Deer grazing in a sunny Grasslands National Park. Deer grazing in a sunny Grasslands National Park.

12 Amazing Things to Do in Grasslands National Park

Grasslands National Park is located in Canada. It is also known as Saskatchewan Grasslands National Park because of Parks Canada’s location in Saskatchewan. We will discuss, in brief, about the Grasslands National Park.

There are various things to do in the Grasslands National Park. You can go hiking or camping if you are interested. There are various hiking trails and campgrounds in the east and west blocks. There are many species of animals living here. You can see prairie dogs in the prairie dog colony, lone bison patiently munching, burrowing owls, and many more. You can also enjoy an eco-tour scenic drive in this national park.

1. About the Grasslands National Park

1.1. Some Facts and Statistics

The Grasslands National Park is also known as The Dark Sky Preserve.

There is a total of 47 park reserves and national parks in Canada. Out of which two are located in Saskatchewan. They are Prince Albert National Park and Grasslands National Park. This national park is preserving prairie grasslands.

It is a natural region that protects endangered species and creates a good environment for them to live peacefully. The endangered species are black-tailed prairie dogs, pronghorns, prairie rattlesnakes, more fantastic short-horned lizards, and plains bison.

Bison are standing in a field in the Grasslands National Park.
Photo by Isi Parente on Unsplash

If you are interested in hiking trails, you must visit them here because this National Park has a lot of hiking trails like the Two Trees Trail, the Riverwalk Trail, the Eagle Butte Trail, and the Valley of 1000 Devils Trail, which meanders through the Rock Creek Badlands. Before visiting here, remember to take a trail map along with you.

And if you are interested in camping, you must also visit here because, in the grasslands park, there are the best facilities for camping and campers. It also offers backcountry camping and front-country camping.

We will discuss more backcountry camping and front-country camping in detail. It has various campgrounds like Frenchman Valley Campground, Rock Creek Campground, and many more.

1.2. History

This park was formed in 1981. The geological landscape of the grasslands park consists of the Frenchman River valley, the badlands of Rock Creek, and the seventy-mile butte. It has a 350 square miles area. This park got its characteristics and features from the erosion of glacial meltwater.

Also, the Grasslands National Park is formed on the traditional territory of the First Nations people.

1.3. Two Main Blocks of Grasslands National Park

The Grasslands National Park, Canada, has two portions: The West Block and The East Block.

Both blocks have a campground and visitor center. Besides these blocks, there are many visitor centers like the park’s main visitor center, Rock Creek Visitor Centre, West Block Visitor Centre, and East Block Visitor Centre.

1.3.1. West Block

The west block of Grasslands National Park is located near the Swift Current. From the swift current, it only takes an hour to reach the west block of the Grasslands National Park. The main west block visitor center is in Val Marie.

The west block of Grasslands National Park, located in southern Saskatchewan, is home to prairie dog colonies. These prairie dogs, which are an endangered species, are an integral part of the park’s ecosystem.

You can go for the ecotour scenic drive in the west block of Grasslands National Park, Canada. The west block is different from the east block. The West Block is aware that the visitors will not face any problems during their visit, and the West Block visitor center takes care of it. The west block Wi-Fi service is also very good.

1.3.2. East Block

The east block is located near the south of Assiniboia, near the Wood Mountain Hills. The interpretive center of the east block is near McGowan House, located near the Rock Creek campground. The east block is located in the third division of Saskatchewan.

The East block is formed from the Badlands Parkway, and it has dramatic badlands landscapes that give visitors an awesome view.

The east block is famous for the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary.

The east block is the more wilderness place due to the Badlands Parkway and the Badlands of Rock Creek. The Rock Creek Visitor Centre is also located on the east block.

2. List of Various Things to Do in Grasslands National Park

2.1. Stargaze in a Darkest Dark Sky Preserve

As the name suggests, it is about stargazing. The Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan, is a destination located under the big dark sky.

