The area of Saskatchewan is considered very flat and there are multiple farmlands for as far as the eyes can see, however there is a really special place that is nestled into the space. The beautiful Great Sand Hills cover 1,900 square kilometers of space in southwestern Saskatchewan and it is a place where everyone needs to visit at least once in their life.
Note: This trip occurred a couple of summers ago, I just stumbled upon some lost photos and thought I should share this weird location. My dog has since outgrown cute puppy phase and is now in clumsy oaf phase.
The Great Sand Hills of Saskatchewan
The Great Sand Hills are considered a protected area within the Great Sand Hills Ecological Reserve. One of the most amazing things about the Great Sand Hills is that a person can see them one day and the very next day, the Great Sand Hills will look completely different. The dunes in the Great Sand Hills are quite active and they are always moving and making the landscaping of the area change dramatically. Even throughout a day, people will see breathtaking changes in the texture and colors of the sand.
Indie Relaxing After A Warm Hike
My wife & I took our little puppy, Indie, out for one of her first hikes. It was a pretty warm day out, and despite getting a bit turned around finding the place, we managed to make it there in one piece. I suggest visiting the Museum in Sceptre where you can pick up printed directions to the Sand Hills. Unfortunately the signage isn’t exactly great. Saskatchewan is a great road trip province, with plenty of weird little stops that can get you off the Trans Canada for some photos and fun.
Wildlife Found Near The Dunes
People choose to visit this area for many reasons including watching wildlife like mule deer, antelope and sharp-tailed grouse. The quietness of the dunes makes it perfect for bird watching and avid photographers are always able to get the most fantastic shots at any time of the day or year. Unfortunately we didn’t see much for wildlife besides a deer on our way out.
Hiking The Sand Dunes
The elevation and soft sand can make it slightly challenging to hike in the Great Sand Hills, but the effort is absolutely worth it. As visitors are walking through the Great Sand Hills, they will see aspen, willow and sagebrush trees surrounding the sand dune formations. The best views of the Great Sand Hills and the neighboring areas are from the tops of the sand dunes, which can be anywhere from fifteen to thirty-five meters in height.
While hiking through the Great Sand Hills, you’ll want to stay on the informal trails and be careful to not disturb any fragile spots of nature. This spectacular place has been around for thousands of years and as long as people are respectful, everyone will be able to enjoy the beauty and peacefulness for thousands of years in the future.
Sand Boarding & Sand Tobogganing in Saskatchewan
As with any hill, it’s human nature to see something like the Great Sandhills and think “How can I make this more fun?”. While we were hiking the area some brave kids and parents had their Magic Carpets out from winter storage to enjoy the speed and thrill that comes with sliding down the sand dunes. We had about a 4 hour drive home and the thought of driving with sand in our clothes for that long didn’t sound wise, so we left the fun stuff to them.
Anyone who thinks that Saskatchewan isn’t a unique place has obviously never been to the Great Sandhills. These spectacular sand dunes are a stunning place to visit, because of the way the sand dunes are always changing. You can visit them from year to year and see the dunes actively move and change with the help of the strong prairie winds.
Map of the Great Sand Hills of Saskatchewan
Do yourself a favour and stop in at the Great Sand Hills Museum in Sceptre to pick up directions. Google maps really struggles in this area, and service can be hit or miss. Signage to the hills also isn’t that great, and you’ll be navigating grid roads.
The Great Sand Hills are about 3.5 hours drive from Regina and Saskatoon.