You've seen the movie - now immerse yourself in the spectacular mountain scenery featured in the film. While the movie is set in Wyoming, the actual filming was done in Alberta Canada. This summer is the perfect time to follow the Brokeback Mountain trail and have the vacation of a lifetime in Southern Albertaís uncrowded wilderness.
We recommend that you stay at least one night in Calgary prior to picking up your motorhome.
Recommended places to visit in Calgary are:
Downtown Calgary :
Calgary Science Museum,
Princess Island Park,
Devonian Gardens in TD Square
(We advise you use public transport to travel downtown as parking is difficult and very expensive).
Outside of Downtown :
Canada Olympic Park,
Calgary to Drumheller
Itís another world today as you explore the Alberta Badlands and the world of the dinosaur. As you travel north east from Calgary towards Drumheller, the rich, rolling farmlands suddenly break away to reveal an astonishing, twisting, turning canyon, walled with multi-coloured layers of sandstone, mudstone and coal alternating with shale sequences. The rock layers date back to the late Cretaceous Period, just before the demise of the dinosaurs. The Drumheller Badlands are one of the few areas in the world where sedimentary layers from earlier time periods have been scraped off by natural processes, exposing a rich cache of fossils and even complete dinosaur skeletons.
Plan to spend a few hours visiting the Royal Tyrell Museum, a world-class facility dedicated to the study of Drumhellerís early residents, the dinosaurs. Visitors to the museum can explore hundreds of preserved fossils and take part in interactive displays and exhibits.
Amongst other attractions worth visiting in the area are Horseshoe and Horsethief Canyons, Badlands Historical Center and the World's Largest Dinosaur. Stay overnight in the Badlands region or return to Calgary.
To Waterton National Park
Travel south today, stopping in the town of Okotoks, with its typical Canadian Main Street, small businesses and restaurants. The next small town you will come to is High River with its historic Railway Station and western style buildings. Explore the area east of High River and search out the towns of Millarville (famous for its farmers market held on Saturdays throughout the summer), Turner Valley (it was here, in 1914, that Canada's first major crude-oil discovery was made), Blackie (where Ennis gets into a fight outside the bar), and Black Diamond. These towns are all part of Diamond Valley- the Heart of the Cowboy Trail. For an unusual diversion take a gas plant tour in Turner Valley .The tour tells the story of the area, once one of the most active oil and gas fields in the British Empire.
From here, head south, bound for Pincher Creek - most noted for Kootenai Brown's Pioneer Village. Continue south on Highway 6 to Waterton Lakes National Park, full of charm and natural mountain splendour. We recommend you spend at least two nights here exploring the area.
Waterton Lakes National Park has a variety of activities you can enjoy year round! Immerse yourself in the peaceful serenity of the park in the Winter and take in some cross country skiing, snow shoeing, or just a stroll in the snow! Hiking trails are open year-round, offering a unique experience, breathtaking scenery, and a variety of flora and fauna. Waterton Park offers a huge variety of fishing experiences. You can fish at the most beautiful alpine lakes the Rocky Mountains have to offer. Waterton Lakes is home to a huge variety of animals and birds, giving you the opportunity to experience wildlife in its natural habitat. With so much to choose from, youíll have difficulty deciding how to spend your day.
Waterton to Cardston to Fort McLeod to Kananaskis
Leave Waterton today and travel via Cardston to the town of Fort Macleod with its historical Fort. Ennis's apartment is above the Laundromat - where Ennis meets Cathy later in the movie. Visit the Red Coat Inn Motel in Fort MacLeod where several scenes were shot.
18km west of Fort MacLeod is world famous "Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump" Interpretive Center - a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the oldest buffalo hunt sites of the native Albertan people. Here you can learn about and understand the way of life of the native inhabitants of Alberta.
After visiting here, travel on to the township of Cowley, west of the township of Pincher Creek, where Jack and Ennis meet at a bar and where they have their first beer.
Leave here and travel north along Highway 22 through the foothills of the Rocky Mountains until just south of Longview and the Bar U Ranch, a National Heritage Site, and one of the oldest ranches in Alberta. Itís full of original buildings, ongoing archaeological digs and intriguing exhibits.
From Longview, it's a breathtaking journey into the Kananaskis Valley as you leave the flat lands and arrive in the high mountain region of Kananaskis. In Peter Lougheed Provincial Park youíll find the Galatea Bridge "where Ennis picks up his supplies" and King Creek "where Ennis meets the bear". The scenery in this area is spectacular and there are some interesting trails at both places.
There are many campsites in this area but perhaps youíd like to visit Canyon Creek Campsite where filming was done for the movie.
(Note that the Highway 40 from Longview to Kananaskis Village is closed from Fall until late Spring).
In Kananaskis Country
Take some time to stroll through Kananaskis Village, beautiful at any time of year. Wander down a woodland trail, touch the clear icy water of a mountain creek, smell the fresh pungent aroma of juniper, scramble up the scree of a mountainside - hiking is glorious in Kananaskis for hikers of all ages and abilities. The variety of hikes available is incredible. A short hike that is appropriate for the whole family is Troll Falls. From the parking lot at Nakiska, this hike is at most an hour long and hikers are rewarded with a beautiful waterfall at the end of the trail. There are numerous hikes of different lengths, difficulty and terrain. The information centres in Kananaskis have maps and reports concerning all of the trails.
Close by Kananaskis Village is the popular recreation area of Ribbon Creek - each season here brings its own joys. Many walking trails branch off from the car park and itís worth taking some time to explore.
Kananaskis to Canmore
Spend more time in Kananaskis before traveling on to Canmore later in the day. Suggested places to visit are the Upper and Lower Kananaskis Lakes where you can take short hikes, watch the bird and wildlife and, depending on the time of year, the plant life.
Later today travel on to Canmore, a township that has grown dramatically in the past few years. Here you will see the Three Sisters Mountains which are featured in the movie. Stay overnight in Canmore which is at the entrance to the Banff National Park.
Canmore to Calgary
If you're traveling back to Calgary today we suggest you stop in the Western village of Bragg Creek en route. It's a township with a lot of character and close by here you can visit the Elbow Falls and Moose Mountain which are also featured in the movie.
The Brokeback Mountain Trail ends at Bragg Creek just out of Calgary but, if you still have more time we suggest that you head into the Rocky Mountains to visit Banff and Lake Louise. These areas are sometimes known as the Jewel in Alberta's Crown....