What to Do
How long are you staying the Cypress Hills?
Explore Fort Walsh!
Two adjacent National Historic Sites - Cypress Hills Massacre and Fort Walsh - show the worst and best of early life around the Cypress Hills. A conducted tour of the massacre site discusses the tensions and prejudices that led to the terrible and one-sided battle. Then, in the rebuilt fort, interpreters in historic uniform or period clothes will explain how the newly-formed North West Mounted Police prevented further lawlessness. The carefully furnished rooms are backdrops for lively programs that bring you right into the life of the mounties.
Together, the visits to both historic sites will provide an entertaining and educational visit lasting about three hours.
Be ready to participate in fun presentations. And watch for the special event on July 1: we'll be firing the artillery! Bring a picnic to enjoy as you take in the scenic vista, or plan to hike up the Battle Creek valley.
Spend a few hours on our Auto Tour!! Let the Auto Tour take you to the most impressive cultural, ecological and geological features within 4404 Hectares of the park.
Tour will take about 2 hours and covers about 24 kms.
Please check road conditions prior to travel, as moisture will inhibit some travel. In some places the road is rough cobblestone; please drive slowly and with care.
Please print the map and guide or pick one up from the Visitor Centre upon arrival.
1. Loch Leven- Learn the history and namesake
2. Lodgepole Pine Forest- Learn where the Lodgepole pine grow, how the park got its name, what are/were the trees used for.
3. Beaver Pond- Learn about the Beaver species and local plant and animal life.
4. Lookout Point- Panoramic view of the prairies, maybe even Maple Creek! Learn some geology!
5. Bald Butte- Park your car and climb to the top! Highest point in Centre Block!
6. Meadow Vista- Enjoy Grassland vegetation.
7. Slice of Time- Leave your car and examine the deposits which cover the Cypress Hills.
8. Lodgepole Pine Plantation- Plantation of young lodgepole seedlings and Sucker Creek (usually dried up by mid-summer)
9. Cypress Hills Golf Course- See one of the highest in North America!
10. Fire Suppression- Learn about the fire tower, helicopters and fire management.
Other half day ideas include:
- Paddleboating, Canoeing, Kayaking
- 9 holes of Golf
- Beach Fun
- Hiking, biking or cross country skiing
- Swimming at the leisure pool (open third week of June- Labor Day weekend)
- Afternoon at the winery
- Interpretive activities
- Take a horseback trail ride
- Fishing- Don't forget the free fishing weekend (July 12 & 13)!
- Birding/wildlife viewing- Check out our hikes for the best viewing locations
- Play a game of tennis- racquet rentals are available at the mini-golf
A great way to see much of the Park is the following short drive (1.5-3hrs in length). Download the map for this quick trip:
- Starting up at the Visitor Centre, drive up Ferguson Hill Road, and then up to Horseshoe Canyon Viewpoint.
- Horshoe Canyone Viewpoint. The viewpoint, at 1450 m, is close to the tallest point in the Cypress Hills and allows you to look North all the way to Medicine Hat.
- After the viewpoint, continue along the Murray Hill Road towards Spruce Coulee Reservoir . Head down to Spruce Coulee and hike a short 2km trail. Keep your eyes peeled for great birdwatching!
- Continue along your way to the Reesor Lake viewpoint. Take a moment to look around and imagine how at one time most of the land below you was covered in glacial ice.
- After the viewpoint, continue down to Reesor Lake and see if you can spot some wildlife. White Pelicans can often be found here in the summer months!
- When you have had your fill of the beautiful scenery, head back to the Elkwater town site for a delicious lunch or dinner at the Elkwater Landing Restaurant or grab a quick snack at the Marina concession (summer months only).
The trip will take between 1.5-3hours depending on length of time spent at each site.
Other Activities, depending on the season, include mini golf, golf, boat and bike rental, short hikes around the townsite, cross country skiing or relaxing on the beach. Check them out on our official website !
Make a day of it and explore the entire park! Whether you are starting on the Alberta or Saskatchewan side of the Park, you can drive through the Park, exploring different sites along the way!
Battle Creek Road takes you through the Park and passes sites such as the Conglomerate Cliffs , Cypress Hills Massacre and Fort Walsh National Historic Site and Reesor Lake . (Note that the Battle Creek Road is a gravel road and is impassable after large amounts of rain). On the Saskatchewan side of the Park, end the day off with traveling to the Cypress Hills Winery, Maple Creek, or the Cypress Park Resort Inn for a snack or dinner. On the Alberta side of the Park, go for dinner at the Elkwater Lake Landing Restaurant or at the Elkwater Lake Lodge & Resort .
OR spend some time exploring the West Block Wilderness Area of the park in Saskatchewan on the driving tour!
End your day by enjoying the night sky and taking advantage of the Cypress Hills' Dark Sky initiatives!
Other activities are available in the Park, with interpretive programs running year round!
There are so many things to do during the weekend in the park!
Spend one of your days doing a full tour of the Park- check out the full day tour suggested in the previous section.
Spend your other days participating in guided interpretive activities that can be found year round, or try one of the numerous other activities available! Every Friday night, be sure to join Cypress Saskatchewan Interpreters for Night Sky programs at Lookout point (at dusk).
In the summer, take in an amphitheatre show (Alberta and Saskatchewan) and watch a blockbuster movie at the amphitheatre in Alberta.
Try hiking a section of the Trans Canada Trail; make sure you bring drinking water and sturdy shoes!
Keep your eyes open for special events occurring year round!
You now have the opportunity to enjoy ALL of the activities the park has to offer! Enjoy all of the activities previously listed as well as:
Explore the Great Sandhils!
Go to Eastend!
Historical Museum & Visitor Centre
Whitemud Clay Studio
Z-X Ranch House
Red Coat Bookseller's & Cappuccino Bar
1912 Art Gallery
Wallace Stegner House
SnooZ'n'CrooZ Guest Lodge & Studio Zanj Emporium
Wilkinson Memorial Observatory
Head to Maple Creek!
Prairie Sky Gallery
Check out Shaunavon!
Visit Reid lake