Bar U Ranch National Historic Site officially kicks off 2022 visitor season
From: Parks Canada
May 19, 2022
The network of protected areas administered by Parks Canada is a gateway to nature, history, and 450 000 km² of memories from coast to coast to coast.
Bar U Ranch National Historic Site is pleased to welcome visitors for the 2022 visitor season. This season, the Bar U Ranch will be offering new activities, including the Roland Gissing Gallery in our Visitor Centre. Discover the undeniable beauty of Alberta’s landscape captured in the historic artworks of Gissing paintings, Gissing’s custom saddle, sketchbooks, and other personal effects also on display.
What’s new at the Bar U – Special events in 2022
Events are back at the Bar U! Visit our website for a complete listing of this year’s events.
Roland Gissing Gallery
Explore the newest addition to the visitor centre, the Roland Gissing Gallery. Discover the undeniable beauty of Alberta’s landscape captured in the historic artworks of Gissing paintings. His work can be found in the collections of Queen Elizabeth II, Glenbow Museum, and Alberta Foundation for the Arts.
Moving to Canada from England in 1913, Gissing rode the range from the Peace River Country as far south as Mexico working on ranches and sketching along the way. Gissing later purchased land near the junction of the Ghost and Bow rivers west of Cochrane, Alberta.
View Gissing’s custom saddle, sketchbooks, and other personal effects, also on display.
Stoney Nakoda Tipi
There is a historic relationship between foothills ranches and the Bearspaw Nation of the Stoney Nakoda, as well as other Indigenous groups. A diverse workforce, especially Indigenous people, played a significant role in the history of Bar U Ranch. The ranch is pleased to host members of the Bearspaw Stoney, who share their culture and perspectives at a tipi encampment. This encampment is representative of the transition between pre-Treaty 7 and post Treaty 7 Indigenous life and provides a window into these experiences and traditions.
Visitors are welcome to discover the Bar U Ranch by wagon as part of the self-guided visit. Complimentary wagon rides with an interpreter start at round-up camp and visit a variety of unique areas on the ranch. This is an authentic way to experience the ranch, and our knowledgeable interpreters will bring it all to life for you. Wagon rides run for the half-hour and information on daily/weekly schedules will be available during the operational season. Wagon tours have limited capacity and are on a first-come, first-served basis.
Pekisko Creek Trail
The Bar U Ranch recently opened a 3-km trail, which includes a portion of the national historic site not often seen during a regular visit. Visitors can enjoy the sounds of the creek, tranquil rustic picnic spots and stunning mountain views. Guests will experience a range of cultural and natural history.
Bar U Ranch National Historic Site provides the perfect setting for memorable and safe experiences. Whether they’re looking for adventure, fun for the whole family, a chance to explore the history, or a break from the every day, there are countless unique experiences to suit every visitor’s needs.
The health and safety of visitors and employees are of the utmost importance and Parks Canada continues to follow the advice, guidance, and requirements of public health authorities and experts to limit the spread of COVID-19.
The Parks Canada website provides detailed information on what visitors can expect, how to prepare for a visit, and what services may be available. Visitors are asked to plan ahead by checking the website before they travel, to respect the guidance of public health experts, and to follow all signage and direction from Parks Canada employees.
“As Canadians, we are fortunate to live in a country with such diverse landscapes and rich history. Every one of the protected areas within the Parks Canada network of sites is a perfect gateway to discovering, learning about, and connecting with natural and cultural heritage. As summer approaches, I encourage all Canadians to get out and explore locations such as the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site as they walk in the footsteps of history and enjoy the important physical and mental benefits of being outdoors.”
The Honourable Steven Guilbeault
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
“Parks Canada prides itself on providing visitors with high quality and meaningful experiences across the country. The Parks Canada team works extremely hard to ensure that each and every person leaves with memories that will last a lifetime. We are excited to welcome new and returning visitors back to the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site, this season, to help them create new memories and discover everything that this treasured place has to offer.”
President & Chief Executive Officer, Parks Canada
- Set in the rolling foothills of the Rockies, the Bar U Ranch is the only national historic site to commemorate the history and importance of ranching in Canada.
- The site has many historic buildings and structures, illustrating various stages of ranching development from 1882-1950, and is rich in cultural landscape features.
- Located one hour southwest of the Calgary city limits at the intersection of Highways 22 and 540.
- Bar U Ranch National Historic Site features a visitor centre with restaurant and gift shot, and a vibrant living history program interpret a time when the West was young.
- Want the ultimate ticket to nature, history, and adventure? The Parks Canada Discovery Pass provides unlimited admission for a full year to over 80 destinations across the country. Visitors can purchase their Parks Canada Discovery Passes online, on-site, and at partner retail locations across the country.
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Parks Canada Agency
Public Relations and Communications Officer
Waterton Lakes Field Unit