Seven Wonders of Canada
The Cypress Hills of southwestern Saskatchewan and southeastern Alberta form a major drainage divide – separating rivers that drain into the Gulf of Mexico from those draining to Hudson Bay and James Bay. The highest point in these beautiful hills is in Saskatchewan, at 1,468 metres. The hills get their name from the presence of Jack pine (Pinus banksiana), traditionally called cyprès in Canadian French. The area is home to Elkwater Lake and Cypress Hills Inter-Provincial Park.
Joan in Moosejaw (0:25)
RealPlayer is required to listen to audio files. Download the RealPlayer plug-in for your browser.
Cypress hills park - who would expect such a beautiful forest in the dryest part of Canada?
These hills have stood there for 70 million years. At one time they stood above the great ice field that covered most of the rest of Canada. The highest point is on a level with Banff and is the highest point of land between Montreal and the Rockies. As you walk the hills you can feel the eons of time that have washed over these beautiful rolling summachs. In the native grasslands you know that the earth you walk on has not been disturbed or torn up by man in over 70 million years. Of course, the remains of dinosaurs have been found and the plants you find in these hills are unique to this part of Canada. Many of the plants found are really tropical plants that have evolved since surviving the ice. The aboriginal people of this country knew these hills as sacred ground and to this day there is a special feeling that the hills evoke for all you walk there. I grew up right on top of the highest ridge of the hills. Although I had to leave to make a life in the city, I return to the hills regularily to restore my soul and strengthen my roots to this marvelous land.
The Cypress Hills are a beautiful, humid oasis rising above the semi-arid plains. The hills are an amazing alpine world. From native prairie grass to tall pines and rocky cliffs, the Cypress Hills features rare plants and species usually found in mountainous terrain. Magnificent panoramic views of the far horizons to the north stretch to the Great Sand Hills, to the south, the Bear Paw Mountains and Sweet Grass Hills of Montana. At night, marvel at the vast expanse of the heavens and the eerie thrill of the aurora borealis from the Centre & West Block areas of the Cypress Hills. These areas have been declared a Dark Sky Preserve, the largest in Canada.
Cypress Hills Provincial Park in Southeast Alberta and Southwest Saskatchewan- an oasis on the prairie. Landscape untouched by the ice-age and formed by the borders of the glacial movement. Abundant wildlife, lakes, plants and natural land formations.
It is never winter there, and tons and tons of squirrels.