Travel Reminders and Suggestions

Travel to Canada

Passports are now required for most international visitors to Canada. U.S. citizens are advised to apply for passports as soon as possible and to be aware of possible processing delays.

Consult the State Department for the latest document information. See: and


Upon arrival, you will need to get some Canadian money, pronto. Currently $1 CDN equals about $0.76 U.S. (as of August 2015). The Canadian dollar coin is the “Loony,” the $2 coin is the “Two-ny.” You can generally find ATMs that will work with most major bank networks once you get to Canada. There are several ATMs at the Calgary, AB, airport.

Credit cards work well almost everywhere in Canada although credit card companies may decline transactions if, as we inadvertently did, you create a “suspicious pattern” of transactions. (Call them and they will turn the money back on!) Bring a second credit card as a backup and let your card companies know in advance that you will be using your credit cards in Canada.

Getting Around

You will probably be picking up a rental car at the Calgary, AB, airport. Use Orbitz, Expedia, or Sidestep to get a good rate and then see if you can beat it by a significant margin using Priceline. Another money saving strategy is to pick up your car at an off-airport location, where rates tend to be much lower. Many agencies will allow you to return the car at the airport without an extra charge.

Most of the sites in the film are accessible without using four-wheel-drive vehicles, though there may be times when you will want to have one. See the site descriptions for road condition warnings and check local weather forecasts. Be advised that many of the rural township and range roads, as well as almost all of Hwy 742, are unpaved, though these tend to be generally well maintained.

Watch speed limits and traffic lights. Alberta uses cameras to silently and efficiently nab speeders and yellow-light runners. The ticket will go by mail to the rental car company which will add a fee and bill it to your credit card a month later. As a practical matter, you can’t appeal it. No fun. Reminder: All posted speeds are in km.

Canada loves its roads so much that many have multiple names and numbers. Just because the sign says that you are on a road other than the one you think you are on does not mean that you are lost. For instance, a single roadway may have one or more highway numbers, a trail name, a street name and a Township or Range Road number. Got that? The good news is that in Alberta there are relatively few major roads and most run either north-south or east-west.

Calgary uses quadrants to designate locations on a grid of streets and avenues. Thus you need to pay special attention to the letters that follow the street name. Moreover, there is a big difference between streets and avenues of the same name. Hence, 33rd Street NW can be a long way from either 33rd Street SW or 33rd Avenue NW. Be certain you know what kind of road or avenue you are looking for, what kind of road or avenue you are on, and which quadrant you are in.

Please beware of wildlife road hazards, especially in the mountain park areas. Sheep, deer, bear, elk and other animals often gather roadside, especially in the early and late hours of the day. These animals may jump into the path of your car without warning. After all, they might have a low startle point. Be very careful.

When in rural areas, and especially in the parks, refill your gasoline tank at 50%. You’ll be buying gas in liters (1 liter is about ¼ of a gallon). After adjusting for the currency exchange rate, gas will likely cost you more than in the U.S.A. Wipe off headlights and taillights regularly as these accumulate dust on unpaved roads. In addition to the directions available here, a good Alberta roadmap and a GPS receiver are very useful for navigation.

A word about GPS: different receivers use various formats. If necessary, remember to make decimal conversions (14.20 minutes is the same as 14 minutes 12 seconds, etc.) and give your receiver time to properly establish your position. In the few cases here where it was not possible to give the exact location of a feature (for example, a mountain or an interior location), we have supplied coordinates for a viewpoint or the building entrance.

Many of the pages on this website, including this one, are available in Downloads as “PDF” files which can then be read or printed offline. The print verison of this website can serve as your own personal “Baedeker” to Brokeback Mountain movie locations. Having the directions and pictures from this website readily at hand will allow you to get where you want to go and be sure you’re exactly where you want to be!


You should make advance lodging reservations, especially if you plan on long days, both to secure yourself a room and to get a good rate. If you plan to stay in Calgary for more than one or two nights, invest the time to study the free Priceline ( bidding resource ( BiddingForTravel’s FAQs explain how you can use the reports of other Priceline users to save a lot of money on your Calgary (and possibly Canmore) hotels. At minimum, use Sidestep, Travelocity, and one or two other lodging search engines to get good lodging deals.

A list of motels we are familiar with follows. Please let us know if you have any others to suggest. If authenticity is important to you, see the hotel information notes for Beiseker and Fort Macleod.


