"Cypress Hills INTERprovincial Park" Cypress Hills Provincial Park by Babzz
Cypress Hills Provincial Park Travel Guide: 9 reviews and 16 photos
Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park protects and showcases a unique environment. The Cypress Hills make up the highest elevation in Canada between Labrador and the Rocky Mountains. The forested rolling hills are a stark contrast to the vast prairies around them. The relative isolation of these hills from other similar regions has resulted in the formation of a unique ecosystem full of interesting wildlife. WEBSITE
Cypress Hills is actually made up of three blocks and straddles the Alberta/Saskatchewan border:
(1) Centre Block, located south of Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, which has many recreational opportunities and services.
(2) West Block - Saskatchewan, right on the border with Alberta. No services, just hiking trails, camp grounds, and a ranger station.
(3) West Block - Alberta (or Alberta Block), which is linked to the Saskatchewan west block across the border. The small "town" of Elkwater is situated in this block, so like the centre block, it has numerous recreational opportunities and services.
In addition to the three blocks, there is Fort Walsh National Historic Site, which is federally operated (as opposed to provincially), but adjoins the west block in Saskatchewan. Here visitors can explore a reconstruction of the fort and learn about the early days of the Northwest Mounted Police presence in the Cypress Hills region.
There is a small entry fee for the centre block, whereas the west and Alberta blocks are free to explore. Camping fees are paid at the camp registration office in the centre and Alberta blocks; there is self-registration at the campground of choice in the west block (SK). Camping for one night in 2008 was $13/tent. Firewood is provided in the centre and west blocks. We didn't camp in the Alberta block, but I believe you have to buy firewood, which is available on site. Contact the park to confirm. Note that the three blocks operate seperately, so contact information differs among them.
The gap road is a gravel road that conveniently connects the centre block to the west and Alberta blocks. Unfortunately it is impassable when wet, in which case you must head back south on Hwy 21, drive west on Hwy 13, and turn north on the 271 to reach the west block from the centre block. The road between the west block and Alberta block is also mostly gravel, though I do not know what the travel restrictions are on this road.
- Pros:Beautiful landscapes and vistas; lots of hiking options; affordable; unique ecosystem
- In a nutshell:Worth the out-of-the-way drive from typical tourist destinations
The drive through the west block and Alberta block of Cypress Hills is really pretty, with lots of bends in the road. At... more travel advice
I really enjoyed this trail. It loops around two small lakes, starting off in an open woodland, transitioning into a... more travel advice
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