Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is partly in the province of Alberta and partly in Saskatchewan. Jointly administered by both provinces, the park became Canada’s first interprovincial park in 1989. Included in the park are two protected areas; the west block, which is 345 square km (133 square miles) and includes land in both provinces along with the center block, which is in Saskatchewan, west of Saskatchewan Highway 21. Located southeast of Medicine Hat, the park also contains the community of Elkwater in the Alberta portion. Elkwater offers campground facilities and summer cabins.
Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park has plenty to see and do for visitors year-round. The park includes lush hills, fescue prairie and amazing views. There are multiple options for camping, including an equestrian campground in the west block wilderness area. Activities available in the park include swimming, hiking, ziplining, canoeing, kayaking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and ice skating. The park is also home to one of the world’s largest Dark Sky Preserves.
Regardless of what recreation activities you enjoy and the time of year that you plan to visit, Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is sure to have something for you!
To get to Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, take the Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 E for 25.6 km (15.9 miles). Then, take AB-41 S for 38.7 km (20.04 miles), following signs for Havre/Elkwater. Continue for 23.9 km (14.85 miles) on Reesor Lake Road to the park.
Parking is available throughout Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park.
Public transportation is not available to Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park.
Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park offers a myriad of camping opportunities. If you are looking for unserviced campgrounds in the Alberta portion of the park, you will find plenty to choose from. There is Battle Creek Campground, which has nine unserviced and four walk-in tent sites, and Ferguson Hill Campground, which provides 50 unserviced sites. Reservations are accepted for both campgrounds. Other options for unserviced campgrounds include Lodgepole Campground, which has 49 unserviced sites available for reservation, Reesor Dock Campground, with 10 unserviced sites (first come first served), Reesor Lake Campground, which offers 33 unserviced sites and seven walk-in tent sites that are available for reservation, Firerock, which has 68 unserviced sites available for reservation and Spruce Coulee Campground, which includes nine walk-in sites that can be reserved. No matter what campground you choose, you can enjoy a home base surrounded by the park’s natural beauty.
Looking to camp where you can access services for your RV? Fortunately, you will find plenty of options in the Alberta portion of Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. Beaver Creek Campground, for example, accepts reservations and offers 20 sites with water, power and sewer hook-ups. Elkwater Campground is home to 80 sites with water and electric hook-ups, which are also available for reservation. Firerock Campground offers 71 sites with electric hook-ups and Lakeview Campground offers 13 sites with water and electric hook-ups. Sites at both campgrounds can be reserved. Old Baldy Campground is another option, with 19 sites that include water and power hook-ups that are able to be reserved. Park your RV at one of these locations and relax in comfort after a day of fun!
Home to 79 campsites, all with electrical hook-ups, Warlodge Campground is a great option when looking to stay in the Saskatchewan portion of Cypress Hills Provincial Park. The campground includes washrooms and access to water, as well as a playground. Located a short distance from the Pinelodge Service Center, you will find it easy to access the showers located there, allowing for you to clean up after a hard day of play. Sites can be reserved in advance and are able to accommodate RV’s and trailers of up to 32 feet. Choose Warlodge Campground as your base and easily venture to the parks many things to do.
Rainbow Campground includes 70 campsites and offers electric hook-ups. The campground can accommodate RV’s and trailers that are up to 40 feet in length and each campsite includes a barbecue and a picnic table. South of Rainbow Campground is Terrace Campground. Also offering electrical hook-ups, this campground has 90 sites that offer a barbecue and picnic table. Both campgrounds offer bathrooms and water and are able to be reserved. With 143 sites, Meadows Campground can accommodate RV’s and trailers of all sizes and offers electric hook-ups. Pit toilets and water are available at the campground and sites are reservable. Group camping is also available at Meadows Campground.
Lodgepole Campground includes 25 sites both unserviced and with electrical hook-ups. Sites are able to accommodate RV’s and trailers of all sizes and offer a barbecue and picnic table. Deer Hollow Campground has 35 sites that are available for tent camping. Sites include a barbecue and a picnic table and the campground offers running water and bathrooms. Reservations can be made for both Lodgepole and Deer Hollow Campgrounds, with either one being an excellent place to rest after a fun-filled day of adventure!
Located in the Alberta portion of the park, Spring Creek Equestrian Campground offers nine campsites that are first come, first serve. Located 20 km (12.42 miles) southeast of Medicine Hat on Hwy 1, the campground is small and provides corrals and sites that can accommodate RV’s. Sites are surrounded by a meadow and open pine forest and the location is perfect for those looking to explore the park on horseback! The campsites cannot be reserved and are first come first served.
When it comes to trout fishing in Saskatchewan, Cypress Hills has some of the province’s best opportunities. Battle Creek, which is located in the west block wilderness area is a great place to find rainbow, brown and brook trout. Fly fishermen and ultra light spin fishermen will particularly enjoy the fishing in the area. Loch Leven, which is located in center block, is a great place to catch brook and rainbow trout, with fly fishing being the most effective option. Boiler Creek in center block is also a popular fishing spot. Enjoy the peace and tranquility of the park while you cast a line and fish.
Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is an excellent place to go hiking. The center block of Cypress Hills offers 27 km (16.77 miles) of hiking trails while the west block offers 16 km (9.94 miles) of hiking trails. Hikes of all levels can be taken in the park; from self-guided interpretive trails to significantly challenging hikes, the park has a hike for everyone. The park’s most challenging trail is the Trans Canada Trail, which travels through both the center block and west block, offers excellent views and is recommended for seasoned hikers only. No matter what trail or trails you choose to explore, keep your eyes open for wildlife!
There are many opportunities for water recreation at Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. Kayaking and canoeing are popular and the park is a great place to engage in both as only boats that are under 5 horsepower are allowed on Loch Leven. This makes for excellent conditions for paddle boating and paddleboarding as well. There is also a swimming area and a beach where you can play and then take a dip to cool off. On the third Saturday in June the Cypress Hills Leisure pool opens; the pool includes a hot tub, sauna and grassy area on which to relax and sunbathe. When it comes to water, there is something for everyone at Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park!
When the snow starts to fall, Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park’s trails, both groomed and natural, become perfect for a variety of winter activities. Cross country skiing, for example, is an excellent way to explore the park and get some exercise during the winter months. You can also choose to snowshoe on the trails or even give fat biking a try. Rentals are available, so don’t worry if you lack gear for these activities or don’t have room in your RV. There are even classes that will help you learn to cross country ski. Don’t let the snow keep you off the trails; in fact, snow provides a whole new set of activities on the trail!
If you are hoping to engage in the exhilarating experience of snowmobiling, you can find the opportunity to do so at Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. While snowmobiling is not allowed in the west block, there is a designated snowmobile area in the center block that opens once the depth of the snow reaches at least 12 inches. Call ahead before your visit to learn whether the area is open and if it is, prepare to enjoy the park by snowmobile! You will have the opportunity to take in gorgeous views of the park from your snowmobile while breathing in cool, fresh air.
The Elkwater area of the park offers all sorts of winter activities for you to engage in. There is a snow luge, which is a very large banked slide that is made from snow, tobogganing hill, an ice skating trail, a hockey rink and trails for cross country skiing and snowshoeing, among other activities. There are also backcountry huts available for rental. A few minutes away from Elkwater is Hidden Valley, where you can engage in downhill skiing and snowboarding. There are plenty of options for a warm meal after your outdoor activities in Elkwater; fuel up so that you can embark on some more adventure!