Motel 9Motel 9 - (Siesta Motel) Friendly Joanne runs this simple but spotless refuge for frustrated husbands and their devoted fans. If the classic “MOTEL” sign is not turned on when you want to take your pictures, she is happy to accommodate you. As the only motel in Beiseker, Motel 9 tends to be full during the summer months. Joanne will keep you on her waiting list. (You can always make a back-up reservation in Strathmore.) We have had good luck doing this.

Though only the exterior was used in the making of the film, there is certainly no harm in bringing someone dear to you and reliving some of Jack and Ennis’s happiest moments inside. Highway 9 at Highway 72, next to the Esso station. (403) 947-2555.


Westways Guest HouseWestways Guest House - Jonathon and Graham operate this lovely bed and breakfast in an Arts and Crafts period home. (216 25th Avenue SW),, (403) 229-1758,


Banff Boundary LodgeBanff Boundary Lodge - This appears to be a condo or timeshare project that is available, at least in part, by the night. Well suited for groups. Very comfortable units sleep up to six and include a kitchenette and living area. Check website for Internet specials. 1000 Harvie Heights Road, Harvie Heights, just west of Canmore on Hwy 1 (Trans-Canada Hwy)., (403) 678-9555.


Rockyview HotelRockyview Hotel - Located in downtown Cochrane, this small, budget hotel offers rooms with private and shared baths at some of the least expensive rates we have found. (304 1st Street West),, (403) 932-2442.

Fort Macleod:

Century II MotelCentury II Motel - This is an economy motel which, though older, is not as ancient as its name might suggest. If you have a group, ask about the misleadingly named “suites” which share a common bath. (462 Main Street East),, (403) 553-3331,

Red Coat Inn MotelRed Coat Inn Motel - This, the “nicest place in town,” is where the Brokeback talent and crew stayed during the Fort Macleod shooting. With a bit of gentle encouragement, engaging owner Paul Jansen will show you his autographed photos (lobby wall) and share his production-related stories (in any of five languages!).

“Of course he (Ledger) wasn’t gay,” Jansen roars, “he and Williams stayed in the same room! If only I’d saved the sheets!” By the way, we know what you are thinking and so does Paul. To all who ask, every room was Jake Gyllenhaal’s or Heath Ledger’s room! (359 Main Street),, (403) 553-4434,

Queen's HotelQueen’s Hotel (Cassie’s Bar) - Two of us decided the authentic Brokeback experience was worth sacrificing a few creature comforts so we chose to stay at the old Queen’s Hotel (see: Chapter 15, 01 32 15) which is the site of the “Cassie’s Bar” scene. (Silly us, we thought it was the Old Queens Hotel!) This 1903 sandstone gem witnessed Fort Macleod’s “glory years” in which the town briefly served as the commercial hub of southwest Canada. Those days are long gone, but those who are prepared to forgo virtually all modern amenities may want to spend a night here.

With advance notice, the hotel’s helpful owner, George Urisaki, will try to prepare a room for you. Haultain Street (2nd Avenue) at Col. Macleod Boulevard (24th Street)., (403) 553-4343 or (403) 553-3694.


Evergreen Country B&BEvergreen Country B&B - Perfectly situated for Brokeback fans who plan to explore the beauty of nearby Moose Mountain and Canyon Creek, this charming bed and breakfast, located 8 minutes SE of Bragg Creek, also makes a good hub from which to see the Kananaskis Parks and Calgary area sites. Monumental breakfasts, spotless rooms, and a pleasant mix of guests., (403) 949-3951.


Rockyford HotelRockyford Hotel - Located in Rockyford, this small hotel offers frill-free rooms with private and shared baths at reasonable rates. Ask cheerful Brenda about the spacious, albeit misnamed, “Presidential Suite.” See also Rockyford / Draught Horse Inn under Dining, below. (105 Main St.), (403) 533-3760.


Best Western Strathmore InnBest Western Strathmore Inn - Located midway between Calgary and Rockyford, this inn has large suites at reasonable rates and offers other amenities including continental breakfast and an indoor pool / spa. 550 Hwy 1 (Trans-Canada Hwy),, (403) 934-5777.


Most Brokeback sites are off the beaten path and, as such, much more likely to be served by cafes and diners than upscale restaurants. The latter can be found in Calgary, Canmore, and Bragg Creek. Elsewhere, be prepared to enjoy simpler fare and absorb some local color.

This list is based upon places we have tried. Please help us add to it. If you find a place that is particularly appealing, we would love to share your discovery with others.

