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.
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