Things to do in Drumheller - 5 (mostly free) activities
Just an hour and a half north east of Calgary, nestled into the Canadian Badlands you will find the Dinosaur Capital of the World. You read that right. And as you might imagine, dinosaurs are very well represented in this city.
The badlands are characterized by an arid, rocky landscape. The rock formations and sedimentary layers are visually stunning and seem to go on forever. The rugged formations got their unique shape and layers by the silt left behind from melted glaciers thousands of years ago. the region has a desert-like, wild west kind of feel, although the badlands are not considered desert.
Dinosaurs once roamed the badlands and it is now famous for the number of fossils, gorgeous canyons and aforementioned badland rock formations that can be found in this condensed area.
The opposite of the Rocky Mountains, It's a great day trip if you're looking to do something different and get out of the city for the day or overnight.
Five fun things that you can do while you're here:
1. Walking the Badlands
We visited Midland provincial park for a walk around the trails that weave through the badlands. The landscape is so different than anything else I've seen and at points on the walk, it reminded me of formations that you would find on another planet. The area was once the site of the Midland Coal Mine. Today Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology is located in the park.
2. Visit the Tyrell Royal Museum of Palaeontology
The reason why so many people flock to Drumheller is to check out the famed Dinosaur museum. One visit and you will see why the museum is such a draw. The exabits are incredible and informative. You really could spend a good half day wandering though at your leisure to take in everything this spectacular place has to offer.
3. Downtown Drumheller
Drumheller has a cute downtown main street that is charming and laid back. There are al fresco cafes, gift stores, an antique shop to name a few and is a short walk from the next thing to do...
4. The Info Centre and World's Largest Dinosaur - Get a slushie from the slushie stand near the aquatic centre and head up, up into the world's largest dinosaur. Once up in the mouth of the tyrannosaurus rex, you'll have a great view of the town and surrounding areas below. It's $4 to enter and there are a lot of stairs to go up before your reach the mouth of the dinosaur, which is also the viewing platform so wear comfy runners and don't forget your camera.
5. Drumheller's Little Church - comfortably seats...wait for it...6 people at a time! I've got a thing for tiny churches and this is one of the cutest ones that I've ever seen (along with LLandysilio - St Tysilio's Church on Anglesey in Wales).
Drumheller's little church was built in 1958 not as a tourist destination, but as an actual place of worship.
It doesn't appear that there are regular church services that take place here, however there are weddings. When we visited, there was a notice to advise the public that a wedding would be taking place later on that afternoon.
The little church is free to visit and we were surprised to find that the door was unlocked allowing you could enter the tiny building to have a look around. All in all, it is a very cool place to visit.
An honourable mention for an attraction that is close to Drumheller, but not actually in the city goes out to:
Horseshoe Canyon - Before you get to Drumheller from Calgary, you can stop for a stretch and a walk around the Canyon. Entry is $2 per car and it's worth it to check out the view and snap a couple of photos. If you're up for it, you can walk the trails that lead down and along the canyon floor. Bring a picnic and stay a while or do a fasty-fast visit to the observation decks for a peek of the canyon and some photo ops.
We overnighted in Drumheller, but with it being so close to Calgary, this itinerary is very doable as a day trip if you leave early.
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