Chapter 6 - First Light - 00 31 20

00 31 20
DVD capture (reversed)
Contributed photo
DVD Time Code = 00 31 20
Location: Hwy 66, Moose Mountain, Sheep Summit
GPS:   50d 56m 31.8s    -114d 48m 35.34s
Map / Satellite Image: Google Link
Site Name: “Ain’t Queer” Mountainside

Travel Directions:
From Hwy 1 (Trans-Canada Hwy), take Exit 161A “Bragg Creek Rd / Hwy 22.” Go south on Hwy 22 approximately 17.4 km to the 4-way stop in Bragg Creek. (Do not follow the “Bragg Creek West” sign.) Turn left at the 4-way stop (continue on Hwy 22) and go 3.4 km to the “T” intersection of Hwy 22 and Hwy 66. Turn right (west) onto Hwy 66 and go approximately 13.9 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 site is about 0.5 km beyond the tree line to the north (right). (Note: Moose Mountain Road is unmarked; it is just west of the “Paddy’s Flat” sign on Hwy 66.)

The Moose Mountain summit is 7.1 km from the parking area and trailhead, gaining 477 m (1,565') in elevation. 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. Mornings generally provide the most reliable weather conditions. 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.

Finding these sites has been a delightful adventure. As you might imagine, for every actual site we found, there were several contenders which would “almost” be right were it not for an inconvenient mountain, house, or road! Confronted with these annoyances, it was often tempting to assert that the filmmakers had indeed used the site in question and that any discrepancies were the result of special effects! Some very elaborate theories were spun to explain some rather improbable image manipulation. Of course, after we had heard enough of our own lies, we went back to work and found the right place.

This scene is an exception. You will not find it in nature. After a lot of searching atop Moose Mountain, Steve Gin and Bob Sohomuch figured out that the image in the film is reversed! It is the only such Brokeback shot we have discovered.

Why? Did Ang Lee want the dog to face the other way? Did the dog refuse to cooperate? Is there something else about the composition of the shot that works better this way? We do not have a clue. Perhaps you do. If so, please let us know.

Vehicle access to the trailhead and parking area is subject to seasonal closure, usually opening in mid-May and closing after Canadian Thanksgiving (the second Monday in October). Note: For intermediate and experienced hikers. Wear hiking boots. Take ample water and protective gear. Never leave valuables in a car at trailheads. Use caution; bear activity is common in this area, and in all mountain locations. See:

Always consult park wardens and take appropriate precautions.

Pictures of surrounding area:







  Revised 08 April 2013