General - Every Canadian town of modest size has a Tim Horton’s donut shop and a Subway. These are always safe, but unremarkable, options. “Beans,” if you will.


BJ's CaféBJ’s Café - Not nearly as interesting as its name suggests, this is Beiseker’s finest and only neighborhood coffee shop, located inside the Esso Station. 610 Highway 9 (near the Hwy 72 intersection and adjacent to Motel 9), (403) 947-2448.

Black Diamond:

Diamond Valley RestaurantDiamond Valley Restaurant - Offers Chinese and continental dishes. Full bar. Open late. (202 Centre Avenue W.), (403) 933-3122.

Bragg Creek:

A number of restaurants did not survive the flood of June 2013. For a current list of restaurants, see

Bar-B-Q Steak PitBar-B-Q Steak Pit - After five decades here, these folks know a thing or two about the restaurant business. Live music, generous portions, and comfortable surroundings make this locals’ haunt a good Bragg Creek dinner option. (50 White Avenue), (403) 949-3633.

Note: This was closed for renovation after the flood of 2013, but is expected to reopen sometime in 2014.

Bragg Creek Family FoodsBragg Creek Family Foods - If you are in Bragg Creek, you are probably heading for Moose Mountain or Canyon Creek. Think “picnic” and head for this family-run grocery store. (Remember to get water!) Located in the small shopping center at White and Balsam Avenues. (Unit 15 - 416 Balsam Ave), (403) 949-3747. See

Infusion Restaurant moved from Bragg Creek to Calgary after the flood of 2013. See below.

Joey’s Only Seafood no longer has a restaurant in Bragg Creek. For their restaurants in other locations, see


Diner DeluxeDiner Deluxe - A contemporary twist on diner food. Creative “comfort food” menu, fair prices. The decor is an astounding collection of `60s retro pieces; some are museum quality. (804 Edmonton Trail NE),, (403) 276-5499.

Infusion Contemporary CuisineInfusion Contemporary Cuisine - An inspired fine dining option which melds Pacific and Continental cuisine in unexpected and delicious ways. (2250 162 Ave SW Calgary),, (587) 296-4555. See also and

Prairie InkPrairie Ink - Convenient to the King Eddie (Electra Bar) and Canadian Legion (Childress Dance Hall interior). A pleasant spot for sandwiches, salad, or coffee located inside McNally Robinson’s, a locally-owned downtown bookstore. (120 8th Avenue SW),, (403) 538-1798.

Ranchman'sRanchman’s (Jack and Lureen’s Bar) - In addition to being a Brokeback location, the menu, food quality, and service at this “cowboy bar” impressed us. The dining area features booths and lots of rodeo cowboy scenery. A steak dinner here provides a great opportunity to soak up the character of this place. (9615 Macleod Trail South),, (403) 253-1100.


Roy's Place Family Restaurant & LoungeRoy’s Place Family Restaurant & Lounge - Roy and Bob serve good food at this established locals’ haunt. But don’t even try to go there after church on Sundays. Hwy 2 at the light in Claresholm. (5008 1st Street), (403) 625-3397.


Boston PizzaBoston Pizza - A full menu with plenty of reasonably priced options beyond pizza. Comfortable and convenient. (15 Westside Drive),, (403) 932-8000.


Back Country Butchering, Ltd.Back Country Butchering, Ltd. - Locally raised beef. Jerky, sausage sticks, custom cut ribs and steaks. A unique selection of local gourmet products. (508 Railway Avenue), (403) 628-2686.

Savory Suite CaféSavory Suite Café - on Railway Avenue in the post office building. A nice, small restaurant with a good menu and wine list that you would not expect to find in rural Alberta. Our (very reliable) source exercised our imaginations by reporting that “The waiter was very friendly.” See the “Brokeback Mountain was filmed here” plaque in the dining room. Open Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 5:30pm to 10:00pm. To verify hours and to make reservations: (403) 627-9177.

Fort Macleod:

Aunty Lynda’s Café & Grill - A locals’ favorite. (2323 Seventh Avenue),, (403) 553-2655.

Johnny'sJohnny’s - During May 2004, Johnny complained that the Brokeback production was hurting his business, but these days he is more than happy to share with you his prized photos of Randy Quaid and other Brokeback celebrities. Tasty Chinese and “American” fare for lunch and dinner. 225 Col. Macleod Boulevard (24th Street), (403) 553-3939.

