School programs

Bar U Ranch National Historic Site

Core Program

Ranching-focused school programs are delivered by Parks Canada interpreters and consist of demonstrations, interactive talks, sensory experiences and environmentally-focused hikes. Interpreters adapt to the individual needs of the students' grade levels for each group.

Learn to rope with our interpretive team members!

Historic Bar U

  • Belly of the Bar U: Experience the variety of methods practiced to maintain self-sufficiency. Locations featured: cookhouse, garden, root cellar and storage sheds.
  • Take a hike: A creek side trek for students to learn about land management practices that help sustain important ecosystems.
  • Roundup camp: Students can discover how cowboys lived and worked on the range through storytelling.
  • Wagon Ride: Giddy up! Hop on the Percheron horse-drawn wagon and learn the importance of these gentle giants.

Art on the Range

  • Cookhouse: Students embrace their artistic sides and learn about the artists that have visited Bar U Ranch throughout its history.
  • Leathercraft: At the Harness Repair Shop an interpreter guides a leather braiding activity, and discusses saddle making and harness repair.
  • Blacksmith shop: A demonstration of the art of blacksmithing.
  • Wagon Ride: Giddy up! Hop on the Percheron horse-drawn wagon and learn the importance of these gentle giants.

Rangeland and Cattle Management

A two-hour guided interpretive hike highlighting Bar U’s rangeland, livestock and livestock management – now and then.

Enhanced Experience

Wagon tour: Climb aboard a wagon pulled by Percheron horses – the breed that made the Bar U famous around the world. Tour the site with our interpretive team to discover scenic vistas and hear tales from Bar U Ranch’s incredible history.

Self-guided visits (10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

Explore the many ranch buildings, grounds and exhibits that are brought to life by our costumed interpreters. Students may work through a variety of activities as they explore the ranch with provided Xplorers Booklets.

Discover Bar U Ranch by wagon tour, visit the riparian zone, polo field, Indigenous interpretive encampment and the ranch’s historic core.

If you feel like taking to the road on your own two feet, travel along the Pekisko Creek trail, viewing a portion of the national historic site not often seen during a regular visit. Enjoy the sounds of the creek, tranquil picnic spots and stunning mountain view.

For more information visit our Activities and experiences pages.

How to book:

Contact us for more information or to secure a booking. Visit the fees page for school program pricing.

Program dates: May 15 – September 30, 2023

Available times: Morning (10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.), Afternoon (12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.)

Class size: Maximum 60 (Three groups of 20 students)

Cancellations: Made without penalty up to 24 hours prior to booking date

Have the following information ready when you reserve:

  • Preferred date of visit
  • Student grades/ages, number of students and chaperones
  • School contact information
  • Language of program: Programs may be delivered in English, French, or a mix of English/French.

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