The East Leg of Horseshoe Canyon


follow the dry creek bed  (24 kb)



After crossing the south badland basin and heading north-east, the hiker runs into a coulee of badlands.  At this point, the bottom of the coulee is only large enough for a dried out stream bed.  It temporarily provides the hiker with some easy footing.




coal in the ground - 14 kb






At one point, the layer of ground you are walking on is a layer of coal.





just a coulee - 15 kb






Further on, the coulee opens out into a plateau. Then, as you see in this photo, it becomes shallow. The hiker has an easy stroll downhill.





forest floor with little sun  17 kb


Soon you come to some trees which are so dense that very little sun makes it to the ground. As a result, the trees are dead at the bottom, the path is soft, and you can see lots of moss to the left.





trees in the canyon looking north 31 kb



From here on, there is about a 3 Km stretch of forest.   Hiking through trees is appreciated on a hot day.  If paths were built through here, they would provide a unique experience because most of the  Drumheller area is barren land.

Unfortunately, people seldom hike through here, so there are no easy paths to walk on.  The animal paths through the trees lack footing, and there are dried out branches from dead bushes which can break off and stab the hiker.  This adds some real danger to the hike.



a porcupine on the path  (22 kb)

As I made my way along the rough paths, I came to a clearing where I ran across this guy. The porcupine wouldn't move so I had to walk around on my way down the valley.



the view from the bottom of the canyon (17 kb)


Towards the far end of the canyon, this is the view I was left with. By the time I reached this point, I was very tired and decided to look for a way out.

If you plan on hiking any part of the east leg of Horseshoe canyon, use this link. It will give you three photos, a map, and a more detailed description (88 km) of what to expect and what difficulties you might encounter.





East Viewpoint in the distance 37 kb

When I saw an easy route to the top of the valley, I climbed out. It would be easier walking back across the flat prairie.   At the top, I walked across a field and found this view of my planned destination.

From this vantage point I was able to imagine how from the formation in the centre of this photo, there would be an impressive view up and down the valley .  Later, as I looked at a map, I noticed that the west leg of Horseshoe Canyon had a similar land formation. This looked like another viewpoint. At that point, as I sat in my little bedroom, in the middle of the city, late at night, in my PJ's, I realized that I had probably "DISCOVERED" (?) a tourist attraction while looking at a map. [But now, ten years later, I am aware that very few tourists are interested. There are a lot of hills in the Drumheller valley, and most of them are much easier to get to.]




back to map of area with links (7 KB)

to map with links


Tour of the Entire Canyon

Eastern Tour: from South Viewpoint to East Viewpoint.


Western Tour: from the West Canyon to the North Valley.




back to Drumheller thumbnail photo gallery.

Posted since February 29, 2000;
was at until Sept. 30, 2009.