Drive from Calgary to Nelson, BC


Mar 1st, 2007, 03:43 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 33
Drive from Calgary to Nelson, BC

Planning our itinerary and was wondering if it's feasible to spend the day driving from Calgary to Nelson, BC with a short visit to Head-Smashed-in-Buffalo-Jump?

We'll be travelling with our two boys and this will be part of our drive back towards Vancouver after spending a week visiting Revelstoke, Banff and Drumheller also.

The plan is leave early on a Sunday morning from Calgary and to arrive early evening in Nelson. Is it feasible to consider the trip to Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo-Jump? Or should we consider an alternative stop?
Babalu is offline  
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Mar 2nd, 2007, 07:07 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 5
It is easily feasible as long as this is a summer drive you are planning.The drive through the Crowsnest Pass area is beautiful. Enjoy.
BMiller is offline  
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Mar 2nd, 2007, 03:45 PM
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The drive from Calgary to Nelson is about 7.5 hours, non-stop.

Add an hour for lunch.

If you go to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre, add 2 hours for the Interpretive Centre itself and about half an hour of extra driving time, over and above the regular route from Calgary to Nelson.

This will bring your day's activities up to 11 hours, which may be a little ambitious, depending on your children's ages.

I don't know what your idea of a "short" visit to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is. I would say if you're going to pay it a short visit, don't bother. To get the benefit of the displays, you need to read the explanations and watch the little movie that they show in the museum.

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre is not the sort of museum that wows you. The displays do not have the same impact as the dinosaur skeletons at the Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller. You have to make some effort to get the most out of the exhibits. This is not a problem for me, because I am particularly interested in the lifestyles of hunting-gathering people. But it may not interest kids, especially if they are ten years old or under.

There are other interesting museums on your route. The Interpretive Centre at Frank Slide is interesting, as is Fort Steele Historic Town near Cranbrook.

I think either Frank Slide or Fort Steele probably would be more interesting to kids than Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.

But these matters are very individual, and you know your kids best.

Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
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May 20th, 2007, 02:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Dear Babalu,

I think it is correct advice that your plans are too ambitious for bringing along small children. But I completely disagree that Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump is not worth a stop or even as good as the Frank Slide. HSIBJ was fantastic and our children loved it. (It is an UNESCO site) Frank Slide is a whopping pile of rocks. I'd pick the Buffalo Jump every time.
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