26 Best Things You Can Do at Cypress Hills Provincial Park

26 Best Things You Can Do at Cypress Hills Provincial Park 1

A guide to Cypress Hills Provincial Park!!

Cypress Hills Provincial Park is the only interprovincial park in Canada. It is located in Alberta and shares a park boundary with Saskatchewan. It is nestled in the southeast corner of the province.

Both provinces – Alberta and Saskatchewan’s provincial governments signed an agreement – the Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park agreement. It led to the establishment of the first interprovincial park in Canada.

Cypress hills interprovincial park has the tallest hills between the Labrador and the Rocky Mountains. Because it is the highest point, it has a distinct climate, a range of eco-systems, and an exciting landscape.

The landscape includes wetlands, grasslands, and a lodgepole pine forest. It has deep valleys, huge forests, and slow and peaceful moving streams. Cypress hills in Alberta is a park where you can enjoy all four seasons.

It is the highest elevation – about 1392 m in the Alberta prairies. The Alberta portion covers an area of 205 square km, and it sits about 600 m above the surrounding area.

The Cypress Hills are hidden amidst the Canadian prairies and are the perfect destination if you like outdoor adventures mixed with scenic views.

The Saskatchewan side of the park is divided into 2 – there is the center block and the west block. The Centre block has well-developed tourist facilities, and the west block has a wilderness area with a rustic campsite. It is also the part where Fort Walsh is located.

Where is Cypress hills interprovincial park located?

Cypress hills provincial park is located about 75 km southeast of Medicine Hat on Hwy 1 and about 30 km south on Hwy 41.

How do you get to the center block?

The center block of Cypress hills interprovincial park is 27 km south of Maple Creek, 130 km east of Medicine Hat, and 156 km southwest of Swift Current.

When is the park open?

The park and visitor center are open year-round.

Fun Things you can do at Cypress Hills Provincial park

Cypress Hills has always been a favorite place for residents of Alberta and Saskatchewan to venture into summer camping. Families return to their favorite campsite several times each year with longtime friends and family.

Winter Activities at Cypress Hills

You can have lots of winter fun at Cypress hills. Being surrounded by the lush lodgepole pine and the white spruce forests is so beautiful!

1. Go to the Hidden Valley Ski Resort:

Hidden Valley is within the park, close to Elkwater. Whether you keep on with the smooth slope or head for the black diamond, you are certain to have a superb day with the clean wintry weather air.

You can go on Cross country skis and get the opportunity to witness breathtaking views, several species of wildlife like elk and moose.

2. Go on a Winter Camp:

Go winter camping with your family or friends. They offer camping in heated consolation tenting devices filled with vital facilities like beds, fridges, cutlery, and stoves.

3. Heard of Snowshoeing? Try it out at Cypress Hills:

There are trails for more than just snowboarding and biking! You can explore regions distinct for strapping on snowshoes to discover the quiet barren region at your very own pace, including the fast Sunset Trail or the extra formidable Ridgetop Trail.

4. Go Cross-country Skiing with a friend:

Cypress Hills is the perfect destination for cross-country skiing. 

You could either bring your ski gear or hire the required equipment from the Visitor’s Centre. It is fun to go along with someone – so maybe take a friend or spouse along.

5. Go and try out Snow luge:

Snow luge is more than just tobogganing! Though, you could also do those. This run-down hill packed with snow on the sides is best for sledding. 

6. Enjoy biking on Fat bike trails:

Biking is not an activity only for the summer. Biking tracks are open all winter. You can hit the snowy trails in the park on your fat bike to keep your adrenaline pumping.

Summer Activities at Cypress Hills

Summer is for camping and having fun. Whether or not it is for a week or a weekend! The freedom of not having to keep an eye on the time and enjoy the sounds of nature echo all around.

There is a lot to do in the Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park that it’s almost impossible to do all – biking, hiking, wine tasting, visiting historical sites, going on tours, ziplining, golfing, and horseback riding.

7. Learn Horse Riding and go for a ride with beautiful views:

Over a hundred and forty km of trails and Fire and Resource Trails to discover on horseback. You can enjoy a ride alongside the Spruce Coulee Trail, Spring Creek Ski Trail, or withinside the Nine Mile Area and trot alongside winding trails thru mature wooded area or through excessive stirrup grasses whilst taking within the remarkable vistas and sweeping perspectives of the encircling plains or the Sweetgrass Hills of Montana a long way to the south.

‘Cypress Hills Riding Academy’ is located in the center block. They have guided tours and lessons for horse riding. Trail rides are every 15 minutes.

8. Lake Activities:

At the entrance of the park, there is a small lake. Right beside it, there is a rental shop. You can rent a paddleboat, kayak, canoe, paddleboard, and much more. They also have a lot of water sports you can play.

9. Try Rock Climbing and Zip lining at Eco Adventures:

There is rock climbing for kids and a mini-zipline too. Adults can have fun on the big ziplines. They also have slacklines where you can go practice to balance.

You can zipline down the Saskatchewan side and ski down the Alberta side.

10. Have some fun by trying out these water activities:

You can enjoy plenty of water activities at Elkwater Lake — Kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing and boating on the Lake, swimming and seashore fun at Main Beach, and fishing at Reesor Lake or Spruce Coulee Reservoir.

11. Take the kids to play Mini Golf:

Mini Golf is the perfect sport to play when rainy and chill weather. It is a great way to keep them busy and entertained if you have kids.

12. Visit the Historic sites and learn about their past:

If learning about history is your thing – Cypress Hills has a lot of historical sites to go to and learn about different events from the past. You can explore the history and formation of the Cypress Hills interprovincial park.

