Experience Rowley

Experience Rowley
If you’re intrigued by prairie ghost towns, Rowley, located in the heart of Canada’s province of Alberta is the perfect place to go – especially in the summer months.

Reminiscence of cowboy days gone past, Rowley is now little but a few scattered buildings, an abandoned railway station, an old saloon, and a few empty grain elevators. The population is busiest during the summer months when students and former residents come back home for visits.

Pizza Night is the time to come. It’s a summer tradition occurring every second Saturday. Acting as a fundraiser, locals make homemade pizzas at the town hall to be delivered across the street at Sam’s Saloon, an old cowboy pub with sawdust still littering its floor. Grab a pint and wait to hear your name being called over the din of chatter – the pizza is very, very much worth the wait. 

photo credit: Candice Walsh
photo credit: Candice Walsh
photo credit: Candice Walsh
There was an iron pot-bellied stove and a dusty piano. We were ordering $3 pints inside a real Western saloon, with a swinging door and everything. The bartender wore the largest belt buckle I have ever seen. Everyone in town was out to enjoy the socialness. We sat down at a simple table with simple chairs and took it all in. – FreeCandie.com


Unique Things to See and Do in Rowley

  • Enjoy Pizza Night every other Saturday
  • Grab a cheap pint at Sam’s Saloon

  • Wander the abandoned railroad

  • See the abandoned rail station

  • Meet the friendly locals 


Information on Rowley

Rowley’s been dying out for a while – even in the 1920s when it was a thriving railroad town, only about 500 people lived here. Now there are just 8 permanent residents. The train stopped running sometime in 1999, taking much of the town’s traffic with it. 

A few years ago, some locals decided to spend some time and money fixing up the old community homes and buildings to represent Rowley’s pioneer days in hopes of appealing to photographers and tourists interested in capturing a glimpse into a ghost town. 

Getting to Rowley

Rowley is located in Alberta’s Starland County, just north of Drumheller.  No tours or public transit runs through here – you’ll have to drive. Rowley is about 180km from Calgary which is about a 2 hour drive. Prairie road conditions always make for a fantastic drive.  

Did you know…?

Rowley had a brush with fame in 1988 when the town was used as a set for the hit Canadian movie “Bye Bye Blues.” 

By the old silos

Did you ALSO know…?

The official population of Rowley is eight people. Yes – 8!

Prior to being restored

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