Dinosaur lovers make treks to Drumheller to see the Royal TyrrellMuseum of Paleontology. The world’s largest exhibit of complete dinosaur skeletons will take you on a journey through time from the days of single-celled plants in the sea. Experience 4.5 billion years of the earth’s history through skeletons, fossils, hands-on displays and computer simulations.
The city (incoporated in 1930) was named for Samuel Drumheller (1864-1925) who arrived in the area in 1910 and developed the townsite. The ara boomed when the Candian Northern Railway arrived in 1912.
Drumheller is located 138 km northeast of Calgary, and is the gateway to the badlands of the Red Deer River Valley. The Valley’s deep gorges are like the Grand Canyon’s (but smaller) caused by a glacial meltdown at the end of the last Ice Age. Large numbers of prehistoric fossils are exposed for discovery. the product of glacial activity during the last ice age. The town gets an average 2,490 hours of sunshine a year, making it feel like a desert in the summertime.
Two popular drives in the Drumheller Valley are Dinosaur Trail and Hoodoo Drive. Dinosaur Trail takes you west of Drumheller to Midland Provincial Park and the Valley of the Dinosaurs.
The Hoodoo Drive takes you past 25 kilometres of badlands terrain southeast of Drumheller,
into the small Alberta coal mining communities that were in their heyday at the start of this century.
Here are the top attractions in & around Drumheller. Items marked * are free.
Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site
24 km east along the Hoodoo Trail (Hwy 10)
Just east of East Coulee, this mine is one of the last in North America with surface-standing tipple. It was operated from 1926 to 1979 and is now a Provincial and National Historic Site. Summer Hours: May and June – 9:30am to 5:30pm, daily; July and August – 9:30am to 8:30pm, daily. Winter Hours: September to October 8 – 10:00 am to 5:00pm, daily; October 10 to April 30 – CLOSED (except by appointment). Admission.
Badlands Historical Centre
1st Street East, Drumheller
The private collection of pioneer L.A. Duncan, includes fossils and Indian artifacts from the around the Red Deer River valley. Open daily in the summer months from 10 am to 6 pm.
Badlands Passion Play
605 17 St SW, Drumheller, AB T0J 0Y0
(403) 823-7750 or 1-888-823-2001
The Canadian Badlands Passion Play is a popular annual event which portrays the life of Christ. The play takes place in a natural outdoor amphitheatre in June and July of every odd-numbered year. The Passion Play is 3 hours long, including a twenty-minute intermission. Doors open one hour prior to show time.
Drive about 15 miles northwest of town on Highway 838
One of only five cable ferries left in Alberta, and the last of 13 that once crossed the Red Deer River. Established in 1913.
Dinosaur Provincial Park
17 km SW of Drumheller on Hwy. 9
See spectacular badlands, Interpretive Centre, native teepee, prairie wild flowers. See a dinosaur fossil replica. Shuttle tours offered (no pets, no strollers, no food allowed). Camping. Open daily in summer. Hours vary. Admission Free
East Coulee School Museum
P.O.Box 539, East Coulee, Alberta, T0J 1B0
(From Drumheller, take Highway 10 south through Rosedale, and just past the East Coulee Motor Inn)
403-822-3970 fax: 403-822-2111
The East Coulee School Museum shows you what life was like for the children and families of the first coal miners in the Drumheller Valley. Open Effective Oct. 1, 2008 – May 13, 2009 Mon-Fre 10 am to 5pm,and Victoria Day to Labour Day also open weekends 10 am to 6 pm.
Homestead Antique Museum
901 North Dinosaur Trail (on way to the Tyrrell Museum)
The Homestead Museum features a collection of early Canadiana including a two-headed calf and an antique steam engine.
Open from May 1st to the second Monday in October (Canadian Thanksgiving Day) 10am to 5pm, daily. Victoria Day to Labour Day also open evenings to 8pm from Thursday – Sunday. Admission.
As the road from Calgary makes a sharp right towards Drumheller, this canyon appears from nowhere. Named for the canyon’s horseshoe shape, it gives viewers a spectacular introduction to Drumheller’s badlands. If you drove past it on the way in, DO stop by on the way home.
This canyon gives a breathtaking view of Drumheller’s badlands, north of the Tyrell Museum and Drumheller, on Highway 838. It is named for the ease of hiding for horse thieves in the early 1900s.
Homestead Antique Museum
901 North Dinosaur Trail, Drumheller
(on way to the Tyrell Museum)
Pioneer artifacts include Indian relics, farm implements, musical instruments, fashions, antique cars and military items (plus a rare stuffed two-headed calf). Open May 1st to second Monday in October (Canadian Thanksgiving Day) each year from 10am to 5pm. daily. From Victoria Day to Labour Day, open evenings to 8pm from Thursday – Sunday.
Named for the vertical formations of sandstone that survived wind and water erosion, this is a 25 km (15 mile) stretch of Highway 10, southeast of Drumheller.
1222 Hwy. 9 S, Drumheller
Home to over 150 reptiles, some of the rarest animals in North America. Many exhibits available give visitors a “hands-on” experience. Open year-round. Admission fee.
Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology
1500 N Dinosaur Trail, Drumheller, AB T0J 0Y0
(6 km NW of Drumheller on the North Dinosaur Trail)
(403) 823-7707 Fax: (403) 823-7131 Toll Free: 1-888-440-4240
The world’s largest exhibit of complete dinosaur skeletons collected from the badlands around town.
Experience 4.5 billion years of the earth’s history through hands-on displays, computer simulations,
skeletons and fossils.Take a stroll through a prehistoric garden, watch a video, listen to an audio guide, try your hand at an interactive display and watch museum technicians preparing fossils. An acclaimed research facility where a team of scientists study all forms of ancient life. Hours/seasons: Summer May 20 – September 4, 2006 9:00am – 9:00pm daily Fall : September 5 – October 9, 2006 10:00am – 5:00pm daily Allow 3 hours. Admissio.7.
Rosedale Suspension Bridge*
This 1931 bridge was used by the workers in the Star Mine to cross the Red River. Until then, since the mine’s opening in 1914, men and ore had to cross on a cable & sling.
Rosebud Dinner and Theatre
106 Martin Avenue, Rosebud, AB T0J 2T0
In the nearby pretty town of Rosebud, on highway 840 between Drumheller and Calgary, this dinner theatre on the town’s main street, has been serving up good performances for years.
East Coulee School Museum & Cultural Centre
359 2 Ave, East Coulee, AB T0J 1B0
This historic site in East Coulee, a once-booming coal mining town, includes a tea room, a restored school room, and antique mining equipment. Open May to September.
Valley Doll Museum
84 3 Ave W, Drumheller, AB T0J 0Y0
(In the Valley Plaza Shopping Centre on 3rd Avenue West, Drumheller)
The Valley Doll Museum & Gifts features over 700 dolls in 130 historic scenes. Summer hours: Monday – Saturday, 10am – 7pm and Sunday, noon – 5pm; Winter hours: Monday – Thursday, 10am – 5pm and Sunday, noon – 5pm.
World’s Smallest Church*
One kilometre west of the Tyrell Museum
This church, capable of seating six people, is the perfect place to get married when you don’t want to invite the in-laws.