St. Margaret’s Church was constructed in 1907 and is open 12 months of the year. Willow Creek Burn indicates the result of a fire on the landscape in 1934.

A popular place to visit is the Fort Walsh National Historic Site. Go biking if you can, as the place is more suited for that. Trails are leading up to it. Fort Walsh has many summer activities planned for the summer each year.

13. Check out the Cypress Hills Pool and have a relaxing day:

A super fun activity to keep the kids happy and occupied. You can spend the day by the pool. They have a schedule with timings when families can go for a swim together. They also offer swimming classes for children in the summer months.

14. Have a lakeside grill:

Sit with your family and grill by the lake. It is near the visitor centre. It is at Maple creep. You can also get some beers from the brewery there. They have delicious sweet fries and wine too! They make the wine in their wineries.

Sitting at the patio is a lovely place to soak up all the nature surrounding you—the fresh air, trees, Wildlife, and flowers – so much of nature all around.

15. Try Hiking & Mountain Biking as a family:

Whether you hike the paths of Spruce Coulee trails or the Elkwater trails, you will be taken through beautiful viewpoints along the prairie landscape. There are paths you can walk or bike on throughout the park o explore the place.

In Cypress hills, the hiking trails and biking trails are the same. So since many trails within the park are multi-use, the park is an excellent attraction to hikers and mountain bikers.

They have spots you could go to have a picnic and places to watch the sunset. You can get a map at the main entrance. It is better to use one as you go around not to get lost. The park is huge. The clear blue lakes can be viewed from the hiking and biking trails.

They have a scavenger hunt for kids. It keeps them focused, excited, and on the lookout as they walk or bike along.

16. Go on a Scenic drive:

Being above the prairie gives exquisite views you do not want to miss. Just drive through in the car; you do not even have to get out! If you drive towards the west, you will get to the Alberta side of the park, which includes the Head of the Mountain – definitely the best spot at a height in Cypress Hills, with stunning glimpses of Montana.

17. Snack on Ice Cream:

You can snack on ice cream or food at one of the many spots in the park. You can find burgers, pizzas, and chicken strips. It is very convenient for those who are not cooking and have not brought their food.

18. Go Comfort camping with your family:

You do not have to be scared to camp in the summer heat – if you will do it in comfort. They have a campground where there is tent camping. They have about 8 cabins, each at a different price. The comfort cabins have a small kitchenette, a place to eat, and beds to sleep in.

Like the Tom Trott cabin, the campgrounds and backcountry huts are open 12 months of the year. They have the perfect view for relaxation and a nice place to rest after you finish your winter activities.

You can even camp in one of the many forest campgrounds. The campground is like a little town of its own. There is so much to offer to the guests.

The equestrian campground is in the west block wilderness area.

19. Do the horseshoe canyon hike:

Start by driving to Elkwater, and from there, you can begin the Horseshoe Canyon hike. You could drive there, but the 4 km hike is good exercise, and the views are gorgeous.

20. Go stargazing:

Wear some warm clothes and go star gazing to see breathtaking views out of this world! Probably the most beautiful sight you will ever see. The park has a separate site for campers who want to stargaze. There is no light there, so everyone can look at the northern lights moving between the stars.

21. Search for the rare orchids:

The park has got a lot of wild orchids. You could go on a trip and, if you are lucky, can locate Spotted or Stripped Coral-root Orchid, Yellow Lady’s Slipper, Calypso Orchid, Mountain Lady’s Slipper, White Adder’s Mouth (an extraordinary species only found in Alberta), and plenty more! If you go there around mid – June or early summer, you could spot one of the fourteen orchid species in bloom.

22. Try to spot Wildlife:

Cypress Hills is a great place to go to spot wildlife! You can see elk, moose, deer, and sometimes even a cougar. They also have over 220 species of birds here.

The west block wilderness area at Cyprus Hills surrounds the Alberta side of the park.

Fun Activities for kids at Cypress Hills

23. Go to Fort Walsh

This National Historic site in Canada is in the northwest. The park has a program for kids – the Xplorers Program. It guides the little ones through many activities in the fort and teaches them what things are.

It is an excellent way for them to learn without the parents having to explain, so they can look around and view everything on their own in peace.

24. Visit the TRex Discovery Centre

The TRex discovery centre is where they keep ‘Scotty’ the TRex. He was discovered on the hillside. There are many dinosaur artifacts on display, and you will get a guided tour of the facility.

You could pack your lunch and get here to eat while you look at the dinos and imagine life how it was back then – with dinosaurs running around the hills.

There are also bus tours of the place. It is more convenient for those with little ones and the elderly. They can see everything without having to walk.

25. See the animals at Grottos Garden.

Grottos Garden is just outside Maple Creek. Kids will enjoy seeing the goats and chickens there. They will get to pet the animals and interact with them. They can even feed the baby goats and watch them do the ‘goat walk.’

26. Try Geocaching

Wha’s Geocaching? It is like a global treasure hunt where people look for caches or stashes of hidden objects.

Suppose you are interested in this. You could try it out there. You need to enter your location, and the GPS will track you and give you more information.

When hiking, you can try geocaching – kids will love going around in search of treasure as they hike.

Going on a trip to Cypress hills interprovincial park is like an escape from reality and the pollution from the real world. This beautiful park is an excellent place to relax and chill for a week or weekend.

Going with friends or family will be so much more fun. There are plenty of activities you can do as a group. Whether it is winter or summer, there are things to do all year round. You can never run out of fun stuff to do there. Even something as small as the sunset is such a breathtaking view there.

Going to the Cypress hills interprovincial park is one place you should try to go. The views are to die for, and I’m sure you will not regret it.

 

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