The Rockies have many museums & historical sites (* denotes admission charge may apply) scattered around the towns and parks:
Alberta Rockies Museums
Walter Phillips Gallery*
107 Tunnel Mountain Dr, Banff, AB T1L 1H5
At the Banff Center for the Arts, this gallery showcases contemporary art and media.
Whyte Museum of the Rocky Mountains*
111 Bear St, Banff, AB T1L 1A3
This museum, on Lynx Street, has numerous displays and photographs of the early exploration and development of the Rockies.
Banff Park Museum National Historic Site*
91 Banff Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1K2
This museum, where Banff Ave. meets the Bow River, is Western Canada’s oldest natural history museum. It has many stuffed animal specimens, including a buffalo and moose. Some of the animals date back to the 1860s.
Cave & Basin National Historic Site *
311 Cave Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1K2
This is the original hot springs found by the first explorers of the Banff area, and the cause of the creation of the national parks in Canada (they precede Yellowstone in the USA by several years). There is a visitor and interpretative centre. You can also rent a 1920’s style bathing suit.
609 8 St, Canmore, AB T1W 2B1
Built in 1893 as an outpost for 2 men and their 2 horses. It is the last remaining purpose-built barracks still standing in Western Canada. It became a private residence in 1929, but in 1989 was restored back into its historical condition.
Canmore Museum and Geoscience Centre
902B 7 Ave, Canmore, AB T1W 2B6
This museum, on 7th Avenue, houses 100 years of Canmore history in photos and artifacts, including memorabilia of the 1988 Winter Olympic Games.
Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village & Museum
1037 Bev McLachline Dr, Pincher Creek
Kootenai Brown Log Cabin and 16 other buildings, with 16,000 artifacts. See NWMP Barracks presents 1878 life of local NWMP, 1894 Fishburn School, and the 1887 Walrond Ranch House which served as a corporate ranch in the early days. The Verigin Barn and Bath House showcase the culture of the Doukobors that settle in the nearby Cowley and Lundbreck areas in the 1890s. Recently added 5200 square foot Pioneer Place log cabin features two exhibit galleries, and is home to the area’s tourism information office. Picnic areas, a campfire and pavilion. Open in Summer: daily, 10 am – 8 pm; in winter: weekdays from 8 am to 4:40 pm or by appointment and for programming events. Allow 2 hours minimum. Admission $$.
(Northeast of Highway 3 and Pincher Creek on secondary highway 785 (paved) for 8.4 km – turn right.)
403 627-2628 or 1-888-5855
Exhibits include an old General Store from Claresholm, the 1917 Jumbo Valley Presbyterian Church (from near Granum), restored 1900 grain elevators, a 1917 Douckobor barn. Open May 1 to October 1, or by appointment the remainder of the year.
Three Rivers Rock & Fossil Museum
0P0, Range Rd 300, Cowley, AB T0K 0P0
(Highway 785 & 510, 17 km from Pincher Creek, north of the Oldman River Dam)
This exhibit of over 3000 specimens, including rare rocks from around the world, including petrified woods, and various fossils. Open May 15th to Sept 5, daily from 10 am to 6 pm, closed Mondays. Admission fee.
Old Fort Point
This landmark is where the original Henry House Fort was built for the North West Company in 1811. Later, in 1829, it was replaced by Jasper House built on the shores of Brule (“Broo-Lay”) Lake, east of the National Park.
British Columbia Rockies Museums
Canadian Museum of Rail Travel
57 Van Horne St S, Cranbrook, BC V1C 4H9
(Downtown, on highway 93/95)
This museum has restored and preserved the luxury cars of the 1929 Transportation-Canada Limited, including dining, sleeping and solarium cars, with original CPR china. A model railway depicts 1900-era railway travel. Open daily 10 am –6 pm June 14 – Labour Day, noon-5 pm rest of year. Admission fee.
Fort Steele Heritage Town
9851 BC-95, Fort Steele, BC V0B 1N0
This living museum includes more than 60 restored and reconstructed buildings. You can ride a steam train or enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride.
Kimberly Heritage Museum
105 Spokane St, Kimberley, BC V1A 2E5
In the Platzl
Exhibits explore the history of area mining, and also includes pioneer artifacts, sports items, ethnic displays, and rock collections. Open Monday – Saturday 9 am – 4:30 pm in July & August, and Monday – Saturday 1 pm to 4 pm the remainder of the year. Admission by donation.
Golden and District Museum
1302 11 Ave S, Golden, BC V0A 1H2
(11th Avenue & 13th Street)
This museum is housed in an a restored on-room schoolhouse and contains many local historical items.
Revelstoke Railway Museum
719 Track St W, Revelstoke
This museum tells the story of those who maintain and worked the railroad between Field and Kamloops. With special emphasis on the steam era on the 1940s and 1950s. On display are the engine 5468, a Mikado P2, Business Car No 4 (once a Cape Humber solarium car).