This place is a lovely place that astronomers and photographers love. It is also known as the Land of Living Skies. Because it is a delightful place, it takes you to the next level of sky and night.

Grasslands National Park is a great stargazing location, one of Canada’s darkest Dark Sky Preserves. The park organizes events like ‘Beyond the Big Dipper’, where Royal Astronomical Society astronomers set up their telescopes and guide visitors through an amazing night of viewing the vast heavens.

2.2. Wildlife Viewing

Some people are interested in viewing wildlife and wild and endangered animals. So they can follow their interest in the Grasslands Park, Saskatchewan.

Grasslands National Parks, Canada, have a unique landscape and favorable environment for wildlife. So, a lot of wild animals make it their habitat. The animals like plains, bison, prairie dogs, American badgers, rattlesnakes, and short-horned lizards can be seen here.

Dawn and dusk are the best chances to see the animals and their hearing. Not only the animals, but you can also watch many birds here. You can see many heads of bison, small mammals, birds, frogs, and butterflies.

Birds like wood ducks, beavers, Caspian terns, harbour seals, swallows, American goldfinches, warblers, herons, and bald eagles stay here. Many wildlife photographers also visit the Grasslands National Park to spot the wild animals and click photos.

2.3. Scenic Drives

Scenic drivers who are not fond of doing these types of drives. Everyone loves to go through nature along with friends and family.

The west block is famous for the ecotour scenic drive.

The drive is 80 km long, where you will spot fascinating views, unique and adorable landscapes, and hear of wild animals. This scenic drive takes only three hours if you drive slowly and enjoy all the views along the way. Also, People can enjoy walking and hiking trails along the way with a self-guided brochure provided by the Visitor Centre.

This drive has seven spots to take a break and enjoy. We will discuss these spots in detail:

2.3.1. Boundary Gate

This is the starting point of this drive. It has a 70-mile eagle butte. From this step, you will start a wonderful and memorable journey.

2.3.2. Top Dogtown Trail

After starting your journey from there, your next stop is Top Dogtown Trail. This is famous for the colonies of the black-tailed prairie dogs.

2.3.3. Turlough Route

This is the third spot where you must stop and enjoy the Bearpaw sea trails. This place contains many boards containing information about the Grasslands National Park.

2.3.4. Views

This fourth spot stops you from moving forward because it has fantastic views. Its endless beauty attracts you. This is the best spot for photography.

2.3.5. Cattle Ranch

This is the fifth spot where you have to spot. From this spot, walk for 100 meters, and you will see the beautiful rivers flowing from your sides. These are the excellent views which make you happy and your trip memorable.

2.3.6. Larson Interpretive Trail

This is the sixth spot that seeks your attention. Larson Interpretive Trail is the track around the old cowboy ranch. This is a short and easy track, but it is very adorable.

2.3.7. Larson Dogtown

This is the last spot where you have to take a break. Here, the staff of the park provides you with a telescope to see the scenic views of plains and wildlife. You will never forget the views of those plains and hearing of animals.

2.4. Search for Red Chairs

Social media users mostly search Red Chairs for taking photographs in the Grasslands National Park.

These types of locations are available in both the east block and the west block. There are four locations in the east block and three in the west block where the visitors will sit and relax. The views are also adorable, so they will take a lot of photographs and upload them on social media platforms.

2.5. Types of Camping You Can Do in the Grasslands National Park

2.5.1. Backcountry Camping

Backcountry camping is in remote areas far from roads and developed areas.

These areas do not have any facilities. The hikers must stay in the camps, walk through the parklands, explore the remote areas, and observe the natural wildlife.

Backcountry camping is unsafe because you must stay with wild animals in remote areas. This type of camping has a lot of risks. You always have to be prepared to fight the danger. You have to plan for your escape if you face any dangerous situation.

2.5.2. Frontcountry Camping

Front country camping is also known as car camping. First, let’s discuss what front-country camping is.

This type of camping is done in well-established campgrounds like national grassland parks. It can be done at Rock Creek Campground and Frenchman Valley Campground.

