MOOSEJAWTODAY.COM — Cypress Hills has not only carved out its hills through time but has the honour of being the highest point between Labrador and the Rocky Mountains. The history of the area from southwest Saskatchewan to southeast Alberta is filled with pioneering stories of First Nations and settlers to the first Royal Canadian Mounted Police being established in 1873 by Sir John A. MacDonald.
In 1754 Anthony Henday, a trader and explorer, visited the Cypress Hills to try to encourage the Blackfoot Tribe to participate in the fur trade with the Hudson Bay Company. They declined. By 1859, John Palliser, a geographer, and explorer, led an expedition to the south of Alberta and Saskatchewan. When he came across Cypress hills his comment was, "A perfect oasis in the desert."
As time passed, the history of the prairies carved its way through these historic hills. In 1951, Cypress Hills Provincial Park was established. 1967 saw its first visitor center. By 1991, Cypress Hills already had its 40th anniversary. And in 2004, Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park (Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Fort Walsh) was designated a dark sky preserve.
Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park provides its guests with adventures and activities all year round. From swimming in the summer to winter camping, the beauty of the woods is breathtaking. Hiking through trails or zip-lining through the trees, Cypress Hills is for everyone!
Fort Walsh National Historic Site is located off the 271. Experience life in the 1870s and discover how Fort Walsh presided over one of the most dramatic periods of change on the Prairies. While Cypress Hills continued to be a meeting ground for First Nations, Metis, fur traders, whiskey traders, and settlers. Fort Walsh, established in 1878 and served until 1882, was the headquarters of the North West Mounted Police. Come walk the trails and take a look at this historic site. Find one of the 200 red Adirondack chairs to sit and take a selfie while you take in the landscape that surrounds you.
Fort Walsh is open until September 4th daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and hours from September 6 to September 24, Tuesday to Saturday, are 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
- Daily: Adult $10.50, Seniors $9.00, Youth (ages 6 - 17) Free, group/person $9.00
- Annual: Adult $21.50, Seniors $17.75, Youth (ages 6 - 17) Free
Parks Canada Discover Pass: Adult $72.25, Senior $61.75, Family/group $145.25 opens parks from Grasslands National Park, Prince Albert National Park, Batoche National Historic Site, Fort Battleford National Site Motherwell Homestead National Site, and Fort Walsh National Historic site. To order your Parks Discover Pass go to parks Canada and search “Discovery Pass”
To Contact Cypress Hills:
- Park Administration Office -year-round - (306) 662-5411
- Visitor Centre – open May long weekend to September long weekend; Displays and exhibits, Family activity room.
- Amphitheatre - interpretive programs, special events. Private rentals for weddings
- Observatory - public viewing and programs.
- Private bookings are available by calling (306) 662-5411
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at https://visitcypresshills.ca/
- For Campground Online Reservations - http://parks.saskatchewan.ca or by phone: Campground Reservation Line: 1-833-775-7275