Luigi’s Pizza and Steak House - A friendly, casual place with excellent food. Good for groups, open late. 537 Col. Macleod Boulevard (24th Street), (403) 553-4555.


Draught Horse InnDraught Horse Inn - Cheerful Brenda and her hard-working crew know that it takes more than an ordinary pizza to satisfy big cowboy appetites. Her rustic 1930’s-era restaurant and bar was a runner-up to be one of Brokeback’s bars. Ask to see the “Riverton” sign that was used during the filming of the “DECEASED” scene. Just down the street from “JT’s Bar” (now “The Pub on Main”). Occasional live music. (105 Main St.), (403) 533-3760.


Husky House RestaurantHusky House Restaurant - A Waffle House wannabe in a truck stop milieu. Deb and Wanda have lots of experience entertaining breakfast customers. Also open late. 436 Ridge Road, just off of Hwy 1 (Trans-Canada Hwy), (403) 934-3455.

Roadhouse Restaurant & SaloonRoadhouse Restaurant & Saloon - Enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner in this western-themed favorite. Large portions. Located in the Country Lane Mall and within walking distance of the Best Western Strathmore Inn. 510K Hwy 1 (Trans-Canada Hwy), (403) 934-6469.


Like their patrons, Calgary’s gay bars tend to come and go. If you find something here that requires updating, please let us know. Thanks!

For other up-to-date entertainment options see


BackLotThe Back Lot - “Pub” atmosphere, (209 10th Avenue SW), (403) 265-5211.

Calgary EagleCalgary Eagle - Near the King Eddie (Electra Bar) and Canadian Legion (Childress Dance Hall interior), friendly, leather not required. (424A 8th Avenue SE),, (403) 263-5847.

Money Pennies Eatery & BarMoney Pennies Eatery & Bar - Friendly, G&L, offers good, simple food. (1742 10th Avenue SW),, (403) 263-7411.

The Twisted Element - Scenic, young crowd. (1006 11th Avenue SW),, (403) 802-0230.


Check with your mobile phone provider before you go to Canada. Even if your phone works in Canada, many of the features you depend upon (web access, text messaging, etc.) may not. You may want to sign up for a discount roaming plan that will save you money while there. If you have trouble reaching a U.S. number on a cellphone in Canada, try dialing “1” before the area code.


Astoundingly, almost all of the Brokeback sites are very easy to access. This is not a coincidence. The vast entourage of trucks, cranes, and crews that is required for location shoots is known in the movie business as “the circus.” For practical reasons, the producers sought locations which were accessible by truck. There are two exceptions: Canyon Creek (Campsite #1 and the Creek Crossing) and Moose Mountain (the High Ridge and the “I Ain’t Queer” Hillside). Each of these makes a lovely half-day excursion.

These climbs are for intermediate hikers. Wear hiking boots and socks. Bring ample water, a snack, and protective gear. Never leave valuables in a car parked at trailheads. Use caution; bear activity is common in these areas, and in all mountain locations. Do not hike alone. Always consult park wardens and take appropriate precautions. See:

Canyon Creek Hike:

Chapter 4 - Trading Places - Campsite #1This is a 12 km (7.5 mile) round trip hike on a fairly level grade gravel road. Allow 3-4 hours.

Take Highway 66 west from Bragg Creek to the “Kananaskis Country” sign and Information Center, and continue (west) 10.5 km to Canyon Creek Road. Turn right (north) onto Canyon Creek Road and go 0.8 km to the parking area on the right. Walk north past the locked gate beyond the parking area, and follow the well-maintained gravel road 3.0 km (north) to the bridge, then past two gas metering stations. After you pass four concrete barriers to the left side of the road (these mark the Sheep Procession vista) you will approach the Campsite #1 area.

To get to Campsite #1, look for a road which intersects Canyon Creek Road to the right and a culvert under Canyon Creek Road. As you face the left side of Canyon Creek Road with both the culvert and the intersection to your right, look to your left for an overgrown path blocked by large stones. (For reference, this location is 5.02 km north of the gate and is 50d 54m 7.08s, -114d 47m 43.44s.) Proceed 200', turn right at the gravel path, go 200' and turn left. The site is on the creek bank. You will see the circle of campfire stones.

The Creek Crossing site is approximately 1 km further, at the end of Canyon Creek Road. Go to the sour gas plant and containment basin at the end of the road. Go to the left of the concrete barriers for approximately 1/3 of the way down the left side; turn left onto a path that will lead to the creek bed. The site is on your left.

