Escape to a Winter Wonderland in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park
In southwest Saskatchewan, sits one of the province’s outdoor gems – Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. During the summer, there are hiking trails that reach stunning conglomerate cliffs, few mosquitoes, nicely treed campsites, and fun activities for the family, including swimming and an outdoor climbing wall.
Winter is just as spectacular. Snow covers the area, even when surrounding towns are bare of precipitation. The weather tends to be milder, making outdoor adventures more enjoyable. Is the perfect climate magic or the result of some atmospheric science? Whatever the cause, Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is a fun place to visit for winter adventures.
Cross-country ski or snowshoe through the forest
There are minimal traditional prairie views within this unique heavily treed environment. Stunning forests of aspen, lodgepole pine and white spruce extend high into the sky. In winter, visitors can explore the area by hiking, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing on designated trails that weave around campgrounds and summer hiking routes.
There are over 9 km of tracked cross-country ski trails and 3.8 km of designated snowshoe trails. Many can be accessed from The Resort at Cypress Hills, making it easy to park the car for the whole weekend while you explore the area. Snowshoe and ski gear for all ages can be rented at the resort.
Explore a Sask Parks program
Sask Parks runs a series of free programs on the weekends for locals and visitors. Guided snowshoeing is offered on Saturdays and Sundays, and includes free use of snowshoes. This is a great way to try out a new activity as a family.
“My favourite part was the challenge day,” our six-year-old said, referring to the Sask Parks Outdoor program offered on Saturday mornings. The kids participated in a relay race and enjoyed the luge track and games that they played outside with other visiting children. The meet-up for activities was at the base of a large sledding hill and carved luge track, just a short walk from the resort and across the street from the lake.
Enjoy winter play in the park
There are ample opportunities to simply play outside. The sledding hill and luge track can be enjoyed anytime. Snow is plentiful and ideal for building a quinzee or making snow angels. An outdoor skating rink sits just outside the resort’s main lodge, if the kids need to burn some extra energy.
The Resort at Cypress Hills
Staying at The Resort at Cypress Hills provides easy, on-foot access to all of these activities. The cabins and townhouses have kitchens, making it convenient to prepare food for the whole family. The cabins boast an outdoor fire pit for roasting marshmallows.
Visit Ivan’s Restaurant, located in the main lodge. The restaurant boasts a delicious menu. Mouth-watering selections range from 10-oz. dry ribeye steak to Asian dishes, like Thai chicken stir fry.
Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is a must-visit winter gem. From cross-country skiing and snowshoeing to free outdoor programming, there are ample opportunities to keep everyone in the family having fun. Add the park to your winter bucket list.
New SaskParks offering this winter: Hot tub and dry sauna at the Cypress Hills Swimming Pool.
Author and Photographer: Annika Mang
Annika Mang is a writer and photographer based in Regina, Saskatchewan with a focus on family adventure.