Best Road Trips to See Autumn Colours in Saskatchewan
This is an abridged post that originally appeared on The Lost Girl’s Guide to Finding the World. Read the full version here.
It’s that brief but beautiful time of year – when the forests of Saskatchewan turn yellow, orange and even a bit red for a short window during autumn in September.
For the best places to go, here’s a list of some of the top locations to check out the views of the changing colours in Saskatchewan:
1. Prince Albert National Park, Scenic Route (Highway 263)
One of the most iconic road trips in Saskatchewan is the scenic route along Highway 263 into Prince Albert National Park. This narrow, single-lane 63-km section of highway is where the forest transitions from aspen parkland to boreal forest. There are numerous bridges, towers and trails to explore along the road for the perfect photo op of the vibrant mix of golds, yellows and greens.
2. Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, West Block
The best drive through this cross-border park can be found in the West Block on Highway 271, south of Maple Creek. A stop at the Conglomerate Cliffs drive-up lookout point provides elevated views of the fall colours overlooking Adams Lake. Continue your drive toward the equestrian and West Block campgrounds. The hill leading down to the campgrounds reveals some of the most brilliant views of the forest.
3. Narrow Hills Provincial Park, Scenic Drive
The 19-km round-trip Narrow Hills Scenic Drive is a gravel road that follows along a push moraine. This high ridge is part of the dramatic contours of the park that were left behind when the glacier receded 10,000 years ago. A viewpoint near the snowmobile shelter turnaround point faces south over the Grace Lakes and provides a spectacular view of the autumn colours.
4. Qu’Appelle Valley, Pasqua to Katepwa Lakes
The Qu’Appelle Valley can’t be beat for epic autumn colours. With the river running more than a third of the way across the province, there are dozens of locations for autumn views of the valley.
In particular, is the 32-km scenic drive from Pasqua Lake in Echo Valley Provincial Park to Katepwa Lake. A notable stop includes the valley rim in Echo Valley overlooking Pasqua and Echo Lakes.
5. Qu’Appelle Valley, Lumsden to Fairy Hill on Highway 99
The charming town of Lumsden is one of the loveliest communities in the province during autumn. Drive out from here to see impressive autumn colours in the Qu’Appelle Valley. Head northeast of Lumsden through Craven onto Highway 99. Locals call this road The Seven Bridges Road. (Note: this 21-km one-way stretch of road is all gravel). The coulees are eye-popping with autumn colours in contrast to the golden grain fields in the valley. Make sure to stop at the red-roofed Little Church in the Valley for sunset.
6. Duck Mountain Provincial Park
On the eastern border of the province, Manitoba maples offer brilliant displays of orangey-red autumn colours running the length of the Pasquia Hills in the Duck Mountain Highlands. Ski Hill Road offers a bird’s-eye view of the backcountry. The road winds through the multi-coloured hills and wetlands right into the heart of Little Boggy Creek and the encompassing valley.
7. Hudson Bay
The lure of golden larches makes the Hudson Bay region a hotspot during the autumn months. The area is also home to two of the highest points of land in the province, Bainbridge Hill and Brockelbank Hill. From these points are epic views of the low-lying upper Saskatchewan River delta at the northeast tip of the Pasquia Hills and the Red Deer River Valley Lowlands east of the hills, respectively.
Author & Photographer: Ashlyn George
Ashlyn George is an adventure travel writer and social media influencer based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. By 30, she visited more than 60 countries and all 7 continents while documenting it on her blog The Lost Girl’s Guide to Finding the World. Today, Ashlyn creates content in partnership with world-renowned brands like NFL Canada, McDonald’s and CLIF Bar and has been featured in the New York Times and listed by Kayak as a Top 10 Travel Hacker. Find her online at @thelostgirlsguide or www.thelostgirlsguide.com