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Cowboy Trail | Alberta, Canada

Scenic Drive
Black Creek Heritage Rangeland, along The Cowboy Trail. – David Thomas

Driving Directions

You can join The Cowboy Trail anywhere along its route but the most central crossroads in the Crown of the Continent is the junction of Provincial Highway 3 and Provincial Highway 22. For a fine taste of open rangeland, rolling foothills, and maybe a glimpse of a cowboy, head north on 22 as far as your wanderlust leads. For an experience rich in windmills, First Nations communities, and towns, head south through Pincher Creek, Twin Butte, Mountain View to Cardston, where you can contemplate an earlier era of Western travel at the Remington Carriage Museum.

Points of Interest and Highlights along the Drive

From The Cowboy Trail website (

Along the foothills of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains is a narrow band of mixed forests and grasslands known for its moderate climate, a wide variety of wildlife species and broad ecological diversity. This attracted First Nations peoples to the area hundreds of years ago. Alberta ranching families first settled the territory in the 1880s and transformed the rolling grasslands into cattle country.

Today, communities along this corridor are linked together by The Cowboy Trail, a ribbon of pavement extending form Cardston to Mayerthorpe. The Old West is still evident in the art, history, food, hospitality, and culture of the foothills residents. Along the way, you’re likely to see cowboys out herding cattle, sometimes right along the highway, and families out for a horseback ride.

There’s plenty to do along The Cowboy Trail. Stay at a guest ranch or working ranch. Experience a trail ride with an outfitter into some of Alberta’s prettiest country. Take in a rodeo, cowboy festival or a pow-wow for a day. The western spirit comes alive in the small communities along the trail with special cowboy-flavoured events.

Enjoy western hospitality up close and become part of the community while you enjoy a pancake breakfast, watch a small-town parade, shop for local crafts and western antiques, or cheer during a rodeo. Listen to poets celebrate the western way of life or watch native dancers move to the beat of a drum. Stay an extra night at a bed-and-breakfast and watch dawn break on the eastern slopes.

Route Description

The Cowboy Trail extends northwest from Cardston to Mayerthorpe along Provincial Highways 5, 6, 3, and 22.

An excellent road map and list of attractions can be found on The Cowboy Trail website.

Starting Milemarker or Town