Mountain View is a hamlet within Cardston County in southern Alberta.
It is located along Highway 5 about 25 kilometres (16 mi) west of Cardston and 20 kilometres (12 mi) east of Waterton Lakes National Park near the United States border.
The Nelson Family Story
We had the opportunity to visit the Nelson Family Ranch out here to experience our first horseback riding adventure on the Rocky Mountains. Dan Nelson is a fourth generation rancher based out here and runs the Mountain Meadow Trail Rides. Dan showed us around the ranch and inside the barn. Folks, this IS the real cowboy life of the west. Dan took us on an hour long ride up on the mountains. It was a blast.
If you are with kids or seniors, make sure to ask specifically for the horses trained to ride with kids and seniors, as only those horses are groomed and trained to be calmer riding horses.
Dan and his family have built log cabins up in the mountains where you can stay overnight on multi-day horseback riding trips. I have to come back for one of those. But be warned, if you are not a regular rider, it is going to get rough on your back after your first day riding the horse up on the mountain trails. So I recommend doing some stretches and light exercises to focus on your back muscles if you plan on going on an extended horseback riding trip.
Ranching is a tough trade. It requires arduous outdoor work in whatever condition the environment is in, patience with the animals, and then something more. It is not a trade that one chooses because one gets the sudden passion bug for back-country lifestyle. This is why this profession is multi-generational, as it takes a life of commitment to the trade to be good at it. The next generation of the Nelsons are being groomed and trained to take on the “reigns”, so to speak, of the ranching business.
My time spent here was very brief, but the memory retained will be very long. If you want to know and understand what the true life of a cowboy is like, the buck stops here. No, the faux cowboyish attired folks that you might encounter during Calgary’s famous Stampede Week, are not cowboys of Alberta, as most people, including unsuspecting Canadians from out east, are made to believe.
(Disclaimer: Every adventure activity carries some level of risk. Participants are advised to carry out their own due diligence, exercise common sense, and consult the tour operator before and during participation in such activity. This article provides only general information about the activity. Therefore, no responsibility for injury or damage occasioned by any person or persons undertaking such activity as a result of the material contained in this post can be accepted by larkycanuck.com)
So if you plan on spending a quiet relaxing time in Mountain View there are some local Bed and Breakfast lodges that you can stay at. We stayed at the Rocky Ridge Country Lodge located close to the Nelson Ranch.
You will notice that the architectural style is uniquely European and distinct from western Canadian log style design. This is because it was originally served as a home for a Swiss family, who later converted it to a B&B. Josh, the current owner, is from Fort MacLeod, Alberta, and his family have added some uniquely Western Canadian touches to the interior.
It has a warm earthy and woody tone inside providing a very relaxing and tranquil environment. It reminded me of a movie I watched on a transatlantic flight starring Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz who swapped their respective homes in England and New York City. Can’t remember the name of the movie, but that English cottage featured in that film is the closest comparative I can find for Rocky Ridge. Unlike typical B&Bs, Rocky Ridge is unique in that the owners do not actually live in the cottage thus extending additional privacy to the guests. Josh and his family live next door and, yes, breakfast will be served in house. My mind was blown away with the pancakes he served with Maple Syrup. Delish Delish Delish!
| Traveling with a bunny rabbit |
Mountain View has an idyllic setting where you come in for total unwinding. I recall seeing one small gas station and convenience store but that is it. The nearest town for purchasing supplies is Cardston. There are some unique visitor experiences out here as well.
And for a change of scenery, you must make a stop at Waterton Lakes National Park. It is somewhat of a ghost town during the off-season but a major regional tourist destination rest of the year.
Well, I would have loved to tell you more about things to do in Waterton and areas but can’t. Here is why.
Want to discover additional fun things to do in Southern Alberta? Check out exploresouthwestalberta.ca for more information.
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