One-day itinerary - Summer spectacular: Alberta’s booming industries – cattle, oil and gin!

One-day itinerary - Summer spectacular: Alberta’s booming industries – cattle, oil and gin!

A ZenSeekers' road trip isn't complete unless the destinations include outdoor adventures, and culinary, learning and cultural experiences. During summer 2018, create your #BucketlistAB itinerary in Southern Alberta and come and stay a night and see a sight.

A ZenSeekers Expedition: #BucketlistAB

Getting To The Bar U and Turner Valley

Read more about the Turner Valley Gas Plant tour here.

Drive from Calgary: Using AB-2 S and AB-540 W, you’ll arrive at the cookhouse at the Bar U National Historic Ranch in just over an hour. Turn north on the Cowboy Trail (AB-22) and in less than 30 minutes you are in Turner Valley.

Get your map here

Drive from Edmonton: It’s about a 4.5-hour drive south on the AB-2 S through Calgary and west on AB-540 to arrive at the cookhouse at the Bar U National Historic Ranch. Turn north on the Cowboy Trail (AB-22) and in less than 30 minutes you are in Turner Valley.

Get your map here

Drive from Regina: It’s about an 8-hour drive west to Turner Valley on the Trans-Canada Hwy/SK-1 W, to Medicine Hat where the route shifts to use many two-lane options across the province. Turn north on the Cowboy Trail (AB-22) and in less than 30 minutes you are in Turner Valley.

Get your map here

Morning – Start the day with a cup of cowboy coffee

Your visit to the Bar U Ranch National Histoic Site has to include a cup of cowboy coffee and fresh baking before you visit the rest of the “living” ranch. Then moosy on down to the ranch and visit with the interpreters as they demonstrat real ranch skills from over 100 years ago.

Walk around and through the buildings or jump on a horse-drawn carriage to see it all. Stop in the shade of the cottonwood trees at the “round-up camp” and try your hand at roping a (fake) calf. Or, settle down on a bale of hay to listen to some cowboy poetry. There’s never a dull moment out on the range.

Mid-day lunch

If you didn’t hang your lip over a ranch-hand meal at the Bar U, stop in at the local favourite stomp – The Twin Cities Hotel in Longview. The restaurant is a destination for many a touring motorcycle or classic car.

Afternoon – Visit the birthplace of Alberta’s oil boom

They say that in the old days, as in the 1920’s, at night, you could see the glow of the flaring gas of the oil wells of Turner Valley all the way in Calgary. It was a pretty exciting time. The Turner Valley Gas Plant was built to process the petroleum products and over the years technology changed but many of the buildings remained. It ceased production in 1985 and is now an excellent place to learn about one of Alberta’s biggest economic drivers.

Late afternoon – From oil production to the fine art of distilling spirits

Not far from the gas plant is Turner Valley’s latest “plant.” Housed in the 1929 movie theatre, the Eau Claire Distillery is crafting gin, whiskey, rum and vodka using the grains from nearby farms and the pure mountain water flowing from the west. Stop there for a sampling and a tour. The menu at the distillery is pretty tasty, see if you can stay for a cocktail and dinner. Check out the chance to combine both tours of Turner Valley here.

If you go:

Read more about the Turner Valley Gas Plant tour here.

Begin planning your trip to Southwest Alberta via Travel Alberta

Uncover more adventures and places to stay for your #BucketlistAB summer by checking out the #BucketlistAB webpage