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Saskatchewan, Canada

Great Destination:

Value for Money:

Total Stars:

Personality Types that Like it Best

Did You Know…?

  • The Royal Canadian Mounted Police trains recruits in Regina.
  • The province produces more than half of Canada’s wheat.
  • Estevan averages 2,540 sun-filled hours a year, more than any other Canadian town.
  • Saskatchewan’s official sport is curling.
  • The original name for Regina, the capital, was Pile o’ Bones.

Living Skies

Several images fit Saskatchewan, including broad wheat fields and their associated farming communities; cattle ranches and rodeos; First Nations people and powwows; forests, rivers and pristine lakes — about 100,000 of them. The province also is home to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Saskatchewan is called the Land of Living Skies. Stretching expansively across endlessly flat terrain, its skies really do come alive — with summer storms, huge flocks of migrating geese and, in the north, the Northern Lights.

The typical eats are meat-and-potatoes hearty, the locals are welcoming and prices are very reasonable.

The southern half of Saskatchewan is an extension of the prairies of the central U.S.: flat, wheat-growing country as far as the eye can see. The province accounts for about two-fifths of Canada’s farmland.

The population thins out farther north, where the landscape, still looking much as Mother Nature made it, is more rugged, covered with forests and blessed with more than 100,000 lakes. The area offers some of North America’s best fishing and hunting.

Two medium-sized cities, Regina and Saskatoon, provide good bases for exploring the rest of the province and are centers for cultural activities. Regina reigns over the wheat-growing area and Saskatoon to the north is home base for the wilder part of the province. Many consider Saskatoon one of Canada’s prettiest cities.

The story of this province is that of courageous natives — First Nations — who adjusted to the changes imported by equally daring Europeans. Batoche National Historic Park near Saskatoon tells the saga of the Metis (people of mixed European and Indian background), whose rebellion under Louis Riel is a drama that few Americans know.

Saskatchewan doesn’t attract many U.S. leisure travelers although it has 5 million acres of parkland and hosts numerous fairs, festivals, powwows and rodeos. Visitors may try a few new and curious things here, too, like bowling in the snow, kick sledding, pattern dancing, skijoring and the Red River Jig.

Summer temperatures hover in the 70s, and most tourists like to visit in June through August. Winters are dry, often sunny, but can be very cold.

Things to do for Venturers

  • Enter an arm-wrestling competition or maybe the beard-growing competition at the annual Prince Albert Winter Festival in a town called Prince Albert. Or learn the Red River Jig (a type of dance that originated with the Metis), or try snow bowling.
  • Try dogsledding, kick sledding (pushing a sled with one foot while the other foot rides a sled runner) and skijoring (riding your skis while being pulled by a dog or horse). Also, you can see horse logging demonstrations.
  • Enter any of several ice fishing derbies. In summer, there are warmer-weather fishing derbies, too.
  • Camp in a teepee village in Muskoday.
  • Try paintball or the 500-meter Superman ride, one of the world’s longest zip lines, on the 2,400 forested acres of the Blue Mountain Outdoor Adventure Centre in North Battleford.
    The facility also offers a full range of winter sports as well as an ecosystem awareness program and a wilderness survival program.
  • Take a journey by dogsled. Or, choose the snowmobile and follow some part of the Trans-Canada Snowmobile Trail.

Things to do for Centrics

  • Go sailing on one of Saskatchewan’s 100,000-plus lakes; take sailing lessons if necessary.
  • Attend the autumn Maple Creek Cowboy Poetry Gathering plus Western Art and Cowboy Gear Show in Maple Creek. The event, which celebrates the province’s western heritage, features cowboy poetry and music and includes a fashion show — cowboy garb, that is — and a pancake breakfast.
  • Go hiking or mountain biking on the trails at Christopher Lake. In winter, make that cross-country skiing.
  • Drive through the province in an RV, and overnight at the campgrounds that cater to drivers of recreational vehicles.
  • Go cross-country skiing on groomed trails, ice skating and tobogganing in the Meewasin Valley.
  • Take a ranch vacation that may include a selection of the following: ATV tours, hiking, horse-drawn wagon treks, powwows, riding lessons, rodeo events, roping lessons and trail rides. You may be able to join in cattle drives and other activities of a working ranch, too. Eat bison.

Things to do for Authentics

  • In Moose Jaw, take a narrated boat tour along the Wakamow River.
  • Live in a houseboat for several days.
  • Arrange a spa experience at Manitou Springs or Temple Gardens.
  • Overnight in one or a series of B&Bs for a homey feel while admiring new vistas. Facilities that are members of the Saskatchewan Bed and Breakfast Association have been inspected and certified attesting to quality.
  • Attend dinner theater in Creelman, Saskatoon or Watrous.
  • Watch pattern dancing (team dancing in which the steps for the dance are set by a leader) at the Pattern Dance Saskatchewan Meeting in Watrous. Participate in square or pattern dancing events.

Additional Resources

For more information, consult Tourism Saskatchewan at www.tourismsaskatchewan.com