Horseshoe and Horsethief Canyons

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Alberta Badlands

Horseshoe and Horsethief Canyons

Just before and after going to Drumheller, I went to see the two most famous canyons of the region. Firstly Horseshoe on the way to Drumheller and Horsethief after visiting the city.
Both canyons clearly show the geological layers of sediment. The soil is clayey and the rain shaped gutters on all the walls and hills of the canyons.

Arriving at Horseshoe Canyon it was raining a lot but I was able to benefit from thinning to see it up close. I took the risk to undertake a descent into the canyon, but I slipped and almost fell so many times, despite my sticks, that I stopped at the first level … going back up was also quite an adventure!
I have not had a beautiful blue sky, but the rain made colors more intense. From my perspective, this small canyon looks like a  labyrinth valley where you can walk.

For the Horsethief Canyon, I have had a great sun! At the canyon’s access point, a just married couple and their guests were having their photo shoot. The descent into the canyon was much easier, but the water absorbed by the soil made some areas very slippery without seeming to. The floor consists of a soil made of very thin layers ; after a rain, the sun dries and cracks the top layers, but a few centimeters below it’s still very wet. When someone steps on it, the layers slide over each other and under the foot of the fearless 🙂
The public area seemed limited at the edge of the canyon, but nobody respected the few barriers in place. This canyon is much larger than Horseshoe and has a more traditional shape with a river valley in the center. I went to the lowest point, but I was still far from reaching the other side.

Horseshoe Canyon Photos

Horsethief Canyon Photos

Jérôme

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