Known as the Land of the Living Skies, home to an incredible number of lakes and wilderness areas, and famous for the wide-open prairies, Saskatchewan has a lot to offer those who are looking for a getaway this winter.
From the Boreal forests to the expansive prairie lands, to the valleys and rivers, if you love to spend time outdoors in the winter months then you will definitely find a place to fall in love with here.
The cities and towns have much to offer as well – fun activities, comfortable accommodations, history, culture, shopping, celebrations, and so much more. There is something for everyone in this province, especially if you are willing to step off the beaten track and explore.
** Please follow all Saskatchewan Health Orders /COVID-19 rules and regulations including travel restrictions. Activities may be cancelled without notice due to COVID-19.**
1. The Resort at Cypress Hills
Situated in a divinely gorgeous area, if you haven’t yet spent time in Cypress Hills in the winter months, this needs to be on your to-do list. The Resort offers unique accommodations such as cabins with outdoor fire pits and townhouses with gas fireplaces. You can cross-country ski, ice skate, snowshoe, toboggan, ice fish, fat bike, hike and snowmobile in the area.
The resort has skis and snowshoes for rent, but all other gear should be brought by travellers. There are usually special meals and fun events held at the onsite restaurant for Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
Of course, the Cypress Hills Dark Sky Preserve offers up an incredible opportunity to spend time out in the crisp cold of night seeing some of the clearest night skies that you can imagine, before you head inside to cozy up by the fire.
A special place to spend some time this winter, the Resort, along with the area of Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, gives opportunities for guests to explore this lovely area.
2. Northern Green’s Resort, Nipawin
Located just two and a half hours from Saskatoon or three and a half hours from Regina, this little gem of an area stands out when it comes to winter destinations.
Resort guests have stated that it is one of the best places to stay in the province, with friendly and helpful staff and lots of activities to keep them busy. Although this is a four-season resort, winter is a lovely time to spend in the area, with activities such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, snowmobiling, ice fishing, curling, downhill skiing, snowboarding, and steam baths to take up your time.
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You can rent snowmobiles in Prince Albert and explore the Trans Canadian Snowmobile Trail. Or perhaps head on over to Wapiti Valley Ski Area to experience the 15 downhill runs that they have available. There are lessons and rentals available here as well, if you don’t have your own equipment or are looking to experience skiing or snowboarding for the first time. Pack a bag and head out for a weekend or longer to enjoy this spectacular area.
3. Moose Jaw
On winter days and afternoons, one of the best things about being on the prairies is the sunrises and sunsets. The colours can be absolutely spectacular, leaving you wanting to catch them every day.
Even in winter, the small city of Moose Jaw has some fun activities to partake in, such as a walking tour of the more than 50 murals in town. Done in paint, glass and bas-relief, primarily in the downtown area, these murals give insight into the development of Moose Jaw from past to present glories. Head over to the Visitor’s Center to get a guide of where they all are. Take a selfie with Mac the Moose while you are there.
Stay at the Temple Gardens Hotel & Spa to get a unique experience in their geothermal pool, part of which is open to the winter sky. This is a perfect place to hang out in the evening and float under the stars.
4. Christmas in Saskatoon
The city of Saskatoon is a delightful place to visit around the holiday season, as the downtown, malls and parks areas are decorated with Christmas lights.
As well, for lights lovers, you can enjoy the Enchanted Forest light show, which is hosted at the Saskatchewan Farm and Forestry grounds. This is a drive through the show (due to COVID-19), so a chance to keep warm and still enjoy the lights. The city is home to 18 miles of scenic skate and classic trails to enjoy at any point in time this winter.
Pamper yourself and stay the Delta Bessborough, the grand railway hotel that has fantastic views over the river valley. There are many winter activities such as cross country skiing, snowshoeing to enjoy, and Christmas and New Years celebrations to enjoy in this city.
5. Waskesiu and Prince Albert National Park
Prince Albert National Park covers an