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Overview

The small city of Drumheller (population 8,000) is set in a spectacular lunarlike landscape of badlands in the Red Deer River Valley, a 1.5-hour drive northeast of Calgary. The valley is home to some of the world's richest dinosaur fossil beds and is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hundreds of specimens from the Cretaceous period have been unearthed, with one spot, Dinosaur Provincial Park (a 90-minute drive from Drumheller), the mother lode for paleontologists. The park includes a "graveyard" of more than 300 dinosaurs of 35 species, many of which have been found nowhere else in the world. The valley has more than just dinosaur ...

The small city of Drumheller (population 8,000) is set in a spectacular lunarlike landscape of badlands in the Red Deer River Valley, a 1.5-hour drive northeast of Calgary. The valley is home to some of the world's richest dinosaur fossil beds and is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hundreds of specimens from the Cretaceous period have been unearthed, with one spot, Dinosaur Provincial Park (a 90-minute drive from Drumheller), the mother lode for paleontologists. The park includes a "graveyard" of more than 300 dinosaurs of 35 species, many of which have been found nowhere else in the world. The valley has more than just dinosaur skeletons, though; paleontologists have unearthed skin impressions, eggshells, dung, and footprints, as well as fossilized insects, fish, amphibians, crocodiles, pterodactyls, and reptiles. And the valley's landforms are as enthralling as the prehistoric artifacts they entomb — spectacular badland formations make for a sight not easily forgotten.

Andrew Hempstead
About the Expert

Over the last 20 years, Andrew Hempstead has authored and updated more than 60 guidebooks for Avalon Travel, Frommer’s, Michelin, Odyssey, Dorling Kindersley, Michelin, and Sasquatch Books, including many books on Canada.

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Andrew Hempstead for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Drumheller is located in the Red Deer River Valley of East Central Alberta.
  • Language: English
  • Currency: Canadian Dollar
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer, fall, spring