The Cowboy Trail (Rocky Mountains Trip Part 2)

As my chronicles of a Rocky Mountain vacation continue (you can see my photos from Glacier National Park here), I will share with you my photos of locations on and near Alberta's Cowboy Trail, including Waterton Lakes National Park and the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site.

The Cowboy Trail has lots of beautiful scenery.  The farm in the foreground and the mountains in the back make for a dynamic landscape.

Waterton Lakes National Park isn't exactly on the Cowboy Trail, but it's right at the end (or start?) of it.  The historic Prince of Wales Hotel is worth a visit.  The architecture is really stunning.

Prince of Wales Hotel Lobby

Outside the hotel, you can take in this view of Waterton Lake, which extends into Montana.

My favorite view of the hotel is from a distance where you can get the mountains in the background.  It looks like a little dollhouse on a hill.

The union of Waterton Lakes National Park and Glacier National Park in Montana is known as the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.

Kickin' Up Dust

Back on the Cowboy Trail, you gotta love those dusty roads!

The historic Bar U Ranch is not to be missed for those traveling along the Cowboy Trail.

The Bar U Ranch

The Bar U Ranch is a working ranch that has a long history, and interpreters on site are available to help visitors understand what life was like in the ranching days of yore.

Most of the original ranch has been sold off and is now owned privately, but what's left has been preserved for our education and enjoyment.

On the right above is the chophouse, with the dining and sleeping cars parked out front.

Inside the dining car, we can get a look at what kinds of materials were used to cook.

Time for Dinner

The inside of the sleeping car is seen above.

Stormy skies made for a dramatic photo of the log cabin above and the harness repair shop and post office below.

Above:  inside the post office.

Bar U Ranch's Resident Saddle Maker

Lewis Pederson, the saddle repairman, etches these beautiful designs seen below.

Inside the cookhouse, there are a lot of interesting rooms to explore.  Above is where the ranchers ate.  It's hard to see people on the other side of the table this way, but the ranchers were expected to eat quickly and not converse.

Above, the kitchen, and below, the cook's bedroom.

Outside the cookhouse the storm continues to brew!

Here kitty kitty!  This little guy was in the tack shop.

Above, the tack shop from outside.  Below, the tack shop from inside.

You can learn how to lasso a steer and do other ranching activities.

The storm was getting more and more imminent as I took the photos of the storage buildings above and the chuckwagon below, but look at those clouds!

A horse and cart came to take visitors back to the visitors center.

As I was leaving Bar U Ranch, a truly dramatic sky had settled over it.

Back on the Cowboy Trail, I captured a photo of Longview, above, and an oil rig (of which there are many in these parts) below.

If you find yourself in southern Alberta, you'd be remiss not to check out Waterton Lakes National Park, the Bar U Ranch, and the gorgeous scenery of the cowboy trail.


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