In Grasslands National Park There are about 12,000 ancient Tipi Rings – and you can stay in a Tipi at the edge of the West Block

Tipi Rings Grasslands National Park © Lucy Izon

Photo of East Block Interpreter Brenda Peterson pointing out Tipi Ring © Lucy Izon

Grasslands National Park  – This park, which is in southwestern Saskatchewan near the Montana border, is made of two huge pieces of land. There are 70 species of grasses found in the park (hence the name.) One of its coolest features is that it’s home to about 12,000 ancient tipi rings!

Grasslands West Block Buffalo © Lucy Izon

Grasslands West Block Buffalo © Lucy Izon

The West Block, the Visitor Centre is located near the tiny village of Val Marie. It’s here in the West Block that most of the tipi rings are location. At the visitor office  you can pick up information on an 80-km Ecotour that takes one-to-three-hours to drive. Driving in the park you can see some of the 200 free-roaming bison (before Europeans arrived more than 30 million buffalo roamed the Great Plains of North America.) The rule I was told was – if you extend your arm and your thumb doesn’t fully block the bison you are too close.

TiPi's you can stay in at Grasslands Nat Pk © Lucy Izon

TiPi’s you can stay in at Grasslands Nat Pk © Lucy Izon

You might also want to visit the East Block, where you can explore for fossils, and Eastend (pop 650), about an hour east of Cypress Hills Inter-provincial Park. This is where ‘Scotty’ was discovered – one of the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton. At Eastend’s T.rex Discovery Centre visitors can explore exhibits, view paleontology work in progress, and search for fossils themselves on day-long digs lead by experienced fossil hunters.


Grasslands National Park Visitor Center, 101 Centre St Val Marie, Saskatchewan


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