Mountains and foothills may present the signature vistas of Alberta SouthWest, but the eastern portion of the region provides visitors with an equally satisfying experience of small-town prairie life and large-scale agricultural landscapes.
Starting Milemarker or TownPincher Creek
Points of Interest and Highlights along the Drive
Hill Spring's miniscule post office perfectly symbolizes the quiet intimacy of the community. The general store next door purveys snacks, fishing information and essential community gossip.
Glenwood's prime tourism attraction is its Pioneer Ice Cream Parlour. The preserved steam boiler and processing tanks of the former local dairy are worth the visit, but it is the prospect for a double scoop cone that makes Glenwood a worthy repeat destination. The Parlour is open in summer months, Monday to Saturday.
From the eastern end of Main Street (Highway 507) in Pincher Creek (GPS N49 29.136 W113 55.529), turn south and follow Highway 507 to its eastern end at a T-intersection with Highway 810 (GPS N49 26.185 W113 29.987). Turn south on Highway 810 and continue to the Township Road 51 turn-off to the Village of Glenwood (GPS N49 21.813 W113 29.965).
After your ice cream (GPS N49 21.893 W113 30.644), head south on Main Street to its T-intersection with Highway 505 (GPS N49 21.082 W113 30.637). Head west, and turn south at Highway 800 (GPS N49 19.186 W113 37.381). Continue south on Highway 800 to the Village of Hill Spring (GPS N49 17.698 W113 37.450).
Return north from Hill Spring on Highway 800 to the intersection with Highway 505 (GPSN49 19.186 W113 37.381). Turn west on Highway 505 and cross the dam at the outlet of Waterton River Reservoir (GPS N49 19.638 W113 40.181). You might stop for a rest at Waterton Reservoir Provincial Recreation Area.
Continue west on Highway 505, watching for a little glimpse of Switzerland where St. Henry's Church poses against the front range (GPS N49 20.053 W113 45.189). You may make a sidetrip to the church itself by turning south on Range Road 290A (GPS N49 19.600 W113 46.935).
Continue west on Highway 505 to the T-intersection with Highway 6 (N49 19.202 W113 53.811). Drive north to Pincher Creek, or south towards Waterton Lakes National Park.