Alberta’s Badlands


Horseshoe Canyon.


We went camping for a few days in Alberta’s Badlands in June, it was our third visit, but the first camping trip to the area.


“Horseshoe Canyon is a region of badlands surrounded by prairie in the province of Alberta, Canada. It is located about 17 km west of Drumheller, Alberta, along Highway 9.”

“The canyon gets its name from its horseshoe shape, defined by two coulees the flow into the Kneehill Creek, a tributary of the Red Deer River. The canyon’s two arms are approximately 5 km long each, extending from Highway 9 to Kneehill Creek, at two former mining communities of Dunphy and Gatine. In turn, it gives the name to the Horseshoe Canyon Formation.”- Wikipedia.


To get an idea of the scale of Horseshoe Canyon, please click on the photo and you can see hiking trails at the bottom.

Please click here for a larger view.


Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park.

Me at Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park.

DSC_0782There is a road going down to the river at Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Parkbut we did not want to go down there with the camper.

The park is the site of an ancient buffalo jump, where Cree native people drove bison over the cliffs in large numbers to provide for their tribes. The hills also contain unique flora and fauna that are not found this far east of the Rocky Mountains in as large numbers as at Dry Island. The park contains the most important Albertosaurus bone bed in the world, which was first discovered by Barnum Brown in 1910 and rediscovered by Dr. Phil Currie in 1997.” – Wikipedia


We had a look at Tolman East Provincial Park, but we didn’t camp there.


Tolman East Provincial Park.

The day we arrived in the area was very hot with no clouds and little shade. I had my misgivings about the trip, even the dogs were very hot.


We camped one night at Tolman West Campground, which is in Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park.

DSC_8212Tolman West Campground


The dogs enjoyed a swim in the Red Deer River at Tolman West Campground


Tolman West Campground


Tolman West Campground.


Tolman West Campground.


Tolman West Campground


Tolman West Campground


Tolman West Campground


Tolman West Campground


Tolman West Campground


Tolman West Campground

“Badlands are a type of dry terrain where softer sedimentary rocks and clay-rich soils have been extensively eroded by wind and water.[1] They are characterized by steep slopes, minimal vegetation, lack of a substantial regolith, and high drainage density.[2] They can resemble malpaís, a terrain of volcanic rock. Canyons, ravines, gullies, buttes, mesas, hoodoos and other such geological forms are common in badlands. They are often difficult to navigate by foot. Badlands often have a spectacular color display that alternates from dark black/blue coal stria to bright clays to red scoria.” – Wikipedia

Bleriot Ferry. Horse Thief Canyon. Drumheller and more coming soon.

Dinosaur Trail – Drumheller – Hiking Alberta

Canadian badlands

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Badlands 2007


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Badlands 2007


Our son and I, July 1999. Nikon 35 m.m. ©


Me, The Royal Tyrell museum, July 1999, 35 m.m. ©


  1. What a contrast to your other campsites! Like the Wild West in the movies. Amazing to think that the place was teaming with dinosaurs at some time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You can say that again 😉 Even though we have been there before, the campgrounds especially took some adjustment. I must have a look at how many movies were filmed there.
      We visited Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller last in 1999, it is a world class Dinosaur museum, unfortunately with the dogs, we couldn’t visit it again.


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