Thursday, May 23, 2019

Horsethief Canyon May 23, 2019

When the opportunity was presented to explore down in Horsethief Canyon in Drumheller with others, I jumped on board.  I have been down there twice but on my own and not keen to go in deep.  I followed the forecast for a few days and it remained the same so I went prepared for desert-like degrees.  That's exactly what we got hot, hot, hot!  We arrived at the rim of Horsethief Canyon and quickly got our gear gathered then began some badlands business.     
It has been dry down here the past number of days so the slopes were not slick which meant no slipping and sliding.  First it was steep to one lower level, then more gradual to the next. There were grassy sections to saunter through.   
 On the lower level we caught a glimpse of the Red Deer River.
 We worked our way around the badlands staying focused on the business of reaching the bottom.
 We reached the bottom and then grass whacked our way along. 
Now I was beginning to see sights I had not seen before.  
We hiked further along, aiming for the fence.
Then we took a sharp left and made our way to the river's edge.
There was no trail but that didn't matter.  We hiked, bushwhacked, and crossed wet creek beds for a kilometre or so.  It was pleasant down here with a bit of a cool breeze off the water.  It was approaching dining time so we were all in agreement to summit something that had a view and where we could settled down and savour some time.
But first we had to leave the river behind.  
You can see my friends on the left coming through the tall shrubs.
We climbed up high onto a  big bump.  This was my lunch time view.  On the very far left off in the distance I could see the Bleriot Ferry.  It's a cable ferry that crosses the Red Deer River linking two sections of the North Dinosaur Trail.  It is so dry down in Drumheller, yet the grass is very green.    
This is my destination shot taken after lunch with the view that was to my back while dining.  
We climbed up the backside to our dining spot then scrambled down the front side after lunch.  
This desert is full of interesting sights.  We saw what looked like hoodoo balancing acts.  There were raggedy stumps that looked dead but were well and alive.  We saw an obvious location where shooting practice took place.  Of course, what is being in Drumheller without seeing fossils.  Some of my friends are geologists and they explained the ins & outs of the rock formations.  Soon this cactus should sport pretty blooms.
We explored on the way back.  We ascended some ridges that were user friendly to hike along and to get down the other side and then there was one where we came to a dead end drop off.   We did an about face and worked our way back down the way we went up and realized now we would need to follow the bottom and ascend in the vicinity where we descended a few hours prior.  The route we took was pretty with vibrant colors.
 sights as we meandered along the bottom 
 my friends finding the way
What goes down must come up!  In the blistering heat of the sun, I put my head down, watched my footing and just got the job down of getting back up onto the Rim of Horsethief Canyon.

This was such a fun day shared with others who enjoy this bad ass stuff just as much as me!   


  1. The desert is always amazing. I remember I visited the Grand Canyon and the Sahara Desert: wonderful experiences.

  2. Another fabulous day in your great outdoors, albeit different terrain.


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