It starts at the intersection of Alberta Highways 3 & 22 reached from the west through Fernie and the the Crowsnest Pass and from the east through Fort MacLeod and past Pincher Creek. From there the route takes you north along the Cowboy Trail to Longview, west to Highwood House and then north again over the Highwood Pass to Wedge Pond.
The first leg up to Longview takes you over 110km of rolling, meandering two lane blacktop through the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. At times it's not hard to imagine herds of buffalo roaming the fertile valleys. Here's some of the points of interest along the way:
- km 24/mile15- you'll cross the Oldman River
- km 44/mile 27- one of the highest spots on the Cowboy Trail at approximately 1500m/4900ft, over 300m/1100ft higher than our start point.
- km 71/mile 44 - you'll start to pass Chain Lakes Provincial Park on your left. There's a spot here for a picnic or a bathroom break if the need arises.
|Northbound on Highway 22. From Surrealplaces on Flikr; link in properties|
- km 97/ mile 60- The Bar-U Ranch National Historic site
- km 109/ mile 67- across the Highwood River and up the hill to Longview.
Longview is the starting point for the second leg of this route. Head west from Longview on Highway 541. You'll reach Highwood House after a scenic 44km/28mile westward drive through rolling farmland. At this point you'll turn north again onto Highway 40 to head over the Highwood Pass which at 2206m (7238ft) is the highest paved pass in Canada. This stretch of highway is closed from December to mid June as it is a major wildlife corridor.
|Highwood Pass looking south from the air (source wikipedia)|
|From the ground (source wikipedia)|