Cowley Camp (Alberta)
July & October
The Cowley airfield is located about 10 kilometres north of the village of Cowley on Highway 3 in the southwest corner of Alberta. See the map of the Cowley area for more directions. Cowley has a long history of being the wave flying capital of Canada, and soaring activities have been taking place here since the early 1960s. In 1997, Cowley was named the first "National Soaring Site" by the Soaring Association of Canada. A brief graphical timeline of significant events may be seen in the Cowley airfield history. Although the Cowley property is owned by the government, the airfield and its campground is officially operated and maintained by the ASC. Camping is free and there is water available but no power. The campground has a cookshack which is the centre of soaring camp activities. The camps are entirely a voluntary effort, and everyone on hand is expected to help out in some respect such as taking a shift as time-keeper or field manager out on the flightline. For fly-in visitors, there is avgas available at the nearby Pincher Creek airport and emergency avgas is available (in drums) on the airfield. There is a camp registration fee of $15. Tow tickets are $30 for each 2000 feet of tow and a $15 "wimpy" sticker may be added to the ticket for an additional 1000 feet. Oxygen is available on-site. Details of the camps, flying operations, and the flying conditions are in the Cowley Guide.
The Camps
The Alberta Soaring Council runs two major soaring camps at the airfield:
  • the Cowley Summer Camp starts on a Saturday and runs for the 10 days ending the Monday of the August long weekend. The Summer Camp is the largest annual soaring event in Canada. Pilots and families are most welcome with free camping at the airfield campground. On a historical average, wave can be expected on 30% of the days.
  • the Cowley Fall Camp starts on a Saturday and runs for the 10 days ending the Monday of the (Canadian) Thanksgiving weekend, which is usually the second weekend of October. This is not a family camping affair at this time of year except for the hardy – visitors often choose motels in nearby Pincher Creek. The weather is highly variable and at the airfield elevation of 3900 feet prone to freezing at night and a fair chance of the first snowfall of the year. At times the camp has been cancelled at the last minute due to a bad weather forecast, so check ahead by e-mailing Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser. before committing to the trip.

For more information, visit the Alberta Soaring Council website.