Moose Mountain Hike:

Chapter 2 - Herding Sheep - Sheep Procession #1This is a 14 km (9 mile) round trip hike.

Take Highway 66 west from Bragg Creek to the “Kananaskis Country” sign and Information Center, and continue (west) 8.5 km to Moose Mountain Road. Turn right (north) onto Moose Mountain Road and follow it 7.0 km to the well-marked trailhead. The trail begins in the trees at the green vehicle barrier, located on the south side of the parking area. The Moose Mountain summit is 7.1 km from the parking area and trailhead, gaining 477 m (1,565') in elevation. The Brokeback sites are all in the meadows area which is just above the tree line. (Note: Moose Mountain Road is unmarked; it is just west of the “Paddy’s Flat” sign on Hwy 66.)

Mornings generally provide the most reliable weather conditions. Allowing time to explore filming locations, budget a total of 4 to 5 hours for a rewarding hike to and from the vast Moose Mountain meadows, where several sheep herding scenes were filmed. See:

The hike to the meadows is a moderately strenuous ascent. Though no filming took place above the meadows, the adventurous may wish to keep climbing to the summit using a series of switchbacks leading to a fire lookout station. Budget approximately 50 minutes for the final ascent, along slippery shale surfaces.


Bow Valley CampgroundsWe originally were confident that we could write with some authority on this subject but once Amber Boice explained to us the difference between “camping” and “camp,” we turned the whole thing over to her.

Waking up among the mountains and falling asleep under the stars will create an unforgettable experience for you while visiting the filming sites for Brokeback Mountain. There are numerous campgrounds in the Kananaskis area.

In addition to being able to sleep under the same stars as Jack and Ennis, you’ll save yourself quite a bit of money. You’ll find that most campgrounds charge around $20 CDN a night for a site without electricity.

Bow Valley Campground ( proved to be an excellent central location for my trip, being just 25 minutes from Canmore, 45 minutes from Calgary, 30 minutes from Highway 66 and just minutes away from Highway 40. There is excellent tree cover, a camp store and shower/flush toilets on site.

If you enjoy tent camping, there are a few basics you’ll need to remember. First, Kananaskis Country is bear country! You will need to store food in your vehicle at ALL times. Do not leave food unattended at the campsite, even during the day, and remember to dump garbage every night. Second, make sure you are prepared for rain. Rainflies are a must and it is an excellent idea to bring an extra tarp to cover your tent. While it does not rain every day, it usually looks like it could. Third, be sure to have a good supply of Loonies, the Canadian $1 coin. All showers in Kananaskis Country charge $2 for 5 minutes of shower time and accept only $1 coins.

While in the Kananaskis area, you’ll notice a large number of rented RVs. If tent camping isn’t quite your style, visit the following websites to check out RV rentals:, Remember, however, that a few of the film locations are on unpaved roads and not well suited for RV access.

If you like camping, you’ll LOVE camping in Kananaskis Country; there is nothing else like it.

Other Precautions

Should you find yourself inside of old buildings, be especially careful. Floorboards may be weak, missing, or loose. Railings may be missing or insecure. You will need a flashlight.

Of course, always secure permission of owners before entering private property. Leave property as you find it. Please be especially respectful of Native reservation lands and the long-suffering people who inhabit them.

Several Brokeback sites are located in bars and taverns. Obtain permission of patrons before taking bar photographs.

Don’t Forget

If we have any travel expertise at all, it is in the area of forgetting things. Here is a short list of things often forgotten that may be useful to Brokeback travelers: Sunglasses, Neosporin, lip balm, Q-tips, Post-its, a hat, medicines, water bottles, address book, chargers for cameras and cellphones, extra batteries and memory cards. We found it very nice to have our Brokeback Mountain DVD and a portable DVD player on hand for on-site comparisons to the film.

Above All

This site was assembled by volunteers who feel strongly that Brokeback Mountain is an important film which has a deep and unique power to touch lives and improve understanding. We urge you to absorb as much of the Brokeback travel experience as you possibly can and to share it with those around you. Have a great trip!

Feedback, Please!

No guide is perfect. We have undoubtedly made mistakes and need your help in correcting them. Please let us know which locations you found and if there were any sites you looked for but did not find. If you encounter problems with the directions or the information contained here, we would be grateful for a chance to correct our mistakes. Moreover, if you know of a way to make this resource more useful or have other suggestions, please email and let us know!


  Revised 09 August 2015