Many facilities are given to the visitors in the front country camping, like water spigots, pit toilets, trash bins, and many more. The people also do not face any dangerous situations in front-country camping.

2.6. Club Parka

It is a program in the Grasslands National Park for children aged 2 to 5.

It is a series of activities that encourage children to explore, discover, learn and have fun within the park’s natural and historical environment.

Children play many games, see photos and videos of animals, and do many more things they will perform there.

2.7. Equestrian Trails and Campgrounds

Grasslands National Park, which includes the Broken Hills Trail, is a marvelous place for equestrian camping and horse riding. Some local outfitters offer guided horseback rides.

2.8. Eagle Butte Trail

Eagle Butte Trail
Image from the Eagle Butte Trail.

Eagle Butte Trail is a beautiful place in the Grasslands National Park. People generally think these places have only grass and walking here will not provide you with anything. But the truth is this is a beautiful place with many different vegetation, thousands of flowers, and many species of birds.

You only have to walk on this trail and see many new and beautiful flowers. It is only a 2 km loop trail. If you walk here on this trail, you want to come here again and again. It is a natural place that provides a good atmosphere, and walking in this environment has many health benefits.

2.9. Zahurski Point Route

People who love bike riding a lot visit the Grasslands National Park to enjoy the Zahurski Point route.

Zagorski Point route has an amazing view to watch. This is either 11-kilometer moderate terrain or is at your disposal. If you want to have some adventure in your life, get ready for this as this route will, along with the beautiful view, also provide you with an amazing adventurous experience.

2.10. 70 Mile Butte

It is one of the highest peaks in the grassland to climb, and it is a bit adventurous and difficult to climb or hike. After crossing and completing all the hurdles along the way, when you finally reach the height, watching a beautiful view from that height is worth it.

2.11. Rim Walk Trail

Rim walk trail is a beautiful place where you can watch the sunset. People generally stop here and discuss everything they have done all day. This is a marvelous place.

Watching the sunset is peaceful, and its different colors bring you closer to nature.

2.12. Go Camping in the Campgrounds

2.12.1. Rock Creek Campground

Rock Creek Campground in the East Block of the Grasslands National Park is a good location for front country camping in the Grasslands National Park. Reservations for camping should be made in advance, and check-in is at the Rock Creek Campground Reception in the East Block.

The main source of attraction in the Rock Creek campground is the leopard frogs’ symphony at dusk, amazing skies at night, and the meadowlarks’ serenade. It has many facilities like picnic tables, fire pits, vault toilets, shelters for shade and cooking, an RV dump tank, and electric sites.

2.12.2. Frenchman Valley Campground

Frenchman Valley Campground in the West Block of the Grasslands National Park is located near the river. The incredible views of the Frenchman Valley campground attract the visitor’s attention because it has natural scenic views like beautiful sunsets, rolling hills, peaceful prairie settings, and the flow of the Frenchman River.

The reservation for camping can be made in advance, and check-in is at the Visitor Centre in Val Marie or the Frenchman Valley Campground Reception. You have to make the reservation earlier for car drives and camping.

There are many facilities provided by the Frenchman Valley campground, like lantern hangers, park wheelchair-friendly areas, fire pits, 20 electrical sites, potable water jugs, and cooking and eating areas.

Final Note

The Grasslands National Park is a very famous place in Canada. It receives visitors from all over the world. It has two blocks: the East block and the West block.

There are various things to explore in the Grasslands National Park, like the Frenchman Valley campground, the Rock Creek campground, a Rock Creek trail, wild animals, and birds.

The wildlife is seen more in the east block than the west block because the east block is formed from the Badlands Parkway. The national park has a central guest pit and a flat parking lot for visitors.

You will get Grasslands National Park reviews on the park office site. Not only reviews, but you can also check all the facilities and photographs of the grasslands national park on its website. The website park posts warnings about what you don’t have to do during your visit. The Grasslands National Parks, Canada staff is very helpful and takes care of the visitors.

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