Map by Jason Schneider

Community Watch: Pincher Creek

By Andrew Penner

As the old adage goes, it’s all about location, location, location. And Pincher Creek serves it in spades. Perfectly situated in Alberta’s far southwest on the doorstep of the Rockies, the town is an ideal home base for winter adventures.

Out and About

Ski: With over 3,500 skiable acres—including eight spectacular alpine bowls—Castle Mountain Resort is the second-largest ski resort in the province and a perfect day out.

Eat: While it might seem odd to go for sushi in the heart of cattle country, Soo Sushi slices up some of the best Japanese food around. Be sure to try the Crazy Crab Balls.

Explore: Just 20 minutes west of Pincher Creek, Beauvais Lake Provincial Park offers ice fishing, trails, warming huts and firepits—and some of Alberta’s largest Douglas firs.

Play: For indoor fun, catch a flick at the historic Fox Theatre or knock over some pins at Chinook Lanes, where AMA members can save 30% on regular open-play rates.

Living History

The Pincher Creek Region is loaded with historic spots worth checking out:

A UNESCO World Heritage Site that preserves over 6,000 years of Plains Buffalo history, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre is an immersive experience that incorporates impressive exhibits, diverse programs, interpretive trails and stunning viewpoints.

In 1903, Canada’s deadliest rockslide obliterated the town of Frank. The physical scars of this devastating event still linger, including the boulder-strewn valley where the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre sits. Learn about the fascinating history of the incident, as well as the region’s mining history. Find the centre in Crowsnest Pass, just a short drive from Pincher Creek.

At one time, the carriage ruled the roads in Canada. About a half-hour from Cardston, the Remington Carriage Museum is the world’s largest museum devoted to horse-drawn vehicles. Take a trip back in time on a stroll through the museum.


Judy Lee

Long-time Pincher Creek resident Judy Lee is vice-president of the Syncline Castle Trails Association, which helps manage 20 km of trails through montane forests, rolling meadows and along riverbanks. Together with her golden retriever, Neena, Lee is a fixture on the local trails and a great source of town tips.

What’s the best thing about living in this area?

We are so close to the mountains and there are so many parks. Our friendly, spirited residents will happily guide you to your destination. The people here are so welcoming; it makes me smile every single day.

What is your favourite local trail?

All the trails at Syncline are beautiful! But at just under two hours, the River Loop to the Lake Loop is my favourite. The Syncline network of trails is located in Castle Provincial Park. In winter, you can cross-country ski, snowshoe and hike. It’s a very special place.

After a day on the trails, how do you treat yourself?

Miner’s Mercantile & Bakery in nearby Beaver Mines is the perfect one-stop shop for delicious sandwiches, soups and fresh-baked goodies. It’s basically impossible for me to drive by without stopping!