Hoodoos of Sundance Provincial Park near Edson, Ab

Have you heard about the Hoodoos near Edson, Alberta? Curious how to get to them? Or are you wondering “are these hoodoos really worth the trouble to see”!?

Many of you have probably seen the famous badlands pictures of the odd shaped formations around Drumheller, Alberta. But, there are other places in Alberta to find Hoodoos too! If you find yourself close to Edson (within a couple hours drive from Jasper), you need to visit the Wild Sculptures Interpretive Trail in Sundance Provincial Park. Wild Sculptures is just a fancy name for – you guessed it! – Hoodoos!

Read on to find out exactly everything you need to know to find and enjoy this lovely trail and the oddly placed hoodoos!

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Where the Edson Hoodoos are located

The Hoodoos are located in Sundance Provincial Park between Edson and Hinton and North off of Highway 16. With good conditions, it takes about 45 mins to an hour to reach the trailhead from Edson and I would estimate slightly longer from Hinton, Alberta.

Sundance Park is a secluded area comprised of dirt roads and not much traffic. Be sure to have plenty of fuel, snacks, water and whatever else you may need before leaving town. Carry Bear Spray as well!

How to reach the Sundance Park Hoodoos Trailhead

Directions to the Wild Sculptures Interpretive Trail from Highway 16 (Trans Canada Highway):

Turn north onto the south Swanson Road (gravel) and keep on it until you reach a “T”

Turn left at the T (Emerson Road)

Soon you will see a sign for the “Wild Sculptures Interpretive Trail” and the entrance will be on your left

Alternatively, you can take Emerson Trail if coming from Hinton (off of highway 16) but it is more confusing. There are several “Y’s” in the road and sometimes it is hard to guess if you are still on the “main” road or not. Due to my brother’s directions, we took Emerson Trail on the way out (from Edson) but drove the easier South Swanson route on the way back.

Interesting Info about the Park

Strangely, several species of orchids and even some carnivorous plants can be found in the Marl Bog area of the trail!! This seems like quite a phenomenon for this neck of the woods!

Check out this PDF for Info on the area including a map and explanation of the different eco-systems that exist within Sundance Provincial Park.

Facilities at Wild Sculptures Interpretive Trail

Once arrived, a parking lot with outhouses is at the start of the Interpretive Trail. Also at the trailhead, is a map. The route starts out as one trail but veers off onto different ones – hoodoo trail, skyline, and lake trail. If you choose to explore all the trails, expect to walk 8 km one way.

The “Hoodoo” Trail in Sundance Provincial Park

Length: Just over 1 km to the first hoodoos. Head back or continue down through the forest to 3 serene lakes.

Difficulty: Easy

After a leisurely 1 km, the first set of hoodoos come in sight. The hoodoos are magnificent! Scrambling around and on top of the rocky formations, the older kids had a blast. I may have been nervous when they got close to the edges, but everyone survived!

Once we hit the 2nd conglomerate of sandstone formations, we climbed up to the skyline trail and took the ridge back for a different view of the area. We could also spot a couple of the lakes through the trees in the valley below. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time to explore further and see the lakes up close! Next time!

The area was absolutely peaceful. Although the trails themselves were quite easy, much of it was on a steep hillside so watch out if you have littles in tow. I was glad to have a baby carrier so I didn’t have to stress about baby falling down the steeply treed slope!

Other things to do in Sundance Provincial Park

Sundance Provincial Park is comprised of the Sundance Valley area by Sundance Creek and the 5 Emerson Lakes.

Emerson Lakes & Campground

There are 7 kilometers worth of hiking trails around 3 of the Emerson Lakes (5 lakes in total). Boating or fishing is allowed. Plus, there is also a campground! The campground is un-serviced, but has firewood, water pump, and outhouses.

The Emerson Lakes are only 56 kms from Hinton.

Concluding thoughts on the Edson Hoodoo Hike

I grew up in Edson and had always heard about the Hoodoos not far from town. But other than the knowledge that it was a short hike in to see the odd formations, I never realized how interesting or beautiful this area actually was. After going myself, I was quite surprised that more people didn’t know about this secluded yet beautiful park and it’s paths. Sundance Provincial Park is the perfect place to unwind and unplug away from it all. And, though it doesn’t seem like the right landscape for them, there are hoodoos too. Oddly placed perhaps, but quite a delightful surprise in a pristine, poplar-dense woods.

If you are on a Hoodoo hunt, you can find plenty more on a trip to Drumheller, Alberta. However, Drumheller is not off the beaten path like this middle-of-the-woods destination!

You may also enjoy: 5 Easy Family-Friendly Hikes in Grande Cache

Or: Tumbler Ridge Hikes & Activities

Have you been to the Hoodoos at Sundance Provincial Park? What did you think? Did I miss any important info? Please let me know your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below!

Take care,

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About the author 

Rachel Matthews

I am a Canadian Mommy of 4 little munchkins, always dreaming of our next adventure, and how we can one day become a snowbird family!

I love making the most of life and exploring our hometown of Grande Prairie while keeping my family happy and healthy. Follow my blog for Grande Prairie articles, our family adventures, reviews and everything related to Mommy life.

If you are interested in Family Travel that, check out my other website > FlipFlopFam.com

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