Want to enjoy some super scenic views around Saskatchewan without expending a lot of effort getting there? Here are 10 great viewpoints that don’t require paddling raging rivers or strenuous hikes – or any hiking for that matter. You can simply drive right up to them. It couldn’t be easier.
Jones Peak, Frenchman River Valley, Cypress Hills. From the town of Eastend, head west then north on Grid Road 614. After travelling about 4 km from town, turn west onto Middle Bench Road. About 7 km along, turn south onto the access road leading to the communications tower on Jones Peak overlooking the broad Frenchman River valley. You can make this into a wonderful loop trip by continuing west to Ravenscrag, then returning to Eastend along the spectacular river valley. We have precise directions to this and several other great nearby routes in our book Saskatchewan’s Best Scenic Drives.
Conglomerate Cliffs, Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. Head to the West Block of the park southwest of Maple Creek. The road winds up the switchbacks of Six Mile Hill and onto the high plateau. Keep heading west and follow the signs to the Conglomerate Cliffs where small, round rocks were cemented together by a natural process in the distant past. The cliffs look over Adams Lake below and prairie hills beyond. It’s a great spot in warm evening light but the prime time to come is dawn when the rising sun turns the cliffs a brilliant red. We took this photo only a few steps away from where we parked.
Castle Butte. The most visited part of the Big Muddy Valley is Castle Butte, easily reached by driving Hwy 34 between Bengough and Big Beaver, and following the signs west to Castle Butte. While a close-up view of the butte is great, we think that the best viewpoint over Castle Butte and the surrounding valley is just a bit farther west. Continue on the same road past the butte to where it starts winding out of the valley. Stop partway up and look back over the gorgeous scene.
Big Muddy Valley, near Harptree. This is a hidden-away part of the valley that few people see. Head west of Willow Bunch on Grid Road 705. You can also access Grid Road 705 by heading south of Bengough on Hwy 34, then following signs west to 705. About halfway along this road, near the Harptree Cemetery, take Grid Road 602 south for about 7 km. Read more details about this wonderful off-the-beaten-path road tour we mapped out between Willow Bunch and Castle Butte in Saskatchewan’s Best Scenic Drives.
Badlands Viewpoint, Grasslands National Park. In a park filled with magnificent views, this is the highlight. From the small village of Wood Mountain, head south on Hwy 18, then follow the signs to the Rock Creek Campground and Visitor Centre in the park’s East Block. From there, the route is clearly signed to the badlands viewpoint, just to the south. From atop the valley rim, we look over a wild expanse of some of the baddest badlands we’ll find anywhere. Parks Canada even placed a set of red chairs here, making it easy to relax and take in the vista.
Lookout Point, Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park. Great views abound throughout the park, but the easiest place to reach is a spot simply called Lookout Point. On the north side of the bridge, take the road west towards the park’s beach and follow the signs. It looks over Lake Diefenbaker and the banks of the south shore. Whenever we stay in the park we usually come here for sunset.
Herbert Ferry Road. The road leading to Herbert Ferry Regional Park on the south shore of Lake Diefenbaker stands out as our favourite of all the scenic approaches to the lake. Travelling along Grid Road 738 south of the lake, turn north at Main Centre and follow the signs to the park. As the road starts to descend into the valley, excellent views suddenly open up over the lake and hills on both sides. Saskatchewan’s Best Scenic Drives offers more details as part of a great road trip circling Lake Diefenbaker. The route is also described in our post Circle Trip Around Saskatchewan’s Lake Diefenbaker.
Prairie Lake Regional Park. This is another marvelous approach to Lake Diefenbaker from the north side. Follow the signs south from Beechy to the park as the road winds down into the valley with vistas over the lake. Of the many viewpoints along the way, one of the best is right near the end, especially if the low setting sun cooperates and gives the cliffs a brilliant glow.
Ellisboro. The Qu’Appelle Valley is like one expansive viewpoint, with scenic vistas practically everywhere. One spot in particular that we like is the view over the tiny community of Ellisboro. It sits at the crossroads of the Fort Ellis Trail which runs along the valley floor, and Grid Road 617 between Wolseley and Lemburg. We get great views from Grid Road 617 as it climbs out of the valley both to the north and to the south. To find more details about highlights along the valley, Saskatchewan’s Best Scenic Drives has a lengthy chapter taking you a third of the way across Saskatchewan in the Qu’Appelle Valley.
Grace Lakes Viewpoint. Head to Narrow Hills Provincial Park, and near the core area at Lower Fishing Lake take the aptly-named Narrow Hills Scenic Drive. It follows a push moraine through thick forest into the hills, then opens up with sweeping views over forest and lakes near the top. While there are a few marvellous views along the way, the highlight is at the end of the 10-km drive where you gaze over the beautiful Grace Lakes. Most types of vehicles can handle this drive, however be especially careful if your car has low clearance.
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