Some of the most beautiful country to drive through in Alberta is mostly made up of Ranchland.
The drive south from Longview down Highway 22 is drop dead gorgeous and there are many miles of backroads all through there that are just waiting to be explored.
It’s one of my favourite pastimes.
There is a stretch of foothills down there on the east side of the flatlands that is called the ‘Porcupine Hills’.
It’s pretty quiet on those backroads, poking around up there you’ll find a road called the ‘Skyline Road’ which offers amazing views of the valley below.
Skyline Road was originally built as a firebreak.
I’m not having much luck finding it on Google Maps so, if memory serves me right, after driving through Longview, (*don’t forget to stop for Beef Jerky), and passing Highway 540 on your left watch for small range roads that don’t have “No Trespassing” signs and wind their way east and upslope.
Just keep in mind that it runs north to south and it’s on the ridgeline.
Now, on the west side of Highway 22, also named the Cowboy Trail, is another beautiful stretch of foothills called the ‘Whaleback’.
There’s little access to those until you get to the far south end. The hiking in there is incredible.
This is a shot of the Whaleback taken very early morning just about a 3 minute drive south of Longview.
You’ve got the place all to yourself!
For the mildly inquisitive, there’s plenty to see down there.
Highway 22 is spectacular, the roads west into the foothills on the far south of Highway 22 and on the north and south side of the Oldman River are superb.
If you’re looking for great images they’re everywhere and early morning light makes them pop.
As a matter of interest, these images were taken on October 10th. The colours were just starting to get great and it wasn’t too chilly in the morning.
If you live in the area and have never wandered down the ‘Cowboy Trail’ before, as I mentioned earlier, it’s my absolute favourite drive in the Province and I’ve done a LOT of driving.
It’s magical and early in the morning it’s virtually all yours.
John Sharpe/ Sharpeshots