This is a map of Horseshoe Canyon.
Click on the area of the map or the photo you are interested in
and it will take you to a series of similar photos.
The links in the map above include:
The Badland Basin
This is 1/3 of the 370 degree photograph which views the Horseshoe Canyon basin from the center.
This is part of the badland basin as seen from the south viewpoint in the early morning.
This canyon looks bland and unattractive if you see it midday during the summer when
The North End (the top of the horseshoe)
This photo was taken in the Kneehills Creek valley, located at the far north end of Horseshoe Canyon (at the top of the map). It was early spring and the creek was fairly clear.
This dry land reminds me of the Australian outback. In this kind of environment, hikers really appreciate a running creek. Later in the year the creek tends to be muddy.
Below is a photo which shows how the Kneehills Creek Valley connects the two legs of Horseshoe Canyon.
This link will give you an impressive large version of this panoramic photo (210 kb).
- north end of east leg of Horseshoe Canyon
- north end of west leg of the canyon
- west viewpoint
- abandoned railway roadbed (proposed route of Trans Canada Trail)
- east viewpoint
Below is another map of Horseshoe Canyon. As you see, the network of coulees, valley, and the badland basin join each other to form a natural circle.
Some day, if access was gained and hiking paths were built, on a cool and windy day a hiker could make the entire 6 hour circuit in pleasant weather, below the prairie surface.
Hikers are welcome in the part of the badland basin that is next to the South Viewpoint. Also, a mostly gravel road will take you north to the West Viewpoint, but make sure it is a dry day because near the end there is part which can get extremely muddy. Much of the land is privatly owned, although the owners also know it is a tourist area so they are not surprised to see tourists wondering around.
The file on the east leg of the canyon describes a hike which could be about 5 - 10 kilometers, one way (I can only guess, it depends on the trail you take.). It stretches from the badland basin at the bottom of the map, down the east leg of Horseshoe Canyon (on the right), through the trees, up the hill, then across the pasture to the East Viewpoint.
The rough yellow marker which runs down the Kneehills Creek valley, (across the above map at the top) is where a railway line used to run. It was rumored in 1997 that the Trans Canada trail would be built through here on the roadbed. I'm not sure what happened. I haven't been back.
In 1999 there was a fence across the roadbed that runs along the bottom of the Kneehills Creek valley, and at the east end of the roadbed there was a sign on a fenced gate which said 'No Trespassing.' There are usually cows in this isolated valley that can be easily disturbed. The echo of a hunter's gun is the last thing the owners would want to hear.
Comments from Readers:
A guy named Rod and his friend hiked from the South Viewpoint
to the East Viewpoint in late May 2000. They stayed
down in the valley all the way there.
This is what he reported:
We hiked the eastern leg of the canyon up till the eastern veiwpoint. A little too tricky for mountain bikes, especially without any trails. Pretty cool hike, its interesting how the valley changes from badland to meadow to forest in the span of a couple of km. Makes me wonder why some parts of the same valley are so different.
The few fences we came across were in pretty poor shape. Didnt see anyone except a lonely farmer driving his tractor in the fields. Saw a deer, and the tracks of something with big paws - maybe a big cat? Hiked above the valley on the way back, we didnt feel like bushwacking any more. Took us roughly 4 hours -
Also, I got an e-mail from a woman named Norah which shows lots of real positive enthusiasm. In January of 2002 she stated:
"Horseshoe Canyon ranks up there with one of the seven wonders. And the Passion Play is an event that should be seen by all."
As well, in late 2002 I got this message from Scott:
There are now NO BIKING signs down in the canyon.
He adds: I was aiming for the east leg, as it looked in your map like it had more forest, but I really think we ended up in the west leg. Which seemed to have quite a big forest as well !? In any case, it was very nice, saw waxwings, lots of deer prints, and some abandoned porcupine quills!"
We saw the complete rear wheel/axle assembly of an old horse-cart, it looked very old, and certainly conjured up images of an old settlers cabin nestled in the canyon.
If you have comments, use this link
to send me an e-mail, so I can add them to this file.
SOUTH VIEWPOINT AND BADLAND BASIN | EAST LEG | EAST VIEWPOINT |
WEST LEG | WEST VIEWPOINT | KNEEHILLS CREEK VALLEY
back to westerntour.com Drumheller thumbnail photo gallery.
This file totaled totaled 4241 while
at Geocities from Feb. 29, 2000 to Sept. 30, 2009.
That total is included in the below counter which was started March 14, 2010: