When people think of tourism and Canada, few think of Saskatchewan as a destination. It is a massive prairie and boreal province north of Montana and North Dakota. In Saskatchewan, there is certainly no shortage of remote but tranquil places to find in Saskatchewan. The best time to explore this province is during the summer - unless one has a penchant for freezing cold winters.
Historically, the Cree Free Nations lived on the Great Plains and hunted buffalo here, and is it known for its vast prairies. But while Saskatchewan is famous for its mighty prairies, it is also home to a number of unusual attractions.
Saskatchewan Is Canada's Great Prairie Province
Generally, Saskatchewan gets a bad rap and its reputation is that it's flat and boring. But in actuality, there are interesting things to see and do, so if one's driving across Canada, take time to see some of Saskatchewan's attractions. The province is also known as Canada's sunniest province and its population is famously friendly.
Saskatchewan is full of around 100,000 lakes and is famous for its severe winters with temperatures sometimes dropping below −45 °C (−49 °F) during cold snaps.
- Lakes: Over 100,000 Lakes
Most of the people in the province live in the southern half of the province in the prairie. The northern half is mostly boreal forests and is sparsely inhabited. About half the population lives in Saskatoon or Regina.
- Population: 1.2 Million
- Cities: Largest City - Saskatoon, Capital - Regina
If one is driving across Saskatchewan, then one will just see the seemingly endless flat fields, but the northern part of the province is different. In the north, visitors can enjoy lakes, expansive boreal forests, angling, canoeing, and numerous outdoor recreational opportunities.
Some Notable Outdoor Attractions In Saskatchewan
Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park
The Cypress Hill Interprovincial Park is located in the southwestern corner of the province and is named for the 580-meter hill Cypress Hills there. The region features cliffs, forest trails, and lookout points. It is also famous for its dark sky as it has almost no light pollution that would impede one's gaze up at the stars.
- Activities: Hiking, Canoeing, Skiing, Fishing, Camping
The Churchill River
Another natural attraction in Saskatchewan is the Churchill River. It was used by pre-Columbian peoples as a trade route and by later explorers and fur trappers. Today one can ride the whitewater and enjoy the rapids. It also has the tallest waterfall in Saskatchewan - the Nistowiak Falls. Keep an eye out for moose and bald eagles while there.
- Nistowiak Falls: The Highest In Saskatchewan
Prince Albert National Park
Prince Albert National Park is one of Canada's most popular parks and is the home of free-roaming plains bison. Bring a kayak or bike and explore the great park. It is one of two Canadian national parks in Saskatchewan (the other being Grassland National Park).
- Bison: Has Free Roaming Plains Bison
Little Manitou Lake
Little Manitou Lake is popular for its briny water - which has been compared to Israel's famous Dead Sea. The water has concentrations of mineral salts, magnesium, silica, potassium, and other minerals. One can even float in the water. It has a salt content of (180 g/L) - around half of the Dead Sea's (300-400 ppt). It was formed by receding glaciers in the last ice age.
- Salt Content: The Only North American Lake Somewhat Similar To The Dead Sea
- Float: One Can Float In Manitou Lake
Grassland National Park
Another attraction is the prairies (if one hasn't already seen enough of them). Go to the Grasslands National Park and see wide grassy plains complete with bison herds. Here one can take a prairie safari into North America's ancient landscapes of prairies inhabited by bison, borrowing owls, prairie dogs, and antelope.
Take A Guided Tour Of Big Muddy Badlands
As with many places, it is hard to really understand and appreciate them without a tour guide explaining and bring into context. One great place to explore is the Big Muddy Badlands. Take a guide to see the best of the Big Muddy Badlands and learn about the Wild West history of cattle rustlers and horse thieves who made a living on both sides of the Canadian/American border.
- Season: Open May 15 to Sep 30
- Transport: Must Supply One's Own Vehicle
The guide will show the cave where the famous outlaws hid as well as a number of sacred Indigenous sides in the area. There are both full-day and half-day tour options available provided by nationally certified local tour guides.