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This Road Trip In Alberta Includes Dinosaurs, A Towering Hoodoo & Prehistoric Glacial Valley

It's 228 kilometres and it looks epic!

Western Canada Editor
A woman walking down a walking staircase at Horseshoe Canyon. Right: A sunset view of the Alberta Badlands near Drumheller.

A woman walking down a walking staircase at Horseshoe Canyon. Right: A sunset view of the Alberta Badlands near Drumheller.

If you're looking for an epic road trip in Canada this summer, but you want to avoid the Icefields Parkway, there's another route in Alberta with stunning views.

This 228 kilometres drive across the Canadian Badlands includes the Dinosaur Trail and the Hoodoo Trail. It gives you amazing views and allows you to roam around the places where dinosaurs once lived in Canada.

In fact, in a recent study by Kijiji Autos, the Dinosaur Trail was ranked in the second best road trip in all of Canada. This was based on a combination of Google search volume and Instagram hashtag data.

How do you get there?

Head north of Calgary on Highway 2 and then go east along Highway 72, which turns into Highway 9 towards Drumheller.

Just before you reach Drumheller though, you'll pass Horseshoe Canyon which is a must-do stop-off point. There is a scenic wooden staircase and viewing platform looking over the canyon.

Once you reach Drumheller, the World's Largest Dinosaur can be found at the town's visitor information centre — and you can even go inside its jaws!

The dinosaur, nicknamed Tyra, is 4.5 times larger than a real T-Rex at 25 metres tall.

Next, head north on Highway 838 through Midland Provincial Park towards the Royal Tyrrell Museum, which is dedicated to dinosaurs and palaeontology. It even has skeletons of animals from the Jurassic period.

Keep driving north on Highway 838 to Horsethief Canyon for a stunning view of the valley below. After this, drive across the Red Deer River, using the Bleriot Ferry, and then drive south in the opposite direction but on the other side of the river.

Keep driving south until you reach the Hoodoo Trail on Highway 10, where you can drive to the protected hoodoos site full of impressive rock structures.

Next stop is the Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site — the southern-most stop of the journey — where you can climb inside the last wooden tipple in Canada.

On your way back north, the final stop of the road trip is a left turn along Highway 10X to the historic Last Chance Saloon, where you can have food, a drink to celebrate your trip, and listen to music on a vintage jukebox.

Enjoy your travels!

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