Exploring Alberta’s Provincial Parks: Glenbow Ranch

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About Glenbow Ranch

Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park is located between Calgary and Cochrane along the northern banks of the Bow River. The park is medium in size taking up about 13.5 square kilometers. It is managed jointly through both the Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation and Alberta Parks. The park is a functioning cattle ranch that was donated to be used as a provincial park in 2008 by the Harvie Family.

Glenbow Ranch’s history goes back to the aboriginals who used the many coulees to corral bison to their tipi camps situated on both the upper and lower parts of the park. The land that the park is situated on was originally part of the nearby Cochrane Ranche but would eventually become the Glenbow Ranch. Glenbow was established along the Canadian Pacific Railway mainline as a water stop in 1891. By 1903, the railway constructed a train station at Glenbow and by 1907, Glenbow had a profitable sandstone quarry. Glenbow sandstone was used in the construction of the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton. The town grew to more than 150 residents. When the quarry closed down in 1912, the workers largely moved to Calgary and Cochrane instead. A brick plant opened in the valley, but was quickly shut down with the start of World War I. The population left Glenbow until it was sold to Eric L. Harvie in 1934 who operated the area as a ranch until 2006.

See All Alberta Provincial Parks

Much of the Sandstone used in the Alberta Legislature was sourced from the quarries at Glenbow

Activities at Glenbow Ranch

Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park is a day use only provincial park that offers over 28km of pathways to users. These pathways are good for hiking, biking, and geocaching. There is a picnic area in the park as well. In the wintertime, fat biking is also popular in the park.

Camping at Glenbow Ranch

There is no camping options at Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park.

CampgroundAmenitiesType of SiteAmount AvailableCost/Night
This data is accurate as of 2023

Day Use at Glenbow Ranch

The day use area at Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park is technically the entire park however there is a more developed day use area near the visitor center. There is an outhouse, information kiosk, and visitor center here.


Distances to Alberta Cities

Distance to Calgary: 17km

Distance to Edmonton: 313km

Distance to Red Deer: 163km

Distance to Lethbridge: 242km

Distance to Grande Prairie: 689km

Coordinates: 51°10’12.4″N 114°23’33.8″W

Alberta Parks Website