Escape to the Cowboy Trail

The 100-year Calgary Stampede Centennial is just around the corner, so it’s inevitable that Western culture is on the minds of many of the city’s YPs. If you are looking for a weekend adventure where you can get out of the city and explore the area’s Western roots, we suggest making a trip to Alberta’s Cowboy Trail.

Located south of Calgary along the foothills of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, The Cowboy Trail extends from Cardston to Mayerthorpe. The area boasts a narrow band of mixed forests and grasslands known for moderate climates, a wide variety of wildlife species and broad ecological diversity. This attracted First Nations peoples to the area hundreds of years ago. In the 1880s, Alberta ranching families settled the territory and transformed the rolling grasslands into cattle country. 

What’s exciting is that the Old West is still evident in the art, history, food, hospitality, and culture throughout the area. It’s not unlikely to see cowboys out herding cattle, sometimes right along the highway, and families out for a horseback ride. 

With so much to do, it’s easy to make a weekend of it. Stay at a guest ranch or working ranch, such as Brown Creek Ranch. Tucked back in the rugged Porcupine Hills, the ranch boasts some of the most spectacular ranch country anywhere and offers an authentic vacation experience.

Stay in the self-contained pine log vacation cabin where you can listen to the gently rolling creek that runs just outside the cabin and let country life surround you, taking you back to a slower pace.

Only have time to visit for the day? Grab some friends and experience a trail ride, take in a rodeo, cowboy festival or a pow-wow. The western spirit comes alive in the small communities along the trail with special cowboy-flavoured events.

Check out the Cowboy Trail website to find out more about the area and the various packaged tours and weekend getaways available.