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Drumheller is on the Dinosaur Trail, a 48km loop that runs northwest from town and includes Hwys 837 and 838. The scenery is stunning and worth the drive – badlands and river views await you at every turn.

The loop takes you past Midland Provincial Park (no camping), where you can take a self-guided hike, and the past the vast Horsethief Canyon and its picturesque views. Glide peacefully across the Red Deer River on the free, cable-operated Bleriot Ferry, which has been running since 1913; watch for beavers, who have a dam here. This area is also frequented by moose, lynx and cougars. On the west side of the valley, pause at Orkney Viewpoint, which overlooks the area's impressive canyons.

The 25km Hoodoo Drive starts about 18km southeast of Drumheller on Hwy 10; the route is usually done as an out-and-back with Wayne as the turnaround point. Along this drive you'll find the best examples of hoodoos – weird, eroded, mushroom-like columns of sandstone rock – between Rosedale and Lehigh; there's also an interpretive trail.

This area was once the site of a prosperous coal-mining community; the historic Atlas Coal Mine and East Coulee School Museum are both worth a stop. Take the side trip on Hwy 10X (which includes 11 bridges within 6km) from Rosedale to the small community of Wayne (population 27) with its famous and supposedly haunted saloon.