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“Great Family Outing!”

Bar U Ranch National Historic Site
Ranked #1 of 6 things to do in Longview
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Reviewed 19 August 2011

We visited Bar U Ranch on Canada Day (free admission!), and found it to be a hidden gem. It's a bit off the beaten path, so the ranch wasn't swamped with visitors. The scenery alone was spectacular. There is a creek that runs through the ranch, and it would have made a great spot to have a picnic lunch. The interpretive displays were gorgeous, and it was really nice to see the heavy horse teams. The staff were very friendly. There were many big open grassy spots to just let my 2 year old son run.

2  Thank RuralRoadtripper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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111 - 115 of 125 reviews

Reviewed 16 August 2011

We popped into the Bar U Ranch for a quick look around and ended up staying for a few hours because there was so much to see and do. Both my 11 year old son and 16 year old daughter had a blast. The ranch has been restored as it was in the late 1880s and activities include a wagon ride, learning to use a rope, eating cookies made on a fire burning stove and hearing stories around a fire while drinking cowboy coffee (or hot chocolate). It is a National Historic Site owned by Parks Canada and everything is free. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable. Well worth a visit if you are in the Alberta foothills!

2  Thank Shoofly2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2011

Dont waste your time. theres 6 small shacks to see and a horse drawn wagon to take u around.. thats it. save your time and money and go to an actual working/living ranch.

5  Thank FPost
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2010

We visited the Bar U Ranch in July for the Ranch Roping event... apparently this is normally a really busy weekend as it was free entry but there were rodeos in neighbouring towns so it was pretty quiet.
The visitors' centre is bright and modern and there is a good café - although to our disappointment they were only serving basics when we were there as they had expected crowds. We had a bbq pulled pork sandwich and it was - as the chef promised - very, very good!
We took a wagon ride down to the site of the roping contest and watched for a while, then wandered around the various old ranch buildings. Each had its own group of old timers, ready to show and explain the various functions. The interesting thing for me about Alberta is that there is so much recent history. A lot of the people we spoke to had actually lived the ranching life so what they were talking about had been learned by experience, not from a book. We learnt how to rope, lessons given by a young third generation rancher from the local area and from him we got a perspective on the current challenges facing the ranching community.
There was plenty here for all - a bit of action, things for the kids to try out and beautiful countryside for those wanting a stroll.
My only complaint was that the main route to the Ranch from Hwy2 , the Hwy 540, was actually non-existent and a complete mess of diversions, so check before you go and use a different route. (I felt they should have mentioned this on the website as the road is under reconstruction, it is not a short term closure. However the staff told me that Parks Canada wouldn't do this.)

1  Thank JudithfromOmagh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2009

Bar U is a great place to visit... but the maps on Trip advisor will take you to downtown Calgary, not even remotely close to the ranch.
Find it another way... but do visit

4  Thank Kev24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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