Grasslands National Park
Trails are one of the best ways for you to connect with the landscape and experience the immeasurable beauty and solitude of this park. Grasslands is a prairie wilderness with limited services and preparation is key to having a safe and enjoyable experience.
West Block Trail Description Distance (km) Time Difficulty Eagle Butte Trail
Trailhead: Gate at parking area
A great trail to view wildflowers and soaring birds of prey.
2 km loop 1 hour Easy 70 Mile Butte Trail
Trailhead: Branches from Eagle Butte Trail
For breath-taking views of the Frenchman River Valley with a smaller time commitment, this trail is for you.
2 km loop 1 to 2 hours Difficult Two Trees Trail
Trailhead: Two Trees Day Use Area
Only have a short amount of time? Take this trail for an introduction to prairie grasslands.
4 km loop 1 to 2 hours Moderate Riverwalk Trail
Trailhead: Two Trees Day Use Area
Examine riparian plant life, discover hidden deer and observe birds utilizing the steep riverbank cliffs as you follow this mowed, grassy trail.
3 km loop 1 hour Easy Three Sisters Trail
Trailhead: Access from Rosefield Grid
An old vehicle trail leads through open grasslands to the Saskatchewan Natural History monument that marks the establishment of the first Black-tailed Prairie Dog sanctuary in Canada.
4 km one-way 2 to 3 hours Moderate Top Dogtown Trail
Trailhead: Ecotour pull-off #2
Listen to the rare Black-tailed Prairie Dogs bark at your approach as you stroll across the Top Dogtown on this hard surfaced, level trail.
750 m loop 20 minutes Easy Timbergulch Trail
Trailhead: Ecotour pull-off #3
The three prominent, glacially created, coulee bottoms you’ll traverse have created an inviting habitat for bison which tend to linger in this area.
17 km loop 5 to 6 hours Difficult Bearpaw Sea Trail
Trailhead: Branches from 70 Mile Butte Trail or Ecotour pull-off #3
From tabletops to valley bottoms, this trail explores the wide variety of habitats found within the park.
10 km one-way 4 to 5 hours Difficult Broken Hills Trail
Trailhead: Park at Belza Day Use Area. Travel west back towards entrance to cross road to trailhead.
One of the few locations to gain an uninterrupted, 360’view of grasslands.
11km loop 4 to 5 hours Difficult Larson Trail
Trailhead: Ecotour pull-off #6
Observe evidence of early ranching along this mowed trail which also provides views of the adjacent Frenchman River.
1.5 km loop 30 minutes Easy
East Block Trail Description Distance (km) Time Difficulty Creek to Peak Trail
Trailhead: South of kitchen shelter
Wind up the hill along this mowed path to a rewarding peek of the Rock Creek valley and badlands beyond.
750 m one-way 30 minutes Moderate Rock Creek Trail
Trailhead: West across Rock Creek bridge
Stroll this mowed path for a bird’s eye view of Rock Creek.
2 km loop 1 hour Easy Valley of 1000 Devils Trail
Trailhead: Northwest off Rock Creek Trail
Meander through coulees and upland mixed grass prairie before traversing the basin of Hellfire Creek to access the Rock Creek Badlands.
11 km loop 4 to 5 hours Difficult
A route is not a trail
Routes are not marked with signs or maintained in any manner. Self-reliance and wilderness travel experience are essential, including excellent route finding skills, map and compass skills. It is the responsibility of individual hikers who choose to follow such routes to adequately prepare and be prepared to rely on themselves.
West Block Route Description Distance (km) Time Difficulty Otter Basin Route
Trailhead: Access from Back Country Loop
This is the most rugged ‘trail’ experience the park offers. Expect isolation, loose footing, orientation challenges and rugged terrain. At 1006 metres (3300 feet), this area has the highest elevation in the West Block, which creates different soil conditions to support unique plant growth. The choice is yours to make it a day experience or pitch a tent overlooking the Otter Basin escarpment, with the nighttime glows and coyote yelps as your only companions.
