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Photos of Grasslands National Park in Saskatchewan

On my recent visit to Grasslands National Park in Saskatchewan I spent a lot of time behind my camera trying to capture the drama of a park most people haven’t heard of.

Before this visit I was last in Saskatchewan in the late 1970’s. I’d been working at a remote fly-in bush camp north of La Ronge in the winter. One night it was so cold in our tent that my contacts froze in the saline solution. It was a memorable time but not in the right sort of way.

Fast forward to last week. I decided I was overdue for a return visit to Saskatchewan. So off I went on a solo road trip with the plan to move at a leisurely pace and explore, hike and discover Grasslands National Park, located in southern Saskatchewan just above the Montana border.

I drove Flex , the car loaned to me by Ford and told the fellow where I was going. He said to me “Never heard of the place.” And that I think is the reality for most of the world. Grasslands National Park only sees about 10,000 visitors a year.  I’ll be posting more about the area in the near future.

For now enjoy these photos of Grasslands National Park in Saskatchewan.

"Big sky country"

Big sky country

"Looking out to the prairies"

View to the prairies from the 70 Mile Butte hike

"Desolate beauty"

Desolate beauty

"Fall colour in evidence"

Beautiful fall colour

"Fence corral"

"Deer with big ears"

All ears

"Black tailed prairie dog"

Black tailed prairie dog – and the only place in Canada where you’ll find them

"Coyote surveying the scene"

Coyote surveying the scene

"Brightly coloured lichen"

Brightly coloured lichen

"A parched land"

A parched land

"One of the few giant trees around"

One of the few giant trees around

Have you ever been to Grasslands National Park – or to Saskatchewan for that matter? 

Leigh McAdam

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
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Author Leigh

Avid world traveler. Craves adventure - & the odd wildly epic day. Gardener. Reader. Wine lover. Next big project - a book on 100 Canadian outdoor adventures.

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Join the discussion 58 Comments

  • We are headed to Saskatchewan in 2013 for a big road trip and we hope to make it to Grasslands National Park. Great pix. Thanks for sharing.

    • I do hope you get a chance to visit Grasslands. The big skies are fabulous! I stayed in The Convent Country Inn where I met some Calgary zoo people who had just released some endangered black footed ferrets.Another place to stay a little further out is The Rosefield Church Guesthouse B&B.

  • I do hope you get a chance to visit Grasslands. The big skies are fabulous! I stayed in The Convent Country Inn where I met some Calgary zoo people who had just released some endangered black footed ferrets.Another place to stay a little further out is The Rosefield Church Guesthouse B&B.

  • jan says:

    Stunning photography – Love all of the photos, The road photo grabbed me first, then all the others followed suit.

    • @Jan When you see skies like that and all the animal life I found it hard not to be enchanted myself. I bet the place would look fantastic on a winter’s day with a light dusting of snow too.

  • Muza-chan says:

    Amazing photos, Leigh. I love the colors.

  • Tracy says:

    The colours in your photos are amazing. I love desolate landscapes that look monotonous in tone from a distance but when you get up close you realise those plain colours are only because it’s a thousand shades of brown, red, yellow, green, white in the tiny details like lichen and small shrubs all merging into one.

  • Tracy says:

    The colours in your photos are amazing. I love desolate landscapes that look monotonous in tone from a distance but when you get up close you realise those plain colours are only because it’s a thousand shades of brown, red, yellow, green, white in the tiny details like lichen and small shrubs all merging into one.

  • Johanna @ The Zigazag Mag says:

    What some wonderful photos of Grasslands National Park – I’ve never been, but posts like this really make me want to put my boots on and go out there and explore!

  • Beautiful photos Leigh. I love the photo of the rolls of hay through the gate and the coyote. There is beauty in this incredibly stark countryside.

  • Beautiful photos Leigh. I love the photo of the rolls of hay through the gate and the coyote. There is beauty in this incredibly stark countryside.

  • Lisa says:

    Beautiful photos – I would love to see a prairie dog! Saskatchewan and Manitoba are the only two provinces that I haven’t visited and I’m thinking that we need to plan spending some time out west.

  • Lisa says:

    Beautiful photos – I would love to see a prairie dog! Saskatchewan and Manitoba are the only two provinces that I haven’t visited and I’m thinking that we need to plan spending some time out west.

  • Dick Jordan says:

    Nice photos. I just got back from “next door” (Alberta).

  • Dick Jordan says:

    Nice photos. I just got back from “next door” (Alberta).

  • @Johanna It’s a part of Canada that doesn’t get a lot of loving yet it deserves it – such beautiful though desolate country.

  • @Jan When you see skies like that and all the animal life I found it hard not to be enchanted myself. I bet the place would look fantastic on a winter’s day with a light dusting of snow too.

  • Nancie says:

    These are gorgeous shots Leigh. Every time I picked my favorite I like the next one just as much! Saskatchewan is the only province I have not been to in Canada. I went out with a guy from there for a while, but that’s the closest I’ve ever gotten :) A lot of Koreans go there because it’s easy for them to get immigrant status. The province needs to boost their numbers I’ve heard.

