

After our descent, we went into the information center where they have pamphlets and information about many destinations in Alberta, including maps, guided tours, attractions, and much more.

Next, we made our way across the street to the Fossil Shop where we found some incredible souvenirs, including a couple of mood rings and a glow-in-the-dark necklace with a golden scorpion embedded inside a gem. Definitely stop in and take a look at all the treasures and gifts! The staff there are amazing as well and so friendly!

5. Royal Tyrrell Museum

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Of course a trip to Drumheller wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Royal Tyrrell Museum!

It is the only museum in Canada exclusively dedicated to the study of ancient life. It is more than just displays of dinosaurs. The museum offers several immersive, creative, and fun experiences and programs.

Opened in 1985, the museum displays one of the world's largest displays of dinosaurs.

Travel Through Time

Drumheller may be best known for its dinosaurs, which is all the more evident as you go through town, travel down Dinosaur Trail, and find artistic dino statues on every street corner. But the town has a rich history outside of paleontology. With so much to discover about mining and geology as well, Drumheller is sure to please not only the dino-enthusiast, but every member of the family!

Fun Fact:

Did you know that most of the scenes from Ghostbusters Afterlife were filmed in Drumheller? (subscribe to my blog to receive notifications on upcoming posts!)

Click here to book your visit to Drumheller, including transportation from Calgary:

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