Recognized as one of Alberta's most popular and identifiable geological formations, hoodoos were formed by the effects of erosion caused by water, wind, and frost. These stunning natural wonders can be seen approximately 15 minutes east of Drumheller on Highway 10.




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The Drumheller area hoodoos are striking geological formations that have become internationally recognized icons of Alberta's badlands. The distinctive appearance of the hoodoos was created through the deposit of materials during the Cretaceous Period between 70 and 75 million years ago. Hoodoos are composed of sand and clay from the Horseshoe Canyon Formation. The solid, strong capstones protect the softer, underlying base creating their unique mushroom-like shape. Within the broad sweep of geological time, the hoodoos are eroding at a rate as rapid as one centimetre per year - quicker than virtually any other geological structure. The varied colour and texture of the rock, visible as horizontal banding on the hoodoos, speaks to the ancient environments of the inland sea and coastal swamps once present during the Cretaceous, that in time, became the coal deposits so vital to the early economic development of the Drumheller area. Their relative rarity, fragility, and unique appearance have captured thousands of visitors' artistic and scientific imaginations.

Help Preserve Our Heritage

Please use respect when visiting the hoodoos. Stay on designated pathways, observe signs, and keep the area clean to protect the hoodoos for enjoyment by future generations.

The hoodoos are a Provincial Historic Resource protected under the Historical Resources Act. Fines for defacing or removing property are up to $50,000 and/or up to one year in prison.

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©2010 Government of Alberta and ©2010 Royal Tyrrell Museum | Last Review/Update - January 30,2018