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Cochrane is a town of 26,000 people (2016) in the Calgary Region of Alberta. Cochrane has a reputation for its western culture, which can easily be felt when you wander the streets (particularly Main Street).


Overview of Cochrane

The town is a popular destination for ice cream and coffee in its quaint western-oriented stores, and for windsports, golfing, hiking and other adventure activities. Cochrane is known for outdoor pursuits. It is a centre for paragliding instruction. The hill is a popular training ground for cyclists from the area, who take advantage of its 7% grade and 3.5 km distance.

Major industries include lumber, construction, retail, and agriculture (ranching). Cochrane is also a small industrial centre.


Cochrane was established in 1881 as the Cochrane Ranche, after Matthew Henry Cochrane, a local rancher. It became a village in 1903, and it had a newspaper and volunteer fire department by 1909. Cochrane was incorporated as a town in 1971.

Get in[edit]

Cochrane is 30 km (19 mi) northwest of Calgary on Crowchild Trail (Highway 1A) where it crosses Highway 22 (Cowboy Trail).

Get around[edit]

Car, taxi, or use the 30 km of pathways to travel by bike or on foot.

  • Cochrane On-demand Local Transit (COLT). With COLT, a rider must order a bus via app, online or telephone. The bus stops are at fixed locations, but there are no fixed routes or schedules. $2.50 per ride.


Main street
  • 1 Bert Sheppard Stockmen's Foundation Library and Archives, 101 Ranchehouse Road (in the Cochrane Ranchehouse), +1 403 932-3782, . M-F 9AM-noon, 1PM-4PM, closed weekends on statutory holidays. Over 13,000 books related to western culture from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, including a complete collection of Brand Books for Alberta from 1888 to present, and some from the other provinces. 6,000 magazines on such areas as ranching, rodeo, horsemanship, veterinary science, history, Royal Canadian Mounted Police.


  • Cochrane WinterFest. Early March. Activities include Crokicurl, pancake breakfast, Extreme Cowboy demonstrations, pony rides, axe throwing, ski jump demonstration. $5 per person, $15 per family, children 10 and under free.
  • Great Cochrane Outhouse Races (The Outhouse Race), 1st St West, Cochrane, Alberta. Local teams of five design, build, and proceed to race mock outhouses on wheels by pushing them on wheels down 1st St West. Prizes are awarded for fastest outhouse and most humorously decorated, with the largest prize totalling $500. The race takes place in historic downtown, Cochrane. Parking is usually arranged by event organizers at various locations throughout the town, and directions for access and parking are released online, on the Cochrane tourism website. Free to watch, fee to race.



  • 1 MacKay's, 220 1 St W, +1 403-932-2455. Open daily, hours vary seasonally. The reason that Calgarians visit Cochrane. Dozens of great flavours of locally made ice cream, e.g., dill pickle, ginger with candied ginger, spotted cow, sticky toffee pudding, mayan chocolate, wasabi. Since 1948.
  • 2 Guy's Cafe & Bakery, 6-201 Grand Blvd, +1 403-851-9955. M-Sa 7AM-5PM. Specialty coffee, full meals, freshly baked bread, soups and sandwiches.
  • 3 [dead link] Portofino Italian Ristorante, 18-205 1 Street E, +1 403-932-1777, . Tu-F 11AM-2PM, Tu-Sa 5-9PM. Italian cuisine; reservations recommended. $20-46.
  • 4 Thanh Thy, #100, 521 - 1st St West, +1 403-932-0088, +1 403-932-0066. M-Th 11AM-8PM, F 11AM-9PM, Sa noon-9PM Saturday, Su holidays noon-8PM. Locally owned and managed Vietnamese restaurant known for excellent dishes and quick service. On Fridays and holidays, there is a higher number of customers due to an influx of high school students being let off early and coming to the location to eat.


  • 1 [dead link] Brooklyn Social House, 2101-101 Sunset Drive, +1 403-362-3622. Su-Th 11AM-11PM, F Sa 11AM-1AM. Pub serving only hand-crafted Alberta beers paired with innovative, locally sourced and seasonally focused food.
  • 2 Texas Gate Bar & Grill (inside Rockyview Hotel), 304 1st Street W, +1 403-932-6666. Daily 10AM-3AM. 180-person bar features 3 pool tables, 4 dart boards, 9 VLTs, 10 big screen TVs, stage & dance floor, karaoke nights and live entertainment or all-request DJ on weekends.


Bed & breakfast[edit]


  • 1 Bow RiversEdge Campground, 900 Griffin Rd E (3 km SE of the town centre), +1 403-932-4675, toll-free: +1-877-932-4675, . April-October. Along the banks of the Bow River in Cochrane. Next to the Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Center. Each site at Bow RiversEdge has full hook-up facilities including water, sewer, power, and Internet. $45-50/night, $275-325/week.

Hotels & motels[edit]


  • 1 Big Hill Springs Provincial Park (10 km north of Cochrane via Hwy 22 & Hwy 567). Day-use area featuring a series of small waterfalls and hiking. Big Hill Springs Provincial Park (Q4905824) on Wikidata Big Hill Springs Provincial Park on Wikipedia
  • 2 Ghost Lake (23 km west of Cochrane on Hwy 1A). Small reservoir along the Bow River, popular spot for sailing, iceboating, and ice fishing. Ghost Lake (Q5557099) on Wikidata Ghost Lake, Alberta on Wikipedia


Go next[edit]

Routes through Cochrane
ENDCanmore  W Alberta Highway 1A.svg E  CalgaryEND
Rocky Mountain HouseSundre  N Alberta Highway 22.svg S  → Jct E Alberta Highway 1.svg WBragg CreekTurner Valley & Black Diamond

This city travel guide to Cochrane is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.