Discover hoodoo rock formations and dinosaur fossils in the Canadian Badlands of Alberta. On this day trip by coach from Calgary, travel through the lunar landscapes of Drumheller, known as the Dinosaur Capital of the World, and visit Horseshoe Canyon. Walk a pedestrian suspension bridge built for coal miners, and learn about the region’s unusual geology from a guide. At the world-class Royal Tyrrell Museum, chat with scientists about how fossils are collected and assembled, and even stumble upon a few dino bones on a guided trail.
Meet your guide and board your air-conditioned coach near Calgary Tower for your day trip to the Canadian Badlands of Alberta. Traveling east, take in views of expansive golden prairies before the landscape shifts to Drumheller’s striated hills and hoodoo rock formations.
Forming over millions of years, these fragile sandstone pillars capped with large stones stand anywhere from 16 to 23 feet (5 to 7 meters) tall. Find out from your guide about where the name ‘hoodoo’ comes from, and which indigenous tribes regard them as petrified giants that attack intruders at night.
Disembark for views of Horseshoe Canyon, one of Drumheller’s most popular sights, and learn about its geology, history, and native plants and animals at the Interpretative Centre.
Next, head to the town of Drumheller, aka Dinosaur Capital of the World, and visit Royal Tyrrell Museum, home to 130,000 fossils of more than 300 different species, many of them dinosaurs. Weave through impressive exhibits and watch scientists assemble a raptor skeleton. You’ll receive a behind-the-scenes look at what happens to fossils after they’re unearthed from the nearby UNESCO World Heritage site of Dinosaur Provincial Park.
Want to find fossils yourself? Try the museum’s Dinosite tour (own expense), a guided 2-mile (3-km) walk on hilly terrain through the badlands, where you’ll spot dinosaur bones in the ground and learn about ancient Alberta.
After time for lunch (own expense) at the museum, leave Drumheller and head to the Atlas Coal Mine for a guided tour of Canada’s most complete historic coal mine. Home to the country’s last standing wooden coal tipple, this national site gives insight into the dirty, and sometimes deadly, work of coal miners before returning to Calgary.
Optional Dinosite Tour at Royal Tyrrell Museum (USD 10 per person, paid directly)
Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 1 day of travel. In this case confirmation will be received as soon as possible, subject to availability