Fantasy Friday – Get your grass on in Saskatchewan!

Keepin it in the country this week, as I fantasize about all the beautiful things I could see at Grasslands National Park, in Saskatchewan Canada.

Here’s my fantasy agenda:

1. View the Stars

Grasslands National Park is pleased to receive the designation of a Dark Sky Preserve. The Grasslands National Park Dark Sky Preserve is one of the largest and darkest in Canada! It is an excellent place to star gaze and to enjoy the beauty of the night sky. For astronomers, this is one of the best places to observe deep sky objects.

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2. Back-country Camping

Back Country Camping is a wilderness camping experience, where campers can randomly set-up tents within the park and enjoy the native prairie landscape with no services. Visitors are expected to park their vehicle on a gravel pull-off and set-up camp out of view – approximately 1km off- road or away from former ranch sites.

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3. Back-country Hiking

A wilderness hiking experience for the free-spirited hiker! Hikers randomly explore and enjoy the native prairie landscape without the constraints of trails, markers or limits! Remember to bring your GPS, map and compass!

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4. Photography (the right way)

All wild animals experience stress when crowded by humans. This is hard on the animal and dangerous. Wildlife behaviour is unpredictable, especially when females are with young and males are defending territory during the mating season.

The following distances are applicable in most instances. However, it is your responsibility to watch for defensive warning signals and react accordingly by pulling back or leaving the area entirely. In general, stay back:

  • 100 metres from bison (unless you are inside a vehicle);
  • 30 metres from all other large species;

If you spot the following defensive warning signals, pull back even more or leave the area:

  • Bison is shaking his head, short charges towards you, loud snorting, raising of the tail;
  • If you see or hear a rattlesnake.

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5. Wildlife Viewing

Prairie dogs are scurrying about their business and short-horned lizards are sunbathing on rocky slopes. It is mating season for the bison herd, and they are often looking for a place away from visitors for some “privacy.”

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With any luck, this summer, with my plans in the works I will be able to give this beautiful national park a visit!

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