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“Southern Alberta ranch history”

Bar U Ranch National Historic Site
Ranked #1 of 4 things to do in Longview
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Bar U Ranch is the only Parks Canada-administered National Historic Site that commemorates the importance of ranching to Canada. Founded in 1882 as the Northwest Cattle Company, the Bar U was one of the first and most enduring of the large corporate ranches established in southern Alberta. Three key personalities guided the ranch through seven decades of change up to 1950: Fred Stimson set the foundation and infrastructure for the Bar U Ranch, which under George Lane achieved international repute as a centre of breeding excellence for cattle and purebred Percheron horses. Patrick Burns and his company modernized the ranch by replacing horses with tractors and streamlined operations which took the Bar U though the depression and World War II. Explore one of the largest collections of original buildings in Canada. Treasures include the blacksmith shop, harness repair shop, roundup camp and saddlehorse barn. Taste the freshly-baked cookies at the cookhouse, hear the clattering hooves of our Percheron team and smell the cowboy coffee roasting over an open fire. Experience life on the ranch from 100 years ago. On the doorstep of the Rocky Mountains, the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site is only an hour’s drive from Calgary.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Southern Alberta ranch history”
Reviewed September 24, 2012

If you want to know about Alberta history then a visit to the Bar U is a necessity. Southern Alberta was the home of the big ranch in its early history and this park is the epitome of that genre. The location in the foothills of the Rockies is so beautiful that it defies an accurate description, it has to be seen to be believed. It is a perfect day trip from anywhere you may stay south of Red Deer. The staff and volunteers make your day a trip back in time with their knowledge. Add to that their willingness to spend time with you and you will leave feeling you have made friends.
The visit starts at the beautiful visitor center with its outstanding bronze of George Lane and the wolves out front, its cafe (be sure to have lunch here, the food is terrific especially the corn chowder), a gift shop and very informative historical displays of ranch history. Out the door to the valley below you will find the ranch buildings most of which are original and are very well outfitted with artifacts and displays showing ranch life of the past. Our highlights were the cookhouse and the roundup camp. Be sure to sample the home made baking in the cookhouse and the bannack & cowboy coffee at the roundup camp. You can walk the grounds but the area is vast. If you tire please take advantage of the shuttle wagon pulled by 2 big horses, a free service not to be missed.
I recommend this park for all ages to experience what it was like to live 100 years ago.

Visited September 2012
3 Thank JorgeCalgary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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103 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Polish first
  • Any
English first
Longview, Canada
Level Contributor
51 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“history alive”
Reviewed September 20, 2012

wonderful spot to spend a day for visitors from far and near. A walk back in history and very knowledgable staff

Visited July 2012
1 Thank CheyN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kalispell, Montana
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Visiting Historical Sites”
Reviewed September 14, 2012

We had camped in Black Diamond the night before and headed for Waterton Park.
Saw the sign and went in. Spent all day there. The personal are so well informed. The are
local farmers and ranchers. We learned so much about that period of time. Most of the
buildings are original. They are noted for raising Percheron Horses. It is a must visit.
Joedy Foster
Kalispell, Montana

Visited August 2012
Thank montanagal73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
70 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Worth the trip”
Reviewed September 3, 2012

Brilliant place to take the kids and to learn about the history of the wild west.... Short summer season though.

Visited July 2012
2 Thank PeaGee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wheeling, West Virginia
Level Contributor
87 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“do not miss this incredible place!”
Reviewed August 31, 2012

spectacular scenery, breath-taking...worth every moment of the drive....there is a very nice cafe, gift shop and interpretive center at the ranch...most likely fun things to do also...a wagon ride for sure...we didn't get to do that. wheelchair accessible. and very good cafe food....tasty and good value.

Visited August 2012
1 Thank lakebuddy52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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