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Snowshoe Your Way To The Best Wildlife Viewing In Saskatchewan

Setting sun over Prince Albert NP. Photo: Alex Indigo

Setting sun over Prince Albert NP. Photo: Alex Indigo

 

Winter has arrived in Canada, but that doesn’t mean you need to be cooped up inside for the next six months. The national parks in Canada have some amazing winter activities to keep you stoked through the snow season. Two such activities are snowshoeing and wilderness viewing in Prince Albert National Park (PANP) in Saskatchewan. Check out our favourite things to do in PANP below.

 

Snowshoe In The Wild

Snowshoeing is a Canadian rite of passage. Today, while we don’t necessarily require them for everyday travel, they’re still a great way to get around in the white stuff. Particularly if you’re hoping to do some wilderness spotting.

 

Wilderness Viewing and Photography

Due to less foot traffic on trails in the winter, there are more wildlife viewing opportunities. If you’re approaching any wildlife, your footsteps are a lot quieter in freshly fallen snow and as such less likely to scare any creatures or critters away. On top of that, freshly fallen snow allows you to track any nearby animals via their footprints. This all translates to some amazing wilderness experiences. Elk, deer, red fox, snowshoe hares, and even wolves occupy the park throughout the winter. We recommend checking roadsides and quiet camp roads for elk, deer, wolf, and fox tracks.

 

Prince Albert National Park Trail Map

 

2014-PANP-winter-map-EN

Everything You Need To Know To Go

When: 

December to March is usually the best time for snowshoeing. You can get an updated trail report before your visit.

Prices: 

Snowshoes rentals are free from the Hawood Inn. If you choose to winter camp, you’re allowed to do so anywhere that is more than 2km from public roads or campgrounds. You must register and complete a park use permit before camping in the backcountry overnight. You can stop by the visitor centre during office hours or phone the visitor centre at (306) 663-4522.

What To Bring:

Dress in layers (base layer, mid layer, shell). Not only does this provide warmth, but it also allows you to shed layers if you get warm so you aren’t sweating. Bring a backpack with plenty of snacks and water. Be sure to wear a warm waterproof or water resistant boot as your feet will be in the snow all day. There are heated washrooms with running water available in the visitor centre 24 hours a day in the town of Waskesiu Lake.

Tips and Tricks:

If you’re looking to do some wildlife viewing, bring some binoculars and look across lakes in the early morning when many species feed. We recommend dressing appropriately every time you snowshoe and the town of Waskesiu Lake has a warming shelter across the street from the Visitor Centre. This warming shelter features an open wood fire and everything you need to make a cup of hot chocolate for when you need to warm up. Heated washrooms with warm water’s available within the Visitor Centre 24 hours a day, year-round.

 

Like this post? Check out Get Up Close And Personal With Polar Bears and Sail The Great Bear Rainforest In Search Of The Spirit Bear, too!

Trip Details

For details on anything mentioned in this post check out these links

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