*Special Note: This route is a remote wilderness experience that requires preparedness, self-reliance and orienteering skills.
The Back Country Loop is impassable when wet.
15 km loop 5 to 6 hours Very difficult
East Block Route Description Distance (km) Time Difficulty Red Buttes Route
Trailhead: Northwest off Rock Creek Trail
View the buttes turned red by oxidized ion carbonate activity, as you navigate your way through challenging creek bottoms and by cattle fence lines. Your destination view is ample reward.
*Special Note: You may see cattle grazing in this area. Be mindful of gates and fences. This route is a remote wilderness experience that requires preparedness, self-reliance and orienteering skills.
8 km one-way 5 to 6 hours Very difficult
Check trail conditions and road conditions with park staff, some roads within the park are impassable when wet. Inform friends or family of your itinerary and how to contact you. Check the weather forecast before leaving. Acquire a backcountry camping permit for all overnight trips.
Services in this area are limited. When travelling by vehicle, make sure to fuel up before heading into the park or traveling between the East and West Blocks.
Hike with a group. One person in your party should be familiar with wilderness first aid. Ensure you have adequate water, food, clothing and equipment for at least one day longer than your intended trip. Carry a first-aid kit, cellphone, GPS/compass and map. Cell phone service in the park is limited.
Be prepared for extreme heat and sudden weather changes. Severe winds and lightning storms are dangerous and it can be difficult to find shelter. Always check weather forecasts before leaving, plan your trip to avoid the heat of the day and make sure to pack all necessary supplies and equipment. Roads in the park can become impassable when wet.
Wildfire is common on the prairies and extremely dangerous. Lightning storms and strong winds are a contributing factor. If you see smoke, report it to 911 immediately. Fire travels quickly, be prepared to evacuate. If fire traps you, head for low vegetation areas (gravel roads, prairie dog colonies) or burned areas (the “black zone”).
Know Before You Go
Choose a trail that suits your skills and experience, and those within your party.
You are responsible for your own safety.
Be aware of your surroundings and become familiar with the area before heading out. Always carry a map and GPS/compass. Roads may become impassable when wet. Please check road and trail conditions at the Visitor Centres.
Bring at least 2 to 3 litres/person/day. Surface water is not suitable to drink due to high salinity. Potable water is available at the Frenchman Valley and Rock Creek campgrounds.
Do not feed or approach wildlife – this harms their health, alters their natural behaviour, and exposes you to danger.
Beware of rattlesnakes. Do not wear headphones so that you may hear the rattle sound. Wear boots or shoes that cover your ankles and long, loose fitting pants. Do not step on or over rocks or shrubs. Keep children close by. Protective snake gaiters can be borrowed from the West Block Visitor Centre and Campground Office.
Maintain 100 metre distance from bison (length of a football field). Startled or irritated bison can respond aggressively. If you encounter bison along the Ecotour Scenic Drive, remain in your vehicle and proceed slowly. Maintain extra caution during May and June when cows are very protective of newborn calves and in July and August during breeding season, when hiking with pets, cycling and when on horseback.
Call 911 or Park Dispatch 1-877-852-3100. Cell phone reception is limited.
Respect the environment
- Pack out all garbage including food waste, diapers, and hygiene products.
- To dispose of human waste, select a spot at least 70 m away from trails, campsites and water sources. Dig a shallow hole with a stick or heel of your boot. Cover the hole with soil or rocks afterwards. Pack out toilet paper.
- Keep your pet on a leash at all times. Pets are not permitted on prairie dog colonies.
- Wildflowers, horns, antlers, rocks, fossils, arrowheads, tipi rings and all other natural and historical objects in a national park are protected by law. Leave them in their natural setting for others to discover and enjoy.
Visitor Centre (in Val Marie)
Frenchman Valley Campground Reception (West Block)
Rock Creek Campground Reception (East Block)
- Date modified :