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Hoodoos of Drumheller Valley

This icon of the Alberta badlands is among the most photographed sites in Canada


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Drumheller Valley is located 135 km northeast of Calgary. It is considered to be the best badlands area in Canada, with its famous hiking trails and the peculiar mushroom-shaped hoodoos composed of sand and clay from the Horseshoe Canyon Formation. Being an origin of local legends, the hoodoos attracted many photographers to the area. Native American tales say that these rocks are petrified giants, who can come alive to scare off intruders by throwing stones at them.

While they may look supernatural, the formations have been formed by wind and water over millions of years. Hard rock caps on that top protect the soft sandstone "chimneys" from harsh weather and destruction. Climbing the hoodoos is not permitted since they are rather fragile. The best time to hike in the Drumheller Valley is from late June to early September, as it is very seasonal and some parts of the reserve could be closed for the rest of the year.

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