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One of only two National Parks in Saskatchewan, Grasslands National Park preserves one of the few remaining natural prairies in North America, while simultaneously offering plenty of outdoor recreation.
Grasslands NP can be found along the Saskatchewan-Montana border, about an hour south of Swift Current.
The park is split into two sections – the West Block and the East Block – only about five kilometres part.
The park houses two visitor centres – the West Block Visitor Centre in Val Marie and the East Block McGowan’s Visitor Centre at Rock Creek Campground. The park is open year-round, seven days a week.
The visitor centres are open on select days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended hours in the summer. The centres are closed from late November to mid-May. There are no entry fees associated with Grasslands NP, however there are fees for certain day-use activities and specialty activities, like backcountry use, heritage presentation programs, and camping.
Attractions & Activities
Grasslands NP reels in over 10,000 annual visitors, providing its guests with any number of abundant outdoors activities. Hiking, drive tours, backpacking, and special interpretive events – you name it; you’ll find it here.
But before you venture out into the vast natural landscape, you’ll want to begin your journey at either of the two visitor centres – either in Val Marie or the McGowan Visitor Centre. Both visitor centres provide a bevy of pertinent information, like park maps, itineraries, event schedules, and more ways to explore the park to its fullest extent.
If you fancy yourself a hiker, you’ll find 14 different Front Country hiking trails through both the East and West Blocks. To the west, trails range from less than one kilometre to 15 kilometres throughout the Frenchman Valley. Similarly, to the east, you can embark on either an interpretive hike or self-guided hike exploring Rock Creek.
Looking to stay indoors and off your feet? Don’t miss a chance to head out of the Frenchman River Valley Ecotour – a scenic, self-guided driving tour through the French Man River Valley in the West Block. The tour can either be completed as an 80-kilometre loop, or as a 70-kilometre, one-way trip. Along the way, you’ll be treated to unmatched wildlife viewing and information panels.
Equine enthusiasts are also more than welcome to explore the reaches of the park. Bring your hooved companions along and head out on a self-guided tour along the parks rustic trails and undeveloped nature areas. No horse? No problem! Guided horse tours are also available for any and all takers.
Speaking of guided adventures, Grasslands NP is known for its special events and interpretive programs. Whether it’s the Cowboy Adventure in June, Badlands Blast Weekend, Fireside Chats each Friday, or Fossil Fever in August, you’re sure to find an interpretive program at Grasslands NP nearly any time of year, yielding discovery and adventure for the whole family.