Ang Lee’s groundbreaking 2005 romance ‘Brokeback Mountain’ features sweeping vistas of Wyoming’s Big Horn mountains and prairie. But if you want to get to Brokeback Mountain, you’ll need to head a little further north to Alberta Canada.
This All-American tale could serve as a promotional ad for the area known as Kanakaskis Country, writes Jason Anderson in Film+Travel. The 1,600-plus-mile nature preserve is home to wide open blue skies and activities like fishing, hiking and both alpine and cross-country skiing.
The film’s titular mountain, named for its curved crest, is actually a composite of several Canadian mountains — Mount Lougheed in Canmore and Moose Mountain and Fortress in Kanakaskis, about 45 minutes west of Calgary. The camp scenes were also filmed in the area, namely at Goat Creek, Elbow Falls and Upper Kananaskis Lake.
Calgary is a city of more than 1 million, and it offers lots to see and do. If you’re in town in July, be sure to visit the famous Calgary Stampede, which bills itself as the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. The annual 10-day festival that features rodeos, rides, concerts and the famed Stampede Parade, plus plenty of free pancake breakfasts and BBQ. In 2010, the Stampede runs from July 9-18. Afterwards you can do like Jack (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) and Lureen (Anne Hathaway), and get a cold beer with some cowboys at the nearby Ranchman’s Cookhouse and Dancehall (9615 MacLeod Trail South; 403-253-1100).
To experience a bit of cowboy life for yourself, you can spend you vacation, or part of it, on a real working ranch. Homeplace Ranch in Priddis, combines ranch life with luxury — spend the day on horseback, or helping the farmhands and then unwind with a soak in a hot tub.
images: iStock; FrankMaurer/Flickr