Drive Alberta's Cowboy Trail, nestled between the Rocky Mountains and the Canadian prairie, and witness the historic sites and western lifestyle. Explore the Badlands and learn about the dinosaurs that once roamed around in this part of the country.
Day 1: Edmonton to Drumheller (280 km)
Pick up your RV in Leduc in the morning and head south on Highway 2, turning onto Highway 12 at Morningside towards Stettler. Arriving in Drumheller from the north you will get an amazing introduction to the scenic landscape as you enter Midland Provincial Park. Also visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum, where they have one of the largest selections of dinosaurs on display.
To continue the scenic drive, visit Horsethief Canyon and later make sure to cross the river with the Bleriot Ferry. This five minute ferry ride is an experience in itself and the ferry has been in operation since 1913. Go past the Orkney Viewpoint and head towards the impressive Horseshoe Canyon for the night.
- Royal Tyrrell Museum
- Horsethief Canyon
- Orkney Viewpoint
Day 2: Drumheller to Dinosaur Park (170 km)
Next to the many hiking areas, Drumheller also has fun activities to do with kids. Like the World’s Largest Dinosaur or Cactus Coulee Fun Park. Be sure to explore the Hoodoos, oddly shaped rock formations carved out by erosion. A visit to Drumheller would not be complete without having crossed the 117-meter-long Star Mine Suspension Bridge.
Head south on Highway 10, where just outside of town the Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site is located. From there head west on Highway 570 and then south towards Dinosaur Provincial Park.
Nearby campsite: Dinosaur Campground
- Star Mine Suspension Bridge
- Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site
Day 3: Dinosaur Park to Writing-on-Stone Park (250 km)
Dinosaur Provincial Park is known for being one of the richest dinosaur fossil areas in the world. Like Drumheller, it has the typical and spectacular out of this world badlands look. Its habitat consisting of an endangered riverine ecosystem makes it home for numerous rare animal and plant species, and its paleontological importance made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.
Day 4: Writing-on-Stone Park to Waterton Park (210 km)
The Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park is another UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park contains an amazing concentration of rock art with over 50 petroglyph sites and thousands of works. After spending time marveling at the amazing landscape and rock art, head west on Highway 501 towards Waterton National Park.
In Waterton Lakes National Park there is a multitude of sights to be seen and excursions to be done. Views of mountain ranges, hikes to waterfalls, cruises on crystal clear lakes, abundant flora and fauna. Waterton Park has it all. Spend the day exploring all that Waterton Park has to offer.
- Battle Scene petroglyphs
- The Rock Art pictographs
- Hoodoo Trail
Day 5: Waterton Park to Kananaskis Country (330 km)
Use the morning to continue exploring Waterton Lakes National Park. Once you are ready to leave the park head north on Highway 6 and continue towards Lundbreck Falls. From here continue to Bar U Ranch National Historic Site to discover the life of a ranching cowboy from the late 1800s. Please be aware of the seasonal closure of Highway 40 between December and June.
Kananaskis Country has multiple provincial parks: Bow Valley, Peter Lougheed, Spray Valley. All have great hiking trails and beautiful views. If you don’t feel like walking yourself, try a guided horseback riding tour at Boundary Ranch.
- Lundbreck Falls
- Bar U Ranch National Historic Site
- Horseback tour at Boundary Ranch
Day 6: Kananaskis to Rocky Mountain House (210 km)
After finishing exploring the gorgeous Kananaskis Country continue north on Highway 40, heading towards the town of Kananaskis. Make sure you stop at the scenic Barrier Lake, the impressive looking Widowmaker next to it and Canoe Meadows just up the road. In Kananaskis turn left to cross the river and head east on the Bow Valley Trail, also called Highway 1A. This road runs parallel to Highway 1, but it is a more relaxing and scenic option.
In Cochrane turn north onto Highway 22, this highway is part of the famous Cowboy Trail. Cowboy Trail has many historic sites and its beautiful rolling foothills make the drive up to Rocky Mountain House an absolute pleasure.
- Barrier Lake
- Widowmaker rapids
- Canoe Meadows
Day 7: Rocky Mountain House to Edmonton (200 km)
Continue north on the Cowboy Trail towards Drayton Valley. Return your RV to Fraserway RV in Leduc before 11:30 am.