This itinerary will take you to the dinosaur capital of the world, and the breathtaking Red Deer River Valley with a striking badland topography and an abundance of dinosaur fossils. End the trip with a visit to the spectacular Waterton Lakes National Park. 

Day 1: Airdrie to Drumheller (125 km)  

Pick up your RV in Airdrie in the morning and head east via Highway 567, until it merges with Highway 9. Approximately 17 km west of Drumheller, Horseshoe Canyon is an eye-popping sight. Get a first impression of this majestic landscape from the viewing platforms at the top of the canyon.

Drumheller family getaway

Option to enjoy a longer, scenic hike down into the canyon. Arrive in Midland Provincial Park in the afternoon. The park was once the site of the Midland Coal Mine and is the perfect base to explore Drumheller.  

Nearby campsites: River Grove Campground or The Hoodoo RV Resort

Highlights

  • Horseshoe Canyon viewpoints 
  • Midland Provincial Park
The Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller

Day 2: Drumheller (100 km)  

Witness one of the world’s largest displays of dinosaurs at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in the morning.  The nearby Horsethief Canyon is where bright yellow canola fields and giant rocking pump jacks meet the precipice of pure Badlands splendor. Stand at the canyon edge and take in the entire valley down below. Just 10 kilometers southeast of Drumheller lies the tiny village of Wayne, once a thriving coal-mining town of more than 3,000.

You will reach the town after crossing eleven single lane, wooden bridges and passing countless abandoned homes and mining equipment along the way.  The historic Last Chance Saloon still serves visitors. Stop at the 117-meter long Star Mine suspension bridge over the Red Deer River on your way back to the campsite.

Nearby campsites: River Grove Campground or The Hoodoo RV Resort

Highlights

  • Royal Tyrrell Museum
  • Horsethief Canyon
  • Wayne mining town 

Day 3: Drumheller to Dinosaur Provincial Park (175 km)  

The area was once home to no less than 139 different mines, but nowadays the Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site is the only place dedicated to preserving the days when “Coal was King” in the Drumheller Valley. The Tipple, Tunnel and Train tours tell amazing stories of the miners from around the world who came here to seek their fortunes.

Dinosaur Provincial Park

Continue your trip to Dinosaur Provincial Park, the largest and most spectacular area of badlands in Canada. The unique riverside habitat includes extensive groves of plains cottonwood trees that provide critical living space for many bird species.  

Nearby campsite: Dinosaur Campground 
 

Highlights

  • Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site
  • Views of the badlands 
  • Dinosaur Provincial Park
The world's largest teepee in Medicine Hat

Day 4: Dinosaur Provincial Park to Medicine Hat (125 km)  

Travel south on Highway 876 to reach the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1). Continue southeast to reach the city of Medicine Hat, where you can visit the world’s largest Teepee. The visitor centre offers guided first nation tours to learn about the indigenous history through the eyes of a local guide.

Medicine Hat has a rich industrial history, and the historic Clay district illustrates the combination of factors that led to Medicine Hat’s emergence as the largest supplier of clay products west of Ontario.  

Nearby campsites: Gas City Campground or Old Baldy Campground

Highlights

  • World's largest teepee 
  • Medicine Hat's Clay district

Day 5: Medicine Hat to Lethbridge (175 km)  

Depart Medicine Hat in the morning for the 2 hour drive to Lethbridge. Railway enthusiasts can visit the Galt Historic Railway Park via a short detour. The Lethbridge Viaduct is a massive steel trestle over the Oldman River designed by the Canadian Pacific Railway. It is the largest railway structure in the country.

Lethbridge Viaduct

The Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden is a hidden gem in southern Alberta and exhibits a traditional teahouse, bell tower, gates and bridges.

Nearby campsites: Park Lake Campground or Writing-On-Stone Campground

Highlights

  • Galt Historic Railway Park
  • Lethbridge Viaduct
  • Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden
Waterton Lakes National Park

Day 6: Lethbridge to Waterton (175 km)  

Depart Lethbridge Via Highway 3 to reach Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre in the morning. This UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site preserves and interprets over 6,000 years of Plains Buffalo culture.

Continue south to Pincher Creek, from where Highway 6 will take you to the town of Waterton.  

Nearby campsites: Belly River Campground or Townsite Campground

Highlights

  • Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
  • Waterton Lakes National Park

Day 7: Waterton  

Clear lakes, thundering waterfalls, rainbow-coloured streams, colourful rocks and mountain vistas  await hikers and sightseers. With an exceptional diversity of wildlife and wildflowers and a cozy little waterfront town to serve as a home base to explore the National Park today. Waterton Lakes National Park has 200 kilometres of hiking trails, ranging from easy strolls to strenuous wilderness hikes.

Waterton Shoreline Cruise

The park is a particularly good place to enjoy a variety of shorter trails which can be easily completed in a few hours. Step aboard the historic M.V. International, the oldest passenger ship still operating in Canada, and take in breathtaking scenery on a 2-hour scenic cruise. View majestic towering cliffs and beautiful waterfalls while learning more about the Park and the interconnected ecosystems.  

Nearby campsites: Belly River Campground or Townsite Campground

Highlights

  • Waterton Lakes boat tour
  • National Park hiking trails
The Cowboy Trail near Longview, AB

Day 8: Waterton to Airdrie  

Depart Waterton in the morning and take the Cowboy Trail (Highway 22) back towards Calgary. Here in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the Old West is still evident in the art, history, food, hospitality, and culture of the foothill’s residents. Along the way, you are likely to see cowboys out herding cattle, sometimes right along the highway. Return your RV to Fraserway RV in Airdrie before 11:30 am.  

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The information contained in this itinerary is the sole property of Fraserway RV LP. While we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. Travellers are advised to confirm with each third party prior to arrival. The inclusion of any suggestions does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.