The rhythm of the Prairies

Locations: Grasslands National Park, Motherwell Homestead and Fort Walsh National Historic Sites
Distance: 1310 km round trip from Regina

Experience the open Prairies in this 7-day itinerary. Travel back in time and see what life was like in the 19th century. Relax as you stargaze in a Dark-Sky Preserve. Discover beautiful wildflowers and some of the rarest wildlife in Canada.

A team of horses pulls a wagon full of visitors past a big red barn.

Day 1

Location: Motherwell Homestead National Historic Site, Abernethy
Distance: 110 km from Regina

Step into the past and see what life in the prairies was like at the end of the 19th century.

Explore the homestead and farm of W.R. Motherwell, see the way crops were harvested and animals were raised back when European settlers first arrived in Saskatchewan. Go for a scenic walk through the fields to reach a beautiful wetland area. Bring along a packed lunch to turn it into a picnic!

Recommended accommodation: oTENTik, Rock Creek campground, Grasslands East Block, 390 km from Abernethy

Two young women take a break and drink water during their hike on Valley of 1000 Devils Trail.

Day 2

Location: Grasslands National Park, East Block

Hike the Valley of 1000 Devils Trail to get an up close view of the badlands and one of Canada’s richest resources for dinosaur fossils. Grasslands National Park works to preserve a native mixed-grass prairie ecosystem, of which only a small portion remains in the wild. See? The Canadian Prairies aren’t just boundless fields of grain! At night, gaze up into the sky as you listen to the sound of prairie nights and watch as thousands of stars appear in this Dark-Sky Preserve.

Recommended accommodation: oTENTik, Rock Creek campground

A family of four watching the sunset on the prairies.

Day 3

Location: Grasslands National Park, East Block

Take a step back and look at the bigger picture as you rest your feet and cruise along the scenic Badlands Parkway. Go at your own pace and take the time to discover the little things that make the prairies so spectacular. Wind up a hill to a rewarding peek of the badlands beyond or go on a hike for a bird’s eye view of Rock Creek.

Recommended accommodation: oTENTik, Rock Creek campground

A couple observes a herd of bison in the fields.

Day 4

Location: Grasslands National Park, West Block, Val Marie
Distance: 150 km from Wood Mountain

Stop at the visitor centre to learn about the history and importance of the Grasslands. See unearthed arrow heads and run your hand along the hide of a bison.

Spend the afternoon with your inner explorer as you embark on the Ecotour Scenic Drive, a 20 km self-guided driving tour through the Frenchman River Valley that provides interpretation of this magnificent prairie landscape. Choose from a variety of hiking trails and have a picnic at one of the day use areas along the way. Keep an eye out for roaming bison and some of the rarest wildlife in Canada, like the Burrowing Owl and Short-horned Lizard.

Recommended accommodation: oTENTik, Frenchman Valley campground

Two children running up a hill, with their parents following, with the landscape of the West Block of Grasslands National Park in the background.

Day 5

Location: Grasslands National Park, West Block

Venture out into the wild and spend the day following one of the many trails through the region. Stop to smell the wildflowers and listen for the call of prairie dogs as you walk among the windswept prairie grasses.

Recommended accommodation: oTENTik, Frenchman Valley campground

Two young adults out hiking on the 70 Mile Butte Trail in Grasslands National Park.

Day 6

Location: Grasslands National Park, West Block

Explore the trail out to 70 mile-butte and take in the views from the highest point in the park. Then make your way to Maple Creek and the Cypress Hills to get a start on the next day’s visit to Fort Walsh National Historic Site.

Three horseback riders discuss with Fort Walsh in the background.

Day 7

Location: Fort Walsh National Historic Site, Maple Creek
Distance: 230 km from Val Marie

Experience life on the frontier at Fort Walsh! Watch a demonstration of North West Mounted Police. Then have lunch in the middle of a historic fort or enjoy a picnic down by the Battle Creek in the picnic shelter. Take a tour of the site where the Cypress Hills Massacre happened and explore the trails through the Cypress Hills. Don’t miss the Indigenous Culture Camp and take the opportunity to learn more about the peoples who have called the Cypress Hills home for centuries.

Distance: Return to Regina, 430 km

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Download the Regional Vacation Planner for the Canadian Prairies (PDF, 2,359 KB) or order your free copy by calling 1-888-773-8888.

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