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Over 75 feature films, major television productions and commercials have been produced in Drumheller and surrounding region. You may recognize a few of them: titles such as The Revenant, Brokeback Mountain, the 1978 version of Superman, Unforgiven, Shanghai Noon, and Rat Race were all partially shot in the Drumheller region. Our otherworldly scenery lends itself well to sci-fi, horror and of course, Westerns. You’ve likely seen Drumheller scenery in movies that took place in areas such as Afghanistan, Mexico, Israel, Alaska and planets such as Mars.

As Michael Mongold, co-owner of Trekcetera Museum points out, the unique atmosphere and scenery of the region, along with its closeness to Calgary make Drumheller a hot-spot for movie makers.

“It’s easy to fly into Calgary with your crew and then drive out.” says Mongold. “It looks completely alien.”

In his own words, Mongold is the guy in the museum who has to talk about everything. He is often approached by location scouts for productions, making him one of the guys to talk to when you want to find out more about Drumheller’s history as a small filming hub. And having worked in the American film industry, his four years at Trekcetera Museum have included dishing plenty of cool film stories he’s picked up over the years while showing off the museum’s collection of pop culture memorabilia. Drumheller has a storied relationship with film and nothing represents or proudly displays this relationship more than the Trekcetera Museum itself. The museum is a unique experience that blends major motion picture history with the lure of the Canadian Badlands and a healthy dose of sci-fi to boot. It’s everything from the Wild West to the Final Frontier, boldly going where no museum has gone before. Packed to the rafters with plenty of vintage artifacts, memorabilia, costumes, props and set pieces from the Star Trek universe, films like Men in Black, Harry Potter, Superman, and TV shows such as Hell on Wheels and the Magnificent Seven. While the museum holds artifacts from all sorts of movies and TV shows (as well as historical events), they hold an enviable number of artifacts from Alberta-filmed productions. Mongold’s approach involves telling stories about nearby filming locations while showing you the props that were used in that movie.

Trip planning inspiration.

Some of these props you’ll find at Trekcetera include: Christopher Reeve’s Superman cape, the Holodeck entrance and programming input from Star Trek, outfits from Brokeback Mountain, pirate treasure from the sunken ship Atocha and a piece of the real Titanic.

“An artifact is an artifact,” Mongold says. “But if we can bring it to life, it’s so much more.”

With his help, we managed to outline a few locations in and around the Drumheller region that double as excellent filming locations – in film, TV, music videos and more. Most of these are easily accessible, making them spots that are great family-friendly places to check out. The next time you watch something filmed in and around Drumheller, try your best to pinpoint those spots!

Hell on Wheels - Drumheller

Film Magic In The Badlands

There are a few specific locations tied to Drumheller. Nearby Horseshoe Canyon can be seen in a few productions including Hell on Wheels. The show filmed several scenes using private farm access – but you’ll get the same atmosphere from walking the publicly accessible hiking trails at Horseshoe Canyon. Horseshoe Canyon is also where the “Second Dream” meteor scene in The Revenant was filmed. So, while you’re hiking stop and take your best Leo-esque selfie.

Unforgiven, Clint Eastwood’s tribute to the Westerns that defined his career and got him two Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director, was shot in and around Drumheller. The iconic Badlands served as the rugged landscape and the run-down shack belonging to Morgan Freeman’s character happens to be on a private ranch in the region. Taking a drive down Dinosaur Trial or into the Drumheller Valley will give you the kind of scenery you’d see in this cowboy flick.

The Revenant Drumheller

The iconic Hoodoos play a prominent role in the music video for Tom Cochrane’s “Life is a Highway.” A few scenes were shot in front of the Alberta Pacific grain elevator in nearby Dorothy, but it’s probably the shot of Cochrane dancing with his guitar in between those Hoodoos that you likely remembered.

Fifteen minutes away from Drumheller in the town of Wayne is the Last Chance Saloon, a place you should definitely add to your Drumheller bucketlist. This rustic bar has been around since 1913, a time machine to a different era. Getting to the Last Chance Saloon takes visitors through a series of bridges (known as the 11 Bridges to Wayne) that hold the Guinness Book of World Records for most bridges crossed within a short distance. Several scenes of Jackie Chan’s Shanghai Noon were shot by the saloon (as well as as other parts of Wayne and other areas around Drumheller).

Onwards to the ghost town of Beynon, make your way up to the prairies that overlook the entire region. It is here where you may recognize the scenery from Smallville Cemetery, used in a pivotal scene in Superman.

A lot of Brokeback Mountain was filmed in the surrounding Drumheller area. If you drive to Rockyford, you can check out the main street and the rodeo grounds several scenes were shot on. Make your way to Dorothy, and you’ll be driving on the highway Jack did in the movie. Note: you won’t actually be entering Wyoming while on this highway.

Brokeback Mountain - Drumheller

Start Planning Your Filming Location Trip to Drumheller

We recommend making Trekcetera Museum your first stop on your Drumheller filming location adventure. Stop in, talk to Michael Mongold, see and touch some real props and get some suggestions on where to head based on the movie/TV show you’re interested in and then head out to see the filming location.