Planning a Brokeback Mountain Trip:
Getting Started

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. gives you directions to all the known Brokeback locations. These are some highlights.


Chapter 19 - The Power of Love - Postcard Mtns.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 Hill).

Chapter 6 - First Light - Ain't Queer MountainsideIf 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.

Chapter 7 - Bad News - Sheep TangleThe 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.


Chapter 15 - Suspicious Minds - Dance Hall (Interior)An interesting 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:

Chapter 12 - What Now? - Motel (Exterior)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.

Chapter 2 - Herding Sheep - Signal Bar (Exterior)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 movie.)

Chapter 12 - What Now? - Ennis's FlashbackDorothy, 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.

Chapter 9 - Tough Times - Electra RodeoRockyford 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.

Chapter 8 - Separate Ways - Wedding ChapelTiny Dinton won’t take you long. The Wedding Chapel and Drive-In Theater are opposite one another.

Chapter 14 - Don't Fool Me - Riverton Thanksgiving (Fight) BarA few minutes away, Blackie has the Riverton Thanksgiving (Fight) Bar.

Cowley, Fort Macleod, Claresholm:

Chapter 1 - Looking for Work - Signal StreetCowley (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).

Chapter 11 - Drop Me a Line - Laundry ApartmentFort 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.

Chapter 9 - Tough Times - Lonesome RanchNorth 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 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!


  Revised 10 March 2011