We often think of roadtripping as being more of a viewing experience. While there’s nothing wrong with that – sometimes it’s nice to do instead of see. When visiting Drumheller, we encourage you to immerse yourself with your breathtaking surroundings. Here’s three ways to get a hands-on experience in Drumheller.
1. Make Your Own Sage Stick
Located along the famed 11 Bridges of Wayne route, The Sage Shoppe is your source for all things aromatherapy. Besides offering sage sticks, essential oils and scented soaps, they offer you the chance to make your own sage stick. You’ll be able to go into the field, pick sage and make your own sage sticks and take home your own local sage experience. The Sage Shoppe also make their own line of natural bath, body and soul products called Nature’s Essential Garden. The products are fair trade, organic and made in Canada. Some of the things they offer include a wide range of essential oils, jewelry, locally made items from the Canadian Badlands along with many bentonite and sage products., Everything in the Nature’s Essential Garden line is body care done right, made to feel and smell wonderful.
Don’t be fooled by the Sage Shoppe’s quaint atmosphere – they’re perfectly accommodating for cyclists, bus tours and large groups. From kids to couples – this hands-on aromatherapy experience is an excellent experience for all Drumheller visitors.
2. Step Back into Drumheller’s Mining History
Atlas Coal Mine offers a one-of-a-kind experience with the Unearth Life in a Historic Coal Town tour. This experience allows you to step back in time to the year 1937 and relive a work day of a Drumheller coal miner. You will even dress the part with coveralls and your own helmet with a head lamp. You will learn just how nitty-gritty it was to be a coal miner, make your own miner brass tag, and earn a ‘paycheck’ for your hard days work.
This interactive and educational tour is great for groups looking to try something new and different than your average day above ground.
3. Let Your Head Rest At Quality Hotel
The Quality Hotel is an oasis in the Canadian Badlands. Conveniently situated a stone’s throw away from all the key destination spots in Drumheller, the Quality Hotel has room configurations great for two types of guests: the vacationer and the business-minded. The Quality Hotel’s Business Centre is perfect for business meetings and the rooms offer great accommodation at excellent value for vacationers. Amenities include wireless internet, continental breakfast, a well-stocked exercise room and most importantly, it is pet friendly!
4. Know The Earth You Walk On
The best history lessons are the ones you can get immersed in.
Meet Brent, a man with 40 years of geologic experience. Brent now shares his love of rocks with visitors to the Canadian Badlands. His company, Drumheller Rocks Geo-Tourism offers geotours which consists of an hour “rock talk” followed by a 2-hour walk in the Badlands.
Drumheller Rocks embraces the old and new schools of geology. In the field you’ll get a sense of what it was like to be an assistant to Joseph Burr Tyrrell as he explored for coal (and found some dinosaurs). The youngest in the group always gets to carry Brent’s rock hammer.
The rock talk prior to the field uses a combination of chalkboard, slides, animations and 3-D computer models. Brent jokes “It is very important to carefully prepare the client for the immensity of geological science – the scales can be humbling”. If kids (old or young) are in the group he’ll even let them “fly” through these digital Badlands models. This unique combination of digital and real-world viewing means you can understand the concepts and then go out and see and feel them in the real world.
As Facebook reviewer Susan Sternberg, author and naturalist, puts it, “I wish every beautiful natural area had a Brent Noland and a GeoTourism business! I had been in the Drumheller Badlands for a couple of days but wanted a guide to tell me about what I was seeing. I booked morning with Brent and spent the best few hours learning about the geology of the region in an understandable, hands-on, real way. Experiential education at its finest.”
Drumheller Rocks can customize their tours offering shorter and longer durations at your request. You can book ahead or even call day-of to book a tour, Drumheller Rocks offers tours year-round (keeping in mind it’s harder to get around in the winter). Good footwear is recommended for the walks. While Drumheller Rocks has several starting points, Brent tends to favor the East Coulee School Museum. His connection with locals means that Drumheller Rocks has permission to visit many private lands throughout the Drumheller area – so you get to see things you otherwise wouldn’t. Brent also recommends combining a geotour with a visit to the Royal Tyrell Museum.
Brent tries to get to know the visitors a bit and craft their tour to best connect them with the earth. His love for the earth and geology shines through his tours, as Brent puts it “I’ve never met a rock I didn’t like … they all have an amazing story to tell”.