The Saskatchewan way is to embrace winter and the opportunities it creates. Snowmobiling, cross-country and downhill skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, hiking, tobogganing, snow tubing, hockey, skating, curling, dog sledding, ice fishing, horseback riding, sleighing and winter festivals, – if you can do it on snow, you can do it in Saskatchewan!

Winter festivals take place in every corner of the province from December through March. Festivals often include ice sculpture competitions, art and craft shows, sleigh rides, skating, hockey and curling tournaments, bonfires and dances. You may even come across a King Trapper event where you can watch competitors try to outdo one another at a variety of outdoor skills.

Snowmobiling

You haven’t seen Saskatchewan until you’ve seen it from a snowmobile. Explore millions of acres of open land, zip across thousands of kilometres of groomed and signed trails, and be treated to a variety of landscapes that you could never see from the car, and that most people will never see.

We take snowmobiling seriously in Saskatchewan. More than 30,000 members of 92 clubs work together to organize events and groom more than 10,000km/6,000mi of trails. This hard work and Saskatchewan's climate combine to create great snowmobiling experiences.

Cross-country skiing

Saskatchewan was made for cross-country skiing. Hundreds of kilometres of groomed and marked trails wind through parks and forests, across open prairie, over rolling hills, and around cities and towns. Shelters are found on longer routes, and some trails are illuminated for night skiing. Rentals and instruction are available in many locations.

Resort properties around the province welcome cross-country skiers, as do many bed & breakfasts. At Prince Albert National Park and the surrounding region, as well as at Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, you’ll find trail networks and a range of accommodations.

Other good choices for cross-country skiers are the provincial parks of Duck Mountain, Moose Mountain, Greenwater Lake, the Battlefords, Good Spirit Lake and Lac La Ronge.

Dog Sledding

This traditional form of winter transportation is still practiced in Saskatchewan – both for travel and recreation. Skilled outfitters provide many services, including day tours that let you ride along in a sled with a musher driving the team, or longer runs and overnight excursions, where you can learn dog handling skills and feel the excitement of running your own dog team and sled.

Feeling adventurous? Some outfitters offer skijoring, a unique activity where a cross-country skier is towed behind a running dog or horse.

Dog sled events grow in popularity every year. To get a taste of this unique winter adventure, take in a race. The Canadian Challenge sled dog race, which runs from Prince Albert to La Ronge and as far north as Grandmother’s Bay and Stanley Mission in February, is a qualifying race for the famous Iditarod and Yukon Quest races.

Skiing and Snowboarding

Just because there are no mountains doesn't mean Saskatchewan residents don't enjoy skiing or snowboarding during the winter months. River valleys, rolling hills and highlands are where Saskatchewan's downhill destinations can be found, offering skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, tubing, rentals and lessons.

Facilities can be found near the communities of Melfort, North Battleford, Saskatoon, Prince Albert and Fort Qu'Appelle.

By late-December, ice on most Saskatchewan lakes is usually thick enough to support vehicles and fishing equipment (but always check conditions before crossing frozen bodies of water). Fish tend to be on a feeding frenzy around this time. Walleye are plentiful, while northern pike, perch, whitefish, trout and burbot are also common. Thawing is rare before mid-March. The three month season gives winter anglers ample time and opportunity to get out on the ice.

Ice fishing requires relatively little equipment. A good ice auger is a must, along with ice fishing line, tackle, bait and, naturally, warm clothing, head and footwear. Dressing in layers is recommended. Portable fishing shacks or tents provide shelter on the coldest days, but many ice-fishers prefer to be out in the sunshine under an endless blue sky.

License fees and limits are consistent throughout the year; however, winter anglers are allowed the advantage of using two rods at one time — twice the challenge, but doubling your chances of bringing home a trophy fish.

Before you embark on your Saskatchewan ice-fishing adventure, check weather and ice conditions, pack winter survival gear, and always tell someone when and where you are fishing, as well as your estimated return time.

Winter Festivals

In Saskatchewan, we don’t just endure winter, we celebrate it. Temperatures may have dropped, but a practical coat and good pair of mitts take care of that. Fresh snow lays thick on the ground, the crisp, clean air colours our cheeks and sun-filled big skies make winter a great time to celebrate.

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