Drumheller is a small town in the province of Alberta, Canada. It is deemed the "Dinosaur Capital of the World" due to the amazing fossils discovered throughout the surrounding Canadian Badlands. Visitors will immediately know they have arrived by the site of the green, 15-foot tall T-Rex replica that marks the town's visitor center, as well as the striated canyon walls and sandstone hoodoos that punctuate the otherwise ubiquitous prairie landscape.
Geography And Climate Of Drumheller
Drumheller is located in the narrow valley of the Red Deer River, about 85 miles northeast of Calgary, Alberta, and 100 miles southeast of Red Deer, Alberta. It places the town in the eastern portion of the south-central region of the province. Drumheller is also located on the traditional territory of Indigenous peoples recognized by Treaty 7. The Canadian Rocky Mountains loom large to the west, and Saskatchewan's golden plains stretch far to the east.
The climate in Drumheller is cold and dry, though summers can be quite sunny and pleasant. The average annual temperature is 41 degrees Fahrenheit, ranging from a high of 74 degrees, typically reached in July and August, and a low of 10 degrees, often experienced in January. The average relative humidity is 62%, and an average precipitation of 8.79 inches falls each year.
History Of Drumheller
Drumheller is named after Colonel Samuel Drumheller, who purchased a large portion of the current footprint in 1910. Within a year, coal mining operations began. A year later, the railway station was built, and a surrounding village began to bloom. In 1930, Drumheller became an official city but later switched to town status as it amalgamated with 13 surrounding municipalities or unincorporated communities.
Before Drumheller was officially founded, the region became known for its dinosaur fossils. In 1884, Joseph Tyrrell, after whom the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology is named, discovered a skull that would later be classified as the 70-million-year-old Albertosaurus sarcophagus. Though the scientific cataloging began in the late 19th century/early 20th century, members of the Blackfoot and Cree nations knew of the ancient graveyard long before - considering the region sacred because of the preserved remnants of lost giants.
Population And Economy Of Drumheller
Drumheller has a slowly shrinking population, which as of 2021 registered at 7,945 people. This region was once Western Canada's largest producer of coal. Today, the economy continues to rely on its role in the energy sector, particularly, natural gas. Tourism is another backbone of Drumheller's existence. Over 430,000 people visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum each year.
The closest international airport is located in Calgary, Alberta. Some travelers may also land in Edmonton, Alberta, located 165 miles Northwest of Drumheller. The town is best accessed by car, as it requires a network of roads to reach from any direction. However you get there, make sure to catch these top highlights.
- Visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology. Not only is this one of the world's largest dinosaur exhibits, but there is also an adjacent interpretive walk in which prospective fossil-hunters can scout the surrounding terrain.
- Climb the World's Largest Dinosaur and take in the surrounding view from the mouth of the model T-Rex.
- Go hiking in the prehistoric, beautifully-striated Horseshoe Canyon, or check out the natural sandstone pillars throughout the protected Hoodoo Trail.
- If you're visiting in August, make sure to catch the "Canadian Icons" concert series at the Badlands Amphitheater. The rich, outdoor acoustics and national-wide talent will not disappoint.