  • Nancie says:

    These are gorgeous shots Leigh. Every time I picked my favorite I like the next one just as much! Saskatchewan is the only province I have not been to in Canada. I went out with a guy from there for a while, but that’s the closest I’ve ever gotten :) A lot of Koreans go there because it’s easy for them to get immigrant status. The province needs to boost their numbers I’ve heard.

  • Lesley Peterson says:

    Gorgeous photos, make me yearn for the prairies, the big sky and light quality …

  • Lesley Peterson says:

    Gorgeous photos, make me yearn for the prairies, the big sky and light quality …

  • Beautiful landscape! I’ve never been to Saskatchewan and hardly see pictures. I love how desolate and untouched everything looks. It looks like you were the only one at the park with those wonderful animals as your companions. Adorable prairie dog.

  • Beautiful landscape! I’ve never been to Saskatchewan and hardly see pictures. I love how desolate and untouched everything looks. It looks like you were the only one at the park with those wonderful animals as your companions. Adorable prairie dog.

  • Shamis @ Gawaya Travel Blog says:

    Land of the Living Skies…Love the photos, Leigh! My favorite is the grassland photo. Very artistic.

  • Shamis @ Gawaya Travel Blog says:

    Land of the Living Skies…Love the photos, Leigh! My favorite is the grassland photo. Very artistic.

  • Such a beautiful place! I love the photos of the lichen (and of course, the cute prairie dog too.)

  • @Michhael Thanks! It was auster and has to be appreciated on a different level than the in the face kind of mountain beauty.

  • Angela says:

    Such a sweet wildlife and beautiful colors, lichen are amazing, I’ve only seen them very green.

  • @Angela The lichen were unexpected treat. I saw so many different colours that it made the hiking really interesting – that and the big skies.

  • Sophie says:

    Wow, Leigh. Gorgeous photos, as usual. That first one evokes a feeling of endlessness, eternity. Think this is the first time I’ve read a post on Saskatchewan. It’s not a province one hears much about, yet it has such an intriguing name. Really need to do a coast to coast visit to Canada – with lots of time on our hands.

  • Sophie says:

    Wow, Leigh. Gorgeous photos, as usual. That first one evokes a feeling of endlessness, eternity. Think this is the first time I’ve read a post on Saskatchewan. It’s not a province one hears much about, yet it has such an intriguing name. Really need to do a coast to coast visit to Canada – with lots of time on our hands.

    • @Sophie Saskatchewan doesn’t get a lot of love from fellow Canadians so that’s partly why you don’t hear much about it. I think you do have to learn to appreciate the subtleties of the prairie landscape if you want to embrace it.

  • Grasslands are an underrated ecosystem when it comes to natural beauty. It is not an in your face spectacular scenery like canyons and mountains, but more of a haunting place that tends to grow on you sometimes weeks after you have left.

    These pictures remind me of certain sections of the Badlands. In fact, I have a picture in a prairie dog town with a coyote lingering in the background just like the one you have here.

  • Grasslands are an underrated ecosystem when it comes to natural beauty. It is not an in your face spectacular scenery like canyons and mountains, but more of a haunting place that tends to grow on you sometimes weeks after you have left.

    These pictures remind me of certain sections of the Badlands. In fact, I have a picture in a prairie dog town with a coyote lingering in the background just like the one you have here.

    • @Ted I’d love to see the Badlands NP in the US too. I completely agree with your statement. Iappreciate the area for the remarkable bird life too – birds you don’t see anywhere else but on the grasslands.

  • Charu says:

    Absolutely stunning in every way: the way you’ve captured the dry grass, moss-licked stones, the wetlands alike…I LOVE the stark contrasts.

  • Thanks for that lovely comment Charu.

  • Shing @ The Culture Map says:

    You’ve just reminded me how beautiful autumnal colours are! The picture of the lichen is extremely striking – I love the pattern and vibrancy – mother nature was truly showing off to you on that day!

  • @Shing The lichen through the park was outstanding actually. I have many more photos that I’ll put in another post. And the fall is certainly beautiful.

  • Ayngelina says:

    I have been a bit intrigued by Saskatchewan, simply because everyone says there is no reason to go. But I can see now there is definitely a reason, these photos are gorgeous.

    • @Ayngelina I thought the same thing about Saskatchewan but there is something about the big skies and the friendliness of the people that I find very alluring. I want to go up to Prince Albert National Park now and see what that’s all about.

  • Ayngelina says:

    I have been a bit intrigued by Saskatchewan, simply because everyone says there is no reason to go. But I can see now there is definitely a reason, these photos are gorgeous.

    • @Ayngelina I thought the same thing about Saskatchewan but there is something about the big skies and the friendliness of the people that I find very alluring. I want to go up to Prince Albert National Park now and see what that’s all about.

  • Jenna says:

    I just love your photos and am so happy I saw these this morning. Just beautiful.

  • Jenna says:

    I just love your photos and am so happy I saw these this morning. Just beautiful.

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