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Canadian Badlands Day Trip from Calgary

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Canadian Rockies, Canada
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Overview
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What's Included
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Departure & Return
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What To Expect
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Reviews

Overview

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icon9 hours  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket

Overview

Explore the wide-open Badlands of Alberta on this 8-hour coach day trip with guide from Calgary, stopping for sublime views, a dinosaur fossils museum. Experience the moon-like landscape of Drumheller, frequently called the Dinosaur Capital of the World, where you’ll see the intricate layers of Horseshoe Canyon. You’ll also visit the dinosaur exhibits at the world-class Royal Tyrell Museum, learning from scientists about the fossil discovery and collection process before taking a guided bone-hunting walk. Your trip includes museum admission and coach transport.
  • Day trip to the Canadian Badlands of Alberta from Calgary
  • See the striated formations of Horseshoe Canyon in Drumheller and visit its information center
  • Wander through the Royal Tyrrell Museum, famous for its top-notch exhibits of dinosaur fossils
  • Take a step into the past on a guided tour of the Atlas Coal Mine
  • Learn about the hoodoo rock formations making this region unique from a knowledgeable guide
  • Museum entrance fee and air-conditioned coach transport included

What's Included

Professional guide
Air-conditioned vehicle
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Optional Dinosite Tour at Royal Tyrrell Museum (USD 10 per person, paid directly when available)
Gratuities
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Departure & Return

Departure Point

Calgary Tower

Departure Time

8am

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
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What To Expect

Experience the surreal landscapes of Alberta’s Badlands during this 8-hour day trip by coach from Calgary, learning about the area’s wealth of dinosaur fossils and amazing rock formations along the way. It’s a great way to get a sense for the powerful natural forces and amazing creatures that have shaped this rugged terrain over millions of years.

Start your trip in the morning from the Calgary Tower, driving east into the gold-tinged prairies of Alberta on your way to Drumheller, a region of intricately-layered rocks and strange hoodoo (thin rock spire) columns. Over the course of millions of years, these spindly rock towers were shaped by the wind and water, growing to heights between 16 and 23 feet (5 and 7m). Hear from your guide where these strange rocks got their name, and hear stories about how the indigenous peoples of the area considered them to be petrified giants that would come to life at night to attack intruders.

Head next to Horseshoe Canyon, among the most popular attractions in Drumheller, discovering its geology, native plants and animals and history at the canyon’s Interpretative Centre. Continue your day in the town of Drumheller, known as the Dinosaur Capital of the World due to the incredible wealth of fossils found nearby.

More than 130,000 specimens that were found in the area (many of them dinosaurs) from more than 300 species can be found at the town’s Royal Tyrell Museum. Check out the museum’s incredible range of exhibits and watch as scientists work to assemble the skeleton of a raptor. At the museum you’ll also learn about the process of finding, collecting and preserving fossils unearthed from nearby Dinosaur Provincial Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Hoping to find some fossils during your trip? Take the museum’s Dinosite tour (own expense, when available), a guided 2-mile (3km) walk through the Badlands’ hilly terrain, passing fossils still in the ground and hearing about the landscape of ancient Alberta.

Take a break to have lunch (at your own expense) at the museum before leaving town for the Atlas Coal Mine, where you’ll have a chance to explore one of Canada’s most intact historic coal mines. Learn about the arduous, sometimes fatal, work of the miners and view the mine’s wooden coal tipple, the last remaining such device in all of Canada.

Make one last stop on your way back to Calgary at a scenic overlook, where you can take in impressive views of the striking hoodoos before returning to town.
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Itinerary
Pass By:  
Royal Tyrrell Museum
Admission Ticket Included
Pass By:  
Rosedale Suspension Bridge
Admission Ticket Free
Pass By:  
Horseshoe Canyon
Admission Ticket Free

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 1 day of travel. In this case confirmation will be received as soon as possible, subject to availability
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Cancellation Policy

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Learn more about cancellations.

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Traveler Photos

Reviews

4.0
star-4
21 Reviews
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1 star
Reviews by Viator travelers
star-3
We arrived the departure point on time...
yiching0807
, Jun 2018
We arrived the departure point on time only to wait for 25 minutes. Nobody contacted us from the agency so we called the agency only to found that we would have to wait for another 10 minutes for the tour guide to come. Did not visit the Hoodoos and we suspect that it's due to the late start of the day. The tour guide said almost nothing during the entire tour and is more like a driver than a tour guide. The guided tour at the Atlas Coal Mine and the Royal Tyrrell Museum are great though. Will consider tours from other agencies next time we visit Calgary.
star-5
A great and insightful tour to learn...
Marje
, Oct 2017
A great and insightful tour to learn about the Badlands, which is about a two-hour drive from downtown Calgary. The hoodoos were magical, and also included a stopover at the Atlas Mines not recommended if one is claustrophobic and/or afraid of the dark, and this tour involves a lot of walking on an incline, so wear sturdy hiking shoes. The last stop was at the impressive Royal Tyrell Museum -- worth the entire trip alone! Their dinosaur fossil collection is absolutely the best in the world not to miss to visit when you are in Calgary.
star-1
This tour was offered by Anderson...
Richard M
, Sep 2017
This tour was offered by Anderson Vacations. The driver arrived on time at the Calgary Tower. He did not introduced himself. He did not wear a name tag. We drove off to the Badlands WITHOUT any commentary stopping at Horseshoe Canyon. It was like looking at something prehistoric. Next stop was the Atlas coal mine. Our NO-NAME driver gave us the sticker for the tour and pointed over there. We were not provided any guidance as to where to meet and what would be involved in the tour. The coal mine guide was a former miner. We scaled up the hillside next to the coal conveyor. It was cardio time! We were shown how the miners lived. At the end of the tour, there was a train ride. Our group of FIVE were not told that this excursion was not part of our tour! When the train stopped, I was informed that our no-name tour guide was waiting for me. The coal mine personnel radioed ahead. As I proceeded down the hillside, I could see our NON-PROFESSIONAL tour guide drive off!!!!!! Never in all my years of travel with tour companies had I encountered such a situation. Once at the ticket area, the visibly distressed coal mine personnel tried to find the Anderson Vacations employee. After 45-60 minutes of stress, this so-called professional returned. It's all good, he stated. You just left me! There were five people on the tour. We continued to the Royal Tyrrell museum and subsequently back to Calgary. On my last day in Calgary, Anderson Vacations was called. I spoke to someone of authority, Shannon, who was given an earful of my disastrous encounter with their organization. Not only did this so-called professional guide leave me, but he also sucked on cigarettes then came into our small van as the second-hand smoke permeated the vehicle. I would recommend this tour with a professional guide, but hope that Anderson Vacations puts this tour guide clown in the unemployment line!!!!!
star-3
Good day trip to do while in Calgary...
Megan V
, Sep 2017
Good day trip to do while in Calgary. Was a bit disappointing because the driver didn't know a lot of the history to the areas we went, which a lot of my Viator tours they have. Plenty of signs to read though. Mine tour was great as an ex miner was our guide. Worth doing
star-4
A really interesting tour - everything...
Paul C
, Sep 2017
A really interesting tour - everything as advertised: Drumheller, the Atlas Coal Mine, the hoodoo rock formations and the Dinosaur museum were all well worth a visit. Compared to other tours we have taken, we were surprised at the lack of commentary on the way out of Calgary - we learned a lot at the various stops - but not much about the area as a whole. hence the 4 stars.
star-5
We tagged this day trip onto a tour we...
carnescassell
, Sep 2017
We tagged this day trip onto a tour we were taking of Western Canada. Boy we were glad we did. The trip went smoothly thanks to our guide. The coach was comfortable and the sites we visited were worth it. The highlight for us was the Tyrrell Dinosaur museum. This is a world class exhibit and not to be missed if you are in the area. The other stops were picturesque Horseshoe Canyon, HooDoos. Mine tour was interesting and instructive thanks to our guide Sean. Great day. Money well spent.
star-1
Rent a car instead! The tour...
Lisa B
, Aug 2017
Rent a car instead! The tour guide is not a tour guide, he made little to no commentary, he was just a bus driver. So you don't get any additional information, just like going there yourself. The tour says that you will have time to purchase and go on a Dinosite tour at the Tyrell Museum, that is incorrect. The Dinosite Tour starts to 2pm and the tour is 90minutes long, but you have to be on the bus by 2:40pm. Therefore you would not be on the bus in time. The Atlas Coal Mine is a very good tour - highly recommend that - but instead of getting this company to drive you there, just drive yourself. The Horseshoe Cannon and The Hoodoos, are a great site to see as well - but drive yourself so you have your own time frame of how long you want to spend there.
star-4
We really enjoyed the day out. It was...
Bruce G
, Jul 2017
We really enjoyed the day out. It was good to see a different part of Canada after a week in the Rockies.
star-5
The tour took us to Horseshoe Canyon...
ELEANOR E
, Jun 2017
The tour took us to Horseshoe Canyon, Horse Thief Canyon, Atlas Coal Mine with a tour of the site, the Drumheller Hoodoos and the Royal Tyrrell Museum. It was a great day tour - just the right number of things to see and do - remember to take your camera! I got my lunch at the museum and still had time to look at each exhibition.
star-4
Visit to Royal Tyrrell Museum was...
Richard L
, Sep 2016
Visit to Royal Tyrrell Museum was rushed as only 2 hours were available for the visit. We liked the visits to the Ajax mine museum, the Hoodoos and Horseshoe Canyon.

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