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  • What Are the Hoodoos in Banff National Park?

    What Are the Hoodoos in Banff National Park?
    Banff, located in Alberta, Canada, is a land that attracts many for its scenery. A lot of people are familiar with the Canadian Rockies that surround Banff, but there are additional surprising formations, such as the Hoodoos.


    The Hoodoos are rock formations that have been created through the natural process of erosion by water and wind. These are located on the Milk River in Bow Valley in Banff.


    These formations are spire-like in shape and do not completely erode from the top down because their tips are protected by hard caps of rock.

    Type of Rock

    The sandy-colored Hoodoos are predominantly limestone. Increased exposure has hardened the caps' limestone, making them richer in magnesium.


    Many visitors to Banff wish to photograph as many features of the landscape as possible. There is a trail 2.48 miles (4 kilometers) from the town of Banff that allows visitors to see the Hoodoos.


    A parking lot for the trail is at the Surprise Corner Viewpoint. It is 2.85 miles (4.6 km) to the Hoodoos Interpretive Trail from here.


    Each year, the Hoodoos change shape slightly as they erode. They are not used by rock climbers because the rock is not very sturdy, making it problematic to secure safety equipment. Also, the steep, sandy-scree slope below makes for a dangerous hike.

    Article Written By Naomi Judd

    Naomi M. Judd is a naturalist, artist and writer. Her work has been published in various literary journals, newspapers and websites. Judd holds a self-designed Bachelor of Arts in adventure writing from Plymouth State University and is earning a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine.

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