Location: 17km West of Drumheller
Elevation: Hoodoos and plateaus of varying heights to climb
Length and Time: As long as you want to make it!
Difficulty: Easy – Moderate
Alberta has a huge variety of landscapes, and the Badlands are one of my all-time personal favourites. Horseshoe Canyon is on Highway 9 just before Drumheller and gets its name from its horseshoe shape defined by two coulees. The area is beautiful with places to hike, picnic, climb and even hosts helicopter tours for those who don’t shy away from heights.
The unique ecosystem is home to cacti, rattlesnakes and other organisms you may not expect to find in Alberta. There are trails you can follow or blaze your own way through the area. The different layers of sediment are clearly visible, which is why the badlands are world famous for locating fossils. You will feel like your wandering through a desert when it’s really a small area in the middle of the prairies!
Horseshoe Canyon has little to no shade and can get really hot in the summertime, so be sure to bring sun protection and lots of water. The silty soil is also insanely slippery when wet, so if rain is in the forecast be prepared for some dangerous mud or reschedule for a sunny day. Overall this area is great for everyone of all ages!