A prairie sanctuary and a northern treasure
Saskatchewan has two national parks: Prince Albert National Park of Canada, in the north central region of the province, and Grasslands National Park of Canada in the southwest.
Grasslands National Park of Canada, located in southwest Saskatchewan, is a sanctuary where you can see some of the last untouched prairie grasses in North America. The amazing scenery includes rolling grasslands, weathered cliffs, deep coulees and mysterious badlands. A wide variety of wildlife provides opportunities to spot white-tailed deer, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, and golden eagles. Endangered and threatened species include sage grouse, ferruginous hawks, short-horned lizards and burrowing owls.
In the Frenchman River Valley, the magnificent bison graze peacefully while you listen for the "barking" of the black-tailed prairie dogs. This is the only place in Canada where these colonies are found in their natural habitat. The Badlands are a geological and paleontological paradise.
At the Visitor Centres you'll find displays, brochures and knowledgeable interpretive staff with information on programs, special events and safety. The West Block Visitor Center is located in Val Marie and the East Block Visitor Center is located in the Rock Creek Campground.
Other activites at Grasslands National Park include geocaching, guided and unguided hiking, and the kids Xplorer program.
Prince Albert National Park is one of Saskatchewan’s most popular four-season destinations, a place where you can mix northern wilderness encounters with the comforts of a lakeside resort. The park covers 388,000 hectares/one million acres in an area of transition from aspen parkland to boreal forest that includes some 1,500 lakes and streams.
Wildlife in the park reflects the changing habitat. Moose, wolves and caribou inhabit the northern forests while elk, deer and badgers inhabit the southern parkland region. Bison roam freely in the southwest corner of the park, where pockets of fescue grassland can be found. This herd is one of only two such herds protected within a Canadian national park.
The Town of Waskesiu, within Prince Albert National Park, has a range of accommodations and services plus two major campgrounds. Campgrounds with varying levels of services can be found in outlying areas in a variety of settings. With a backcountry permit, visitors can hike or canoe and camp in remote reaches of the park, or visit the log cabin of the world’s most celebrated naturalist of the 1930’s – Grey Owl.