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“Awesome in every way”

Grasslands National Park
Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Mankota
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Bozeman, Montana
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Awesome in every way”
Reviewed June 4, 2014

Beauty, solitude, amazing birds, great campground (new in 2012), and did I mention gorgeous! We love the prairie, saw GNP on the map, and decided to give it a try. We were not disappointed. From June 1 to June 3, our stay was way too short. As birders our goal was to find 3 specific bird species--found only 1 but that's ok. We were thrilled with the other species there. We shared the campground each night with only one other camper, who like us also appreciated the quiet and solitude. Stargazing is unreal--this is a designated dark sky area. We heard coyotes and foxes at night and thrilled to nighthawks sitting on the fence rails at our site. Three sites have electric hookups, and each has plenty of room so you're not on top of a neighbor. Restrooms are clean and fully outfitted with necessities. Canada Parks had the wisdom to install recycling bins, graywater dump stations, a lovely pavilion where you can cook on their woodstove, and even permanent lantern hangers at each site. I've been camping for many, many years and have never seen hangers--amazing. The staff at the headquarters in nearby Val Marie couldn't have been better or more helpful. There really aren't enough adjectives to describe the park, the thought put into it, actually, everything about it. There is one road that traverses the interior and plenty of hiking trails in the west block--we did not go to the est block because it has no camping, but we were told it's just as pretty. For the best birding and possibly the best weather (we understand that summers can get hot), spring is it. Will definitely go back and highly recommend for any prairie lover.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
8 Thank durrae j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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72 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Ottawa
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Such a unique and beautiful experience”
Reviewed April 15, 2014

Having spent time in a number of National Parks in Canada and the USA, I have to say that Grasslands has a mysterious beauty that is really hard to explain but very easy to appreciate.

It is not the flat Prairie that you might expect, but rather a dramatic landscape of buttes and hills framed against a big sky. The wildlife is incredible here. In a short visit, I saw loads of birds including a few lifers, Prairie dogs, Bison, Pronghorn, and Mule deer.

It is a wonderful place for photographers, especially given how long sunrise and sunsets last. Accommodation options are pretty limited in April, so be sure to plan ahead, and pick up some supplies in Swift current on your way in, Val Marie is pretty tiny with just the basics.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank XploreNature
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort McMurray, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Just Incredible”
Reviewed March 10, 2014

If you love wild places, you must visit Grasslands National Park. We visited in July 2008 for car-camping and re-visited again on bicycles in September 2012. The infrastructure isn't as developed as some national parks, but it's well worth your visit.

On our second trip (cycling) we did some geo-caching, short hikes and lots of photography. We especially enjoy the West Block of the park, particularly the country around North Gillespie. Seeing bison, prairie dog colonies and cacti each in different parts of the park was amazing. The sunrises and sunsets on this landscape are breathtaking, but the night sky is even more impressive. On a cloudless night in this Dark Sky Preserve, you see so many stars you feel like you are the last humans on earth. Actually, if you get off the well-travelled roads you may feel this any time of day.

Make sure to add Grasslands to your bucket list!

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
10 Thank Allison P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Wild Bison.”
Reviewed October 3, 2013

Hike anywhere! View iconic bison in their natural habitat. Watch the prairie dogs and listen to the wind. It seems like a long way from anywhere but what an experience!

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
6 Thank Bitemeguiding
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Westminster, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“The big empty=magic”
Reviewed August 15, 2013

Grasslands national park is an under appreciated gem. It offers great wildlife viewing, a huge sky, excellent camp site, and wonderful stargazing. But best of all is the quiet. There are no main roads, no trains, few aircraft, and not many people.

This park has a few trails but off trail hiking and camping is encouraged. The camp ground at Frenchman coulee in the west block is new and well maintained but it lacks showers. Get those in Val Marie camp ground for $3.

The ecotour is easy to follow and has many informative exhibits.

Many people think of the prairies as flat and dull but GNP is the opposite of that. Next time you travel across Saskatchewan do yourself a favour. Get off the TCH and discover what the area used to be.

Entry into the park is free but guided walks are $5.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
6 Thank John R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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