Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site of Canada
Stroll along the banks of the North Saskatchewan River, one of the original ‘highways’ to the west. Follow in the footsteps of Indigenous Peoples, fur traders, and legendary explorer David Thompson. Experience the archaeological remains of four fur trade posts and seven kilometers of nature trails. Marvel at a bison herd. Stay awhile and experience a range of camping styles along the banks of the North Saskatchewan River: from Indigenous trapper tents and tipis to walk-in tenting and RV stalls.
Visit the Métis camp, blacksmith forge/boathouse and fort sites. Learn a new trade or craft dating back to the fur trade era. See how Red River carts and York Boats were made. Roll up your sleeves to make your own drum, dream-catcher or traditional craft using quills, leather and textiles.
Two centuries ago Indigenous Peoples and European traders shared this land on the rugged western frontier. At Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site be a part of the story. Explore, hike, camp and discover the challenges and triumphs.
In the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, four forts once stood prominently on the land at the confluence of the North Saskatchewan and the Clearwater Rivers. The First Nations, the Métis, and European traders used those rivers like highways, transporting their goods to and from the forts. For 76 years Rocky Mountain House was a centre of commerce for the west. The great mapmaker David Thompson used the site to launch expeditions seeking passage to the west coast.
Through time and fire the forts disappeared. But a wealth of artifacts and records remain to help us piece together the rich history. A visit to Rocky Mountain House is your opportunity to explore the lifestyle of the fur trade and trace the steps of the early explorers. Marvel at the diverse mix of people and cultures on this site over time. Walk the interactive trails, listen to tales of old, learn to cook bannock or stay overnight in a tipi. Or, pull out the picnic basket and watch the herd of bison lazing in the sunshine.
Let us help you get there
Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site is 6 kilometres west of the town of Rocky Mountain House, one hour west of Red Deer or 2.5 hours from Calgary or Edmonton and 1.5 hours east of Saskatchewan Crossing along the jaw-dropping David Thompson Highway, #11.