Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Horsethief & Horseshoe Canyons Drumheller April 17, 2019

I had ideas in my mind on how to pass Wednesday's hours.  When today rolled around and I rolled out of bed it was clear to me that Drumheller would be the place to venture to.  The weather forecast said go there today.  It had been sunny and nice the past few days so there would be no slipping and sliding while hiking down into and up out of Horsethief and Horseshoe Canyons.      

Horsethief Canyon
I opted to hike throughout Horsethief Canyon first.  I had been once before but did not go very far. This time I wanted to tack on a hike out to the edge of the Red Deer River from the canyon bottom.  It was quiet here today and I knew it would be being a mid week day in April.  I could see a couple or two off in the distance on the tops of the formations.  When all was said and done at Horsethief Canyon, I had completed a big loop.

sign at the Parking Lot 
looking down into the Canyon before making my way down 
I hiked down and then hiked a very very quick up to capture a destination shot.
view along the way with the Red Deer River off in the distance
I found my way to the Red Deer River.
on a grassy ridge 
Crocuses were everywhere!  I was not expecting that they would be a large part of my day.  I was there for the landscape but could not resist incorporating them into my landscape photos.  It was so dry here and hot in the Canyon, yet these flowers were the healthiest I have seen.   
working my way up out of Horsethief Canyon
almost back up on the rim 
I reached the top and had a look back.
This was the route I covered.  My intentions were to go back the way I came but as it turned out I could not find my way back that way.  I kept my eye on the top where I knew the direction of the parking lot was and aimed for that.  In fact as it turned out, the return route was easier than the way I came down and much prettier.    

Badlands Trail at Museum
In between Horsethief and Horseshoe Canyons is Drumheller and the Royal Tyrrell Museum.  I had been to it a few times and that's enough, I am not a museum type of person.  This time I strolled around the one kilometer interpretive trail which I had not done before.  I shared this trail with a group of students.  Their interests seemed everywhere but where it should be.  This loop was over quickly and I moved on down the road.
museum reflecting in the pond
the views were very pretty along this little loop
at a high point on the trail looking down onto the museum

Horseshoe Canyon
I drove through Drumheller and out to Horseshoe Canyon.  Lots of work has been done to this area.  A new staircase leads down into the canyon bottom.  There are also observation decks at different levels for those that prefer not to go all the way down. 
Oh yes, the crocuses were plentiful here too!
A pathway has been put in place as you can see to the right.  There are many signs along this trail to stay on it and do not venture off.  I followed it to the end.  It did not go far enough for me but it would be plenty for others to get a good feel for this landscape.
I returned along the main trail until there was a place I could veer off.  I explored the bottom of the Canyon working my way over to the far side to where I use to enter into the canyon from.  I hiked back up to the rim along the gold trail on the left.  You can see the main trail down to the right.
I reached the top completing a loop of Horseshoe Canyon.  

It was time for a late lunch in the warmth of the desert-like sun.  
view from the fence beside my picnic table
Before I left, I walked over to the viewing deck to have one last look down into the Canyon.
After numerous hours invested in enjoying this beautiful day in this unique part of our province it was time to pack up my stuff and head on home.  Driving back to Calgary I left the badlands views behind, had prairie views on my sides and mountain views ahead.  I feel very fortunate for everything  I got to see and experience today!  

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