Motorcycle Route Author
Written DirectionsThis route starts in Drumheller, AB, a town famous for its hoodoo landscapes and dinosaur filled past. To get there from the west (Calgary, Edmonton, BC) take Hwy 2 to Hwy 72 East (which turns into Hwy 9). Hwy 72 is about 45 km north of Calgary. If you're coming from the east (Medicine Hat, Saskatchewan) take the Trans Canada Hwy to Hwy 56 North. There will be signs for Royal Tyrrell Museum and Drumheller. You can start your route in the parking lot of the World's Biggest Dinosaur, just to get you in the right mindset. It's easy to find once you're in Drumheller. If you've come in off Hwy 9, just don't turn and you'll get there. It turns into 5 St, then turns into Riverside Dr, then turns into 1 Ave and you can't miss the dino! Once you're ready to get on your way, continue on 1 Ave and go right to cross the bridge. Turn left on Hwy 838, turns for N Dinosaur Trail and Tyrrell Museum. Now you're on the Dinosaur Trail (technically North Dinosaur Trail)! Continue north until you reach the river and will need to take a ferry across and continue on Hwy 838 for a short while until it tees into 837. Take a right on Hwy 837 now heading south (you are still on the "Dinosaur Trail" but technically this is known as South Dinosaur Trail) and continue on this and it will turn southeast and eventually merge with Hwy 575, later turning into Hwy 56, then eventually Hwy 10. Continue southeast and 10 will cross the river and now you are on the Hoodoo Trail. Continue heading southeast along the north side of the river on Hwy 10 until it intersects with Hwy 570 which at that point you'll want to take 570 southeast (if you stay on Hwy 10 it will turn south and cross the river) continuing to follow along the north side of the river until you get to the town of Dorothy and your end point.
SceneryThe Dinosaur Trail winds through badlands and hoodoos before rising out of the canyon to the more familiar prairie. Take a photo break at "Horsethief Canyon" for an absolutely stunning panorama of the canyon and badlands. It is less than a kilometer off the route, and it tends to be quieter than nearby "Horseshoe Canyon". The road dives back into the canyon before you cross the river on a tiny cable ferry (free) and continue your trip south, back to Drumheller on the opposite side of the river. Pass back through Drumheller and pickup Hwy 56, the Hoodoo Trail. Another pretty, somewhat winding road through unusual scenery. An optional side trip to Wayne and the Last Chance Saloon (see amenities) will take you across a claimed 11 Bridges, though I only counted 9. Enjoy a stop at the Last Chance Saloon before you turn around and go back over the 11 (or 9) bridges. Continue winding your way south on the Hoodoo Trail to Dorothy, a mostly deserted town with 2 abandoned churches which have been recently restored by members of the community. Admire their craftsmanship in these beautiful buildings, and consider leaving a donation in the box. Check out these great photos of the Hoodoo Trail area. There's not much else on this road, so unless you're looking for a long straight ride, turn around and go back the way you came to finish out the trip.
Drive EnjoymentThe road is in great condition as it is a major tourist route. That said I would avoid this on Saturdays in the middle of the summer, but we went in late September on a Saturday and traffic was light. There are few passing lanes, but lots of places to pull over and admire the scenery for a few minutes if you get trapped behind an RV. The route is mostly flat, with a couple of climbs in and out of the river-bed/canyon. The road twists and turns gently, and this is a very popular route with the Harley crowd. I still had a good time on my sport bike, however. If you're going in the off season, or at odd hours make sure you ask someone in town if the Bleriot Ferry will be running. Its hours are pretty regular, though so if you can ride a motorcycle, chances are it'll be crossing. Hwy 10x to Wayne features a number of wood decked bridges, so if it's wet they can be extremely slick, use caution.
Tourism OpportunitiesThe town of Drumheller itself, which you still start your trip in, as well as pass through about half way through, has everything you need - food, gas, fossils, hotels, the world's largest dinosaur, etc. About 5 minutes north of town you'll see the world renowned Royal Tyrrell Museum and if you have the time (4 hrs if you really want to see it all) I would strongly suggest that you go. Later, stop for a photo at Horsethief Canyon - this is on the Northbound leg of the Dinosaur Trail (on the east side of the river). About 5 minutes south of Drumheller on the Hoodoo Trail you'll see signs for Wayne, Hwy 10x and the Last Chance Saloon. This is a great old hotel and restaurant at the end of a very fun and twisty little road. The food isn't the best in the world, and it's kind of pricey, but it's got gobs of charm and is extremely motorcycle friendly. Even if you're not going to stop for lunch I'd recommend this little jaunt down 10x, it's only about 10 km. There are several small communities to the south of Drumheller on the way to Dorothy with varying levels of amenities and tourist attractions. Stop in for some small town charm, but make sure you have what you need as you're not likely to find any essentials here.
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