The trappers and traders who lived at Rocky Mountain House 200 years ago wish they had all the activities waiting for you to enjoy. Hike interpretive trails, take photos of the bison herd or try on period costumes in the exhibit gallery. Learn to make bannock, traditional games and dream catchers or picnic near the play fort. Bring the school to experience age specific programs. Sit under the stars before fading to sleep in a Métis Trappers tent.
Camp like David Thompson did in Métis Trappers Tents or First Nations Tipis
Submerse yourself in the full wilderness experience by camping in one of the tents along the North Saskatchewan River. Complete the adventure with the Enhanced Camping kit. Light a fire with a flint and steel to cook bannock for supper.
Can you survive the wilds like David Thompson did?
David Thompson was only 14-years-old when he set out to map Canada. It was a tough land to explore. Can you survive? Students are invited to take the David Thompson Explorer Challenge and see if they are as tough as he was over 200 years ago.
Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site provides a beautiful setting in which to enjoy numerous outdoor activities. Follow in the footsteps of the fur traders and explore our historic site to imagine what life was like here 200 years ago.
Explore approximately 4 km of easy nature trails or take the 5 km Petro Canada Bicentennial Bike Trail to the town of Rocky Mountain House.
- Stay on the designated trails to minimize damage to vegetation.
- Be aware of other visitors and share the trails to avoid collisions
- Dismount bikes when descending or ascending stairs to minimize damage to existing structures.
Bird & wildlife viewing
Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site protects over 500 acres of field, marsh, and old spruce forest along the banks of the North Saskatchewan River. It provides habitat for wildlife such as the Mountain bluebird, Red-tailed hawk, Northern harrier, Bald eagle, Richardson's ground squirrel, coyote, fox, moose, grouse and deer. A herd of Plains bison grazes in the pasture on site.
Always keep your distance! Do not approach or entice wildlife – big or small. Use binoculars or a telephoto lens instead to avoid conflicts and to keep wildlife wild.
Canoeing & kayaking
The North Saskatchewan River is popular with canoeists and kayakers. Visitors can access the Brierley Rapids on the North Saskatchewan River from our Canoe Launch.
If you wish to hold a river event at the Brierley Rapids area, please contact the Site at least two weeks in advance.
For your safety,
- Bring extra warm clothing. Even on hot days, the water in this river is cold and can cause hypothermia. Be prepared, weather conditions can change rapidly. Afternoon rainstorms, hail and electrical storms are fairly common.
- Be familiar with the stretch of river you are paddling, know the hazards, and recognize your own paddling skills and limitations.
- Let a friend or family member know about your trip plans, including starting and take out points, as well as estimated time of arrival.
- Wear a personal floatation device.
To learn more about paddling on the North Saskatchewan River, purchase a river guide from the Alberta Recreational Canoe Association (ARCA), a non-profit, volunteer organization. ARCA can be contacted at 1-877-ARCA (2722).
To learn more about commercial river tours and canoe rentals, visit the Rocky Mountain House Visitor Information Centre's website or call 403.845.5450 or 1.800.565.3793.
To fish in the North Saskatchewan River at Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site you must pay an entry fee, as well as purchase a provincial sport fishing licence. Contact your local Fish and Wildlife office or Alberta Sustainable Resource Development .
Hiking / Walking
Interpretive trails at Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site
Follow in the footsteps of the fur traders. Explore approximately 4 km of easy to moderate interpretive trails. See Learning Experiences.
Sections of our interpretive trails are wheelchair accessible.
From our Visitor Centre, you can hike 5 km through field and forest to town on the Petro Canada Bicentennial Bike Trail.
Leave it for others to enjoy.
Whatever treasure you find – be it an arrowhead, a rock, or a flower – it belongs where it is.
Keep pets on a leash at all times.
Unrestrained pets may provoke wildlife attacks, harass wildlife, and endanger people.
It is against the law to feed, touch, disturb or otherwise harass any wild animals – big or small.
Rocky Mountain House is renown for its sense of place, an all season photographers’ delight. Capture the natural and cultural wonders during your visit.
Sunset at Acton House, the first Hudson's Bay Company fort at Rocky Mountain House
Always keep your distance! Do not approach or entice wildlife - big or small. Use binoculars or a telephoto lens to avoid conflicts and to keep wildlife wild.
Gaze at the mountains, watch the bison or relax by the North Saskatchewan while you enjoy your own picnic. Visitors are welcome to have picnics along the river, in a tipi or near the Playfort. Designated picnic tables and trashcans are located through out the Site. Refreshments and snacks are available at the Trading Post gift shop.
Play in a place with a past! Imagine you’re a voyageur arriving with your pièce of trade items as you enter the Playfort. The Playfort is home to the David Thompson Puppet Show and a variety of heritage presentations during the season.
Children at Playfort © Marg French