Horseshoe Canyon
A vaguely horseshoe-shaped trench in the badlands near Drumheller

Heading east for a change, we found ourselves in a completely different world - right in the middle of the prairies.
The canyon is very thin, and rarely travelled, resulting in a truly adventurous hike, involving calf-deep mud and bridge building.


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This trail ended up being quite an adventure. It is horseshoe shaped, with two long skinny arms, and a wider part connecting.
We headed down the closer arm hoping to do the whole loop, but figured we'd see where we got.
As it turned out, the canyon was mucky and at times very difficult to travel. Progress was much slower than imagined.
We made it to the back of our arm, and found that there was actually private rangeland, and a meandering stream in the wide part.
The stream crossings and route-finding took long enough that we gave up on making it back out the other arm.
We instead climbed a gully to exit the canyon, and returned to the world of the prairie above.
We were able to quickly walk along the rim of the canyon, skirting crop fields, and dipped back in to cross the touristy area at the end.
While this was a neat hike, I'd recommend doing it in fall, rather than spring.

Rachel, Karla, Lauren, and David at the touristy viewpoint.
The horseshoe canyon part heads left of camera angle.

David and Lauren head down the valley.

David and Karla hauling Lauren out of the mud as she plants both feet calf-deep

I wasn't aware of cacti in Alberta!
Our socks still appear strangely clean.
By the end the whites and pinks were a uniform brown.

Photos taken by Rachel.

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