If you’re looking for a getaway but not wanting to travel too far, look no further than a staycation here in Saskatchewan in winter. There are dozens of places to go, cool accommodations to stay in and plenty of activities to do!
Best Getaways in Saskatchewan in Winter
Here are a few of the best getaways in Saskatchewan in winter
1. Prince Albert National Park
While most visitors are familiar with Prince Albert National Park in the summer months, winter is truly the best time to visit in my opinion. Let me convince you.
First, the park is quieter in the winter months so not only will you have most of it to yourself, but it’s easier to spot wildlife – including wolves and river otters – while you’re exploring.
Second, you can rent free snowshoes and cross-country skis at the Hawood Inn – even if you’re not a guest. But you might want to consider staying there as they have hot tubs on the rooftop which make for the perfect spot to hang out and stargaze at night. Nearby Lost Creek Resort has cozy cabins and hot tubs as well.
Third, it might just be the most Canadian of all things you could possibly do: since 2016 you can hike into the fuel break near the townsite of Waskesiu and chop down your very own Christmas Tree. (Bonus points if you take an axe and wear plaid). It’s free with a valid permit and park’s pass and a fun way to spend the morning or afternoon. Pack boots, ski pants, a thermos of hot chocolate as well as a sled and rope to get your tree out of the bush once you’ve cut it down.
Alternatively, consider staying at Elk Ridge Resort near the park entrance. Not only do they have an on-site spa and restaurant, but they also have hotel rooms as well as cabins and townhouses. Cross-country skis, snowshoes and skates are free to use during your stay and there are more than 10 kilometres of trails to explore. There are also four outdoor skating rinks with a large skating loop bordering each rink, a downhill toboggan area, a miniature curling rink, crokicurl, a warm-up shack and several firepits with firewood provided.
2. Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park
Cypress Hills is nothing short of a winter wonderland during our coldest season. In fact, it gets the kind of snow you see in Hallmark Christmas movies and fairy tales.
Due to its elevation of nearly 1500 metres above sea level, it has a uniquely subarctic climate and sometimes receives record snowfall levels. The 120-year-old and 25-metre tall lodgepole pine forest is perfect for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. You can chop down your own Christmas tree with a free permit (with park admission). It’s all part of the park’s fire management program. There are also guided tours, downhill tobogganing, skating on the lake, ice fishing, snowmobiling trails and stargazing opportunities as the park is a dark sky preserve.
For accommodation, the Resort at Cypress Hills has a hotel, townhouses (with fireplaces!), cabins and an on-site restaurant. If you’re willing to brave the cold, you can even winter camp in the park. For anything else you might need, nearby Maple Creek has a brewery, coffee shops and restaurants and several cute bed & breakfasts.
3. Duck Mountain Provincial Park
Duck Mountain has long been a family favourite for outdoor winter activities. The park is most well-known for its all-natural knee-deep powder for downhill skiing and snowboarding at Duck Mountain Ski Area as well as its expertly groomed cross-country ski trails. There are six shelters along the ski trails. They are perfect to spend an hour or two warming up in before completing the looped trails.
Nearby Madge Lake Developments is the only place to stay. With several cabins and condos with gas fireplaces, they even allow you to bring your pups! Near the park office is a downhill toboggan area and the lake is great for ice fishing.
READ MORE: Cross-Country Skiing and Snowboarding at Duck Mountain Provincial Park
4. Meadow Lake Provincial Park
Meadow Lake Provincial Park is quickly becoming a full-on four-season park with plenty of winter activities and cozy lodging choices. Famous for the 135-kilometre Boreal Trail in the summer season, sections of the trail are turned into cross-country ski trails and snowshoeing routes. Winter camping is available in the Grieg Lake campground and it’s an ideal spot to build a quinzee. (Not sure what a quinzee is? Read all about how and why you might want to try building one.)
WATCH: Building a Quinzee in -40 C in Meadow Lake Provincial Park
For some of the best accommodation in the province, book in with Shelley at Waters Edge Eco Lodge in one of their eight lake-view rooms (with complimentary snowshoe use). Or head further into the park and book a cabin at Flotten Lake Adventures Resort.
5. Ness Creek
From a summer-time festival site to a winter wonderland getaway, Ness Creek is a perfect place to cozy up in a cabin in the woods this winter and partake in all the best winter activities the season has to offer.
On the edge of the west side of Prince Albert National Park, there are almost a dozen winterized cabins available to rent. They’re affordable too, with a price-point of 130 dollars or less. My favourite is Cedar Suite with its octagonal shape. The Delta Nessborough has a wide verandah out front and Cabin Number 3 has a fireplace.
There are more than 15 kilometres of groomed cross-country ski and snowshoe trails. There’s also an on-site skating rink near the main stage. Nearby the town of Big River is the Timber Ridge Ski Hill. Check in advance for operating hours. In the evenings, warm up in the on-site sauna or simply enjoy the peacefulness of nature in the Boreal forest
WATCH: Snow Globe at Ness Creek
6. Blue Mountain Adventure Park
Blue Mountain is exactly what its name sounds like – an adventure park. Only 30 minutes northeast of North Battleford, it’s a four-season,1300-acre outdoor mecca set in the Thickwood Hills and caters for the adventurous.
Pack your cross-country skis, skates, and crazy carpets or rent on-site from The Snack Shack (BYO skates). The tubing hill has a lift that operates daily from 12 – 5. There are more than 30 kilometres of groomed skate-ski and classic trails.
There are camping sites for those brave enough to pitch a tent in the snow. If it’s a bit too chilly out, there are seven wood-heated cabins to rent (BYO bedding, pillows and towels). There’s an on-site chalet for public use during the day and evening. Best of all, the park is pet-friendly, including on the trails.
While in the area, check out the Crooked Bush near Hafford, the lighthouse at Cochin or feed the chickadees and ski the trails on Finlayson Island between the Battlefords.
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