Anyone contemplating a Brokeback
trip must begin somewhere. These notes provide some
thoughts that we hope may be useful to you as you begin
organizing your visit. You may also wish to refer to
“Travel Reminders and Suggestions” where you
will find practical information and recommendations.
July and August give you the chance to
see Brokeback movie locations with a minimum of
weather problems. Given the latitude, the days are quite
long then, allowing you to see a lot in just a few days.
The mountain areas, in particular, are best visited in
the summertime. Canyon Creek is in its glory in the
spring but the creek slows in the early summer and it
becomes a highway of stones by fall.
Some may want to visit the mountain
locations first. This approach allows flexibility in case
weather proves to be a problem. Because your experience
at sites in other areas will not be as weather dependent,
you can always do them while you wait for the sun to
shine. Since you will likely be flying in and out of
Calgary, that city’s sites can be split; do some
upon arrival, the others on your last day. One circuit
that has worked for many is Calgary > Canmore >
Cowley > Fort MacLeod > Beiseker > Calgary.
There are four principal areas, all in
southern Alberta, that contain Brokeback movie
locations. FindingBrokeback.com gives you directions to
all the known Brokeback locations. These are some
A must-do. Allow
one or two days. Start near Canmore and check out
the Postcard Mountains (Mount Lougheed and
Windtower), then drive south on Hwy 40 where you
will find the Basque Bridge, Bear Creek, and the
road to “I Did Once” Lake. Then drive
north on Hwy 742 past many great mountain
locations, culminating in Campsite #2 with its
Pole Bridge, Dozy Embrace, Tent Site, and
“Get Goin’ Cowboy” Hillside (Fight
If you enjoy
hiking, travel to Bragg Creek, head west on Hwy
66 and climb Moose Mountain to the
“Ain’t Queer” Mountainside or
enjoy the nearby Canyon Creek hike (Sheep
Procession #1, Campsite #1, and Creek Crossing).
A bit further west on Hwy 66, find the site of
the “Sweet Life” and “Maybe
Texas” Riversides at Elbow Falls.
The Sheep Staging
scenes and the Sheep Tangle were shot between
Canmore and Bragg Creek at Buffalo Paddock on the
Stoney Reservation. This is a glorious area which
is well worth a visit. The Seebe Cliffs are
nearby, though increased security measures will
probably keep you from accessing them.
If you can distance yourself from
your Brokeback obsession for just a bit, you are
also perfectly situated to see some of the world’s
most remarkable high-altitude scenery in nearby Banff,
Jasper, and Lake Louise.
place to visit in its own right, Calgary was
originally an outpost of the Royal Canadian
Mounted Police. Its biggest Brokeback
attractions are definitely the interior of the
Childress Dance Hall, Jack and Lureen’s Bar
(Ranchmans), Monroe’s House, Jack’s
Alley, and Newsome Farm Equipment (now
demolished). Although the city center area has a
lot to offer, be advised that parking is
expensive in downtown Calgary and the city has
good mass transit options.
The sites of Monroe’s
Grocery Store and Jack’s Murder are just
north and east of Calgary and could be squeezed
into your time there.
Beiseker, Carseland, Dorothy,
Rockyford, Dinton, and Blackie:
This cluster of
“vintage” towns, generally east and
northeast of Calgary, can be done as a group.
Beiseker has the Siesta Motel, the site of
Ennis’s Trailer and the Paving Scene, and
east of town is the amazing Twist Ranch.
Carseland has the
Drop Off and the Signal Bar. (If you are really
in this deep, it is also the site of the Signal
Gas Station scene, which was not included in the
Dorothy, which is
a bit out of the way, is quite interesting in its
own right, a tiny hamlet with lots of worn,
rustic, and somewhat romantic buildings. This
geologically unique area is known as
Alberta’s Badlands. You’ll find
Ennis’s Flashback here, as well as the
“Entering Wyoming” and Texas Highways.
Rockyford is a
trove of great Brokeback sites: the
Electra and Childress Rodeo Grounds, Lureen and
Jack’s Parking Spot, the Childress Dance
Hall Façade, the Riverton Post Office, as well
as JT’s Bar and where the Phone Booth stood.
won’t take you long. The Wedding Chapel and
Drive-In Theater are opposite one another.
A few minutes
away, Blackie has the Riverton Thanksgiving
Cowley, Fort Macleod,
Cowley (a special
favorite of our webmaster Barry Gilligan) has the
Signal Street, Ennis’s Alley, railroad, and
the site of Joe Aguirre’s trailer (sorry, no
trailer there anymore).
Fort Macleod is
another honeypot. The Laundry Apartment and the
Stairwell, the ELKS Building, the Courtroom, the
Fireworks Area, Cassie’s Bar, and the Bus
Café (the Java Shop) are all here.
North of Fort
Macleod and west of the town of Claresholm is the
site of both Ennis and Alma’s Lonesome Ranch
and Ennis’s Divorce Cabin. Paradoxically,
they are very close to one another.
The FindingBrokeback.com site should help
you with your plans and, to the extent that we have been
privileged to see these great places, we are happy to
respond to questions or make any suggestions we can.
Wherever you spend your time, whatever you choose to see,
you will have a great trip, we promise!