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Safari in Grasslands National Park

Discover Saskatchewan



Part of Canada's extensive national park system, Grasslands National Park offers a unique look at prairie lands as they once existed in North America. Located near the border between the United States and Canada, the park offers two visitors centers and a host of activities for guests to enjoy in this unique ecological preserve. For outdoor activities in a unique setting, Grasslands National Park offers an enjoyable excursion for all ages.

Safari at Grasslands National Park

Grasslands National Park offers a unique chance to view one of the largest natural prairie areas in North America. Established in 1981, this new park will encompass 900 square kilometers when completed, with a variety of short grasses and mixed grasses that are only found in this type of ecology. The geography of the area offers visitors a deeper understanding of its role in the history of the country. Wildlife viewing is a popular activity and provides many photographic opportunities for visitors to the park.


Backpacking Opportunities

If you enjoy hiking, Grasslands National Park offers a variety of options. The front country provides several marked trails of varying lengths and difficulties. For easier hiking, try the .75-kilometer Top Dog Town Trail that overlooks a prairie dog colony, or the 2-kilometer trail along the Frenchman's River called Riverwalk Trail. For those who enjoy a hiking challenge, try the 11-kilometer Broken Hills Trail with its wildlife viewing, or the more remote 15-kilometer North Gillespie Trail. For a true backcountry experience, bring your GPS and compass for a ramble through the landscape without trail markers. Hiking maps are available at the Visitor Center.


Wildlife Viewing

The park has a large number of bird and wildlife species within its borders, such as greater sage grouse, burrowing owls, golden eagles, black-footed ferret, greater short-horned lizard, pronghorn antelope and coyote. The prairie dog colonies and bison watering holes are favourite stops for wildlife viewing. Because natural prairie areas are one of the most endangered biomes on the planet, the park has made a special effort to preserve the habitats of a number of threatened species, including the wolverines, swift foxes, and prairie wolves and elk.


Ecotour Drive

The park also offers an 80-kilometer, self-guided ecotour drive the park, with information panels that provide interesting details about each feature. The drive can be done as an 80-kilometer round trip or a 70-kilometer "out and back" excursion.


Best Stargazing

The park's location away from major urban areas allows it to be one of the most spectacular stargazing areas in the country. The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada declared the park a Dark Sky Preserve in 2009. The preserved dark-light cycle assists a number of species in their natural hunting cycles in the park. Visitors who enjoy stargazing can take full advantage of this area's unique view of the night sky.


Lodging and Dining

The park has no lodging facilities within its bounds. However, you can find a number of accommodations with restaurants in the nearby towns of Val Marie, Mankota, Wood Mountain, Rock Glen and Bracken.


Weather

Late fall weather in Grasslands National Park can be brisk and windy, the perfect weather for a long hike through the prairie grass. Winter storms can begin as early as November, and you may get to enjoy the look of the park in a light dusting of snow. Pack wet weather gear so that you are prepared for any eventuality.


Getting There

Grasslands National Park is a short drive across the border from the state of Montana in the northern United States. The park is located in the southern part of Saskatchewan and can be accessed by driving from the east on Highway 18 and from the west on Highway 4.

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