Up the Cowboy Trail to Chain Lakes Provincial Park and Cochrane

The next two posts are going to cover a broad period and will catch me up. This one is short because we didn’t see much that is likely to be interesting to my readers, and the next one because that week was almost all family time.

On Days 33 and 34 – Monday, May 28th and Tuesday, 29th – we drove from Waterton Lakes National Park to Chain Lakes Provincial Park, then on to Cochrane for a week-long stay.

The entire route was only 293 km (182 miles) – two very easy days. Click on the map to open an interactive version in a new window.


We stopped in Pincher Creek to get a few groceries, then our first tourist stop was at Lundbreck Falls Provincial Recreation Area. It’s quite small and not big-RV friendly, but it’s really pretty and so a worthwhile short detour off Highway 3.

Lundbreck Falls Provincial Recreation Area

Lundbreck Falls Provincial Recreation Area

From Lundbreck Falls, we soon turned north on Highway 22, which is the main highway on The Cowboy Trail. The rolling green hills of cattle country along the 70 km from Highway 3 to Chain Lakes were beautiful, and I’m really sorry that I don’t have any photos – there were no pulloffs and Cathy doesn’t take photos unless I ask her to. As I was driving along in the motorhome, I thought about driving back in the Tracker to do some shooting, but that didn’t happen. Next time 🙂

We reached the Chain Lakes Provincial Park campground at about 4:00 pm, and it took us a while to figure the place out, but we eventually settled in site A21. I made a loop around the large campground and day-use area in the Tracker, and was very impressed by the facilities. It apparently gets very busy in the summer, and I can see why.

Chain Lakes Provincial Park day-use area
This is the earth-fill dam that created the lake that the campground is at (called the Chains Lakes Reservoir).

Dam at Chain Lakes Provincial Park
The spillway of the reservoir intrigued me. With a bit more water flowing over it, it might make a good adventure ride 🙂

Spillway at the Chains Lakes Reservoir dam

Spillway at the Chains Lakes Reservoir dam
There were less than a dozen other campers in the 90-plus sites. The cost with electricity is $30 per night. Willows crowd many of the sites, but A21 was large enough, and gave us good access to grass dog-walking.

Chain Lakes Provincial Park campground

Chain Lakes Provincial Park campground
The campground also had ground squirrels!! Life was still good for Tucker and Bella 🙂

Dog watching a ground squirrel at the Chain Lakes Provincial Park campground
On Tuesday, we only made two stops en route to Cochrane – at Longview for fuel and “the world’s best jerky” (which I haven’t tried yet), and then at the Chuckwagon Cafe in Turner Valley for “Alberta’s Best Burger” (it was very good). People in this region aren’t shy about proclaiming their accomplishments with beef, whether it’s jerky of burgers 🙂 At the cafe, we offered to share a table with a local couple because it was so busy, and it was good fun.

Longview Jerky Shop
Our destination was the Bow Riversedge Campground in Cochrane. A big part of the reason that it’s our favourite city campground anywhere is the huge leash-free dog park, seen in the next photo. I’ll tell you more about the campground in the next post.




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