Train Tales and Dinosaurs Trails

This four-day circle tour from Oyen travels through the Special Areas to the Drumheller Valley and Dinosaur Provincial Park. Explore rail history in Hanna and Acadia Valley, dinosaur fossils at the Royal Tyrrell Museum, coal mining at the Atlas Coal Mine and badlands and hoodoos at Dinosaur Provincial Park. Take in rodeos and festivals as time allows and shop for local arts and crafts.

Be sure to look up driving times before you depart. A full list of visitor centers as well as contact information for attractions on this tour can be found by downloading the tour document.

The Canadian Badlands Touring Routes aim to follow good secondary highways and occasionally, offer gravel-road alternatives. Please drive carefully and respect private property. Every effort has been made to ensure accurate information at the time of publication. You are advised to conduct further research in advance. We are unable to accept responsibility for any inconvenience, loss or injury sustained as a result of anyone relying upon this information.

Tour Route

1. Day One highlights | Oyen to Hanna & Drumheller

Travel through the Special Areas from Oyen to Hanna. Step back in time at the Hanna Pioneer Village and Michichi Store before continuing to the Drumheller Valley via the Hand Hills. The Hand Hills are home to one of the best and oldest rodeos in the region.

2. Day Two highlights | Drumheller to Brooks

Journey through the Drumheller Valley’s coal mining heritage, then tip back your cowboy hat and drive across the open range to Brooks. Watch for signs of the 140 mines that operated in the valley: red slag heaps, broken timbers, iron rails, and battered coal cars and even hold on and sway your way across the Rosedale Suspension bridge that crosses the Red Deer River. The East Coulee School Museum and Atlas Coal Mine are also nearby.

3. Day Three highlights | Brooks to Dinosaur Provincial Park

Dinosaur Provincial Park is a fossil park on a huge scale.  Not just anybody can go hiking around there as not too many of us know a bone from a rock.  Take a bus tour and discover the difference, see hoodoos and actually get into the topography. Create memories forever under the open Alberta sky.

4. Day Four highlights | Brooks to Empress & Oyen

Return to the Special Areas, this time traveling the southern route that follows the old Royal Line railway. Watch for pronghorn while you make your way to Empress, an artisan community tucked along the shores of the Red Deer River. A well timed trip ensures you the adventure of a life-time at Oyen’s annual Bull-A-Rama. Also, be sure to tour the Acadia Valley Prairie Elevator, a fully restored mark of Alberta’s Farming heritage. Enjoy the café and gift shop.

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