Drumheller Badlands

October 16, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Early October in Alberta and on the southern prairies scattered yellow aspen signalled autumn under a blue sky. I had never been to the badlands - the eroded sandstone valley of the Red Deer River famous for its dinosaur fossils and hoodoos. We set out from Calgary and travelled across the sweeping, undulating prairies lands towards Drumheller and Midland Provincial Park, one of the core badland areas. Approaching from the west, we drove a short distance close to the river before crossing to the other side - not on a bridge, but using a cable ferry that is probably one of the world's shortest.

Crossing the Red Deer RiverCrossing the Red Deer RiverI think this is the shortest ferry ride I have ever taken. The park was our next stop. With time limited by infant Abigail's needs we decided to walk the park trail rather than visit the museum on this occasion. I chose not to hunt for fossils; rather I focussed on the spectacular scenery and semi-desert plant life. 

Midland BadlandsMidland Badlands

Shades of yellow to brown dominate the landscape as in the above photo. I was surprised to see cactus so far north as well as several late blooming flowers.

Northern CactusNorthern CactusOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA More hilly landscape with rock strata and erosion lines clearly visible along with minimal vegetation. 

Midland BadlandsMidland Badlands

As we completed our walk, a small cloud moved over one of the outcrops, which gave it the appearance of an active volcano. Sometimes in photography you get lucky.

Midland BadlandsMidland Badlands

To see a wider selection, including several images of Drumheller, check out the slideshow:


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