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“A hidden gem” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Grasslands National Park

Grasslands National Park
Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Mankota
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
91 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“A hidden gem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 8, 2012

This park showed us what the prairies looked like before settlement and it wasn't anything like the flat, somewhat uninspiring view along the TransCanada highway. The park is still developing its visitor services but it is worth a visit. A new campground is opening. It wasn't finished when we stopped but the setting was great. We especially enjoyed the pullouts to see the prairie dogs and burrowing owls. Ask Parks staff for tips on where to find the owls. There aren't many of them and they are hard to spot amongst the prairie dogs.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
7 Thank Carol P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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54 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
70 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“A Saskatchewan delight!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2012

My teenage son and I made the trek to Grasslands in the heat of summer and really enjoyed the Eco tour. We saw loads of wildlife including the bison herd, hawks, toads and prairie dogs, but the best by far was the coyote who sauntered across the prairie in full sight. It was amazing.

The road was gravel and in good shape. We took a few of the small hikes but I was a bit reticent because it felt like we were the only ones in the park. This is certainly not your usual Canadian National Park. It is SO worth the visit.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
5 Thank Chris W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prescott, AZ
Level Contributor
160 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Wonderful Park - slightly marred by Visitor Centre staff”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 9, 2012

Finding the coffee shop closed unexpectedly, we went to the Visitor Centre first.
The lady was very helpful. We asked to see the wildlife video and explained that one of us has 'snake phobia'. She thought that giving them a booklet with snake photos was helpful - Wrong!
Later, we gave up on the video because of noise from the staff (speaking very loudly to the next visitors and noisy chatter among themselves).
The drive is really wonderful. Although un-paved, the road is well graded.
The grasslands are inspiring - no fences and very few buildings in sight.
We saw 2 Bison, many birds and several Prairie Dog communities. The Prairie Dogs warned of our presence by an interesting loud squeak.
The drive took 2.5 hours with several short stops.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank ONLY2B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
Level Contributor
35 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Nature at it's best”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 18, 2012

My boyfriend and I spent a great weekend in the West block of Grasslands National Park. The main driving tour and pullouts with little walking trails only take a few hours. The Prairie Dog colonies are funny and interesting to watch.
We wanted a chance to camp in complete solitude, so we bought a "back country" camp pass from the main office in Val Marie. Due to a fire ban, we stopped at one of the designated camp areas to cook our supper on a camp stove we had brought. Before sunset we headed off to find our own little camp site. The rules for back country camping include: Must be one mile off the main road. Must not be visible from the main road.
We parked in one of the pullouts and walked our tenting supplies over a large hill to the edge of a coulee for some great sunset views.
The mosquitos were bad as dusk fell because the wind was down, so bring lots of bug spray! After dark we were the interest of 3 very large great horned owls who were out hunting. They circled very close to our heads trying to get a better look and figure out what we were doing.
The park is a dark sky preserve, so it is the perfect location for star gazing! We were very lucky in that the moon didn't rise until after midnight and there were no clouds. I don't know much about stars or constellations, but it was absolutley gorgeous!!!
The next day we did the "70 Mile Butte" trail. It is the most used trail in the park, so it is well marked. It is a bit steep in places, but affords amazing views of the entire West block and surrounding area once you reach the top. It took us about 2.5 hours round trip.
This is a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. There are very limited camp spots, although they are working on a new larger campground which should be ready either 2012 or 2013 for trailers.

Visited August 2011
Helpful?
6 Thank JGG112
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saskatchewan
Level Contributor
26 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Quiet and unspoiled location”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 8, 2011

This park provides minimal services and is certainly not for tourists seeking a "resort" type atmosphere. There are many hikes in the region. The park staff were knowledgeable and very willing to help. We loved the EcoTour Drive and the River Walk Trail. If you are looking for a remote area with unspoiled prairie vistas this is the place to visit.

Visited July 2011
Helpful?
5 Thank lled
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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