Combining the Calgary Stampede with a Three Bars Ranch vacation

The Calgary Stampede – “The greatest outdoor show on earth” runs for ten days every year in early July (July 4th – 13th for 2014). While there are thousands of shows and exhibits to see, the highlights are the rodeo, grand stand show and my favorite – the chuck wagon races. 1 or 2 days at the Stampede are a must if you are going to be in Calgary in early July. Many of our guests visit the stampede for a night or two either before or after their visit here at the ranch. It is recommended that you book both rodeo tickets and hotels as early as possible, as both sell out quickly. The stampede also showcases major concerts and tickets are in hot demand. Details on the Calgary Stampede can be found at

Be sure to book you chuck wagon tickets with your package. They are not included in all packages and are a highlight of the event.

Traffic in Calgary can be a mess, so try to use the public transit system or C-Train to access the grounds. It will save you a lot of hassle. Even better if you can stay in a hotel close to a station.

How to get to Three Bars Guest Ranch

There are several great option to consider, depending where you travel from and how much time you have. Flying into Cranbrook (YXC) is a great option for getting to the ranch as fast as possible. Both Air Canada and Pacific Coastal offer service into Cranbrook multiple times per day via Calgary and Vancouver. We do offer a free shuttle to and from the Cranbrook Airport.

Another Canadian option is flying into Calgary, Alberta (YYC) and driving to the ranch. You could extend your vacation and drive through Banff National Park and Lake Louise. This northern route offers incredible recreational opportunities, if you have an extra night or two. Banff and Lake Louise offer, including many different hiking trails. Roads conditions are usually very good and there are lots of great hotels and resorts in the Banff Nation Park. I personally like the Rim Rock Resort, just outside the town of Banff. It is a 4.5-hour drive from the Calgary airport to Three Bars Guest Ranch.

Vancouver is another option if you are taking an extended vacation. It is a 10-hour drive from Vancouver to Three Bars Guest Ranch, so it is best to break it up into a few days. There are many things to see and do along the way; several national parks, vineyards, lakes, etc.. This route gives you the option of travelling north on Hwy 5 and Hwy 1, or taking Hwy 3 along the southern route of the province.

If you are travelling from the U.S., we suggest considering both Spokane, WA (GEG), and Kalispell, MT (FCA). You can usually save money by flying within the U.S. rather than internationally into Canada. Spokane is a 3.5 hour drive to the ranch and Kalispell is only 2 hours to the ranch. The great thing about Kalispell is that it is at the south gates of Glacier Park, another great add on if you have a couple of extra days in your holiday plans. Whitefish, MT is also close and a great little town.


Rental Cars: It is not necessary to have a rental car while at Three Bars Guest Ranch, however, it is sometimes more affordable to keep your car than to pay the drop fees. Also keep in mind that any car rented in the U.S. will have to be returned to the U.S. and the same applies to Canadian rentals. You cannot return a rental car to a different country.

Passports: it is necessary to have a passport to travel into Canada.