Saskatchewan is far from being the most popular travel destination in Canada but that doesn't mean it's not worthy of a trip. For those who are interested in the truly curious things that a location has to offer then this unique little province of Canada might just be the right destination for you. The area itself is landlocked and sits between Alberta on one side, Manitoba on the other, the Northwest Territories in the uppermost part of the province, and, below it, the states of North Dakota and Montana.
This interesting geography makes the province quite an unusual and special place as the winters are often far harsher than any other while the summers can be equally as extreme. Its geographical features are not the only things to explore in this territory, though.
Great Sand Dunes In Prelate, Saskatchewan
The last place one would expect to see massive sand dunes would be in the middle of the prairie but if you're headed to the Southwestern park of Saskatchewan, that's exactly what you'll find. These dunes exist just outside many of the farmlands that the province is home to and despite their grandiose nature, they're not visited that often.
These dunes are located on an ecological preserve and, surprisingly, getting to them only requires an hour's drive outside of Trans-Canada Highway. They're quite a sight to witness among all the green prairie grass that spans as far as the eye can see, but many people take them in from a different perspective: by sledding down them in toboggans.
Twisted Trees In Speers, Saskatchewan
Or, more appropriately called the 'Quaking Aspens.' Normally, an Aspen tree is known for growing straight up as is its nature, with bright leaves that tower high overhead. In Saskatchewan, though, the Aspens that grow in Speers are twisted and gnarly, creating somewhat of an unsettling sight for those who happen to be walking through this unusual grove. The trees themselves are borne of a mutation that allows them to grow in unusual ways that deviate from the typical Aspen tree and, while that much is known, biologists are still stumped as to what causes the said mutation.
The sheer number of twisted trees is a result of each tree having the same genetic makeup, so to speak, therefore creating one twisted tree after another. When the wind blows, these trees quiver and shake due to the lightness of both their branches as well as their leaves, making it an unusual and strange place to spend time in, but a fascinating one nonetheless.
T. Rex Discovery Center In Eastend, Saskatchewan
It seems that Saskatchewan is quite a special place and if unusual quivering trees and enormous, seemingly displaced sand dunes weren't enough then perhaps the remains of a T. Rex will do the trick. In 1991, the skeleton of a T. Rex was found not far from where the T. Rex Discovery Center sits to this day.
The T. Rex was affectionally named Scotty, and his skeleton remains at roughly 75% completion and is on display at the Discovery Center. Visitors to the Center can go through an interactive exhibit complete with a 30-minute film that details the discovery of Scotty as well as the excavation process. It seems unusual that these rolling hills could be home to such a Jurassic beast but one stroll through the Discovery Center's halls will answer any questions one has about this region of Saskatchewan.
Cochin Lighthouse In Cochin, Saskatchewan
If that wasn't unusual enough then perhaps a lighthouse with no water around it in sight will do the trick. The Cochin Lighthouse has quite an interesting history and as visitors come upon it, they're often struck with the realization that the closest body of water is actually a lake... and that certainly doesn't seem like it would need a lighthouse. The lake in question is Jackfish Lake and while the lighthouse is near it, the actual structure serves no purpose despite being fully-functioning.
When the lighthouse is in use, it's the tourists who get the most pleasure out of it and this was intentional, as it was the brainchild of the former mayor of Cochin. Now, it continues to stand as a tourist destination with its beacon of light cascading over miles and miles of prairie rather than that of a seafaring landscape. The style of the lighthouse itself is also identical to that of the traditional Canadian nautical style, making this trip well worth it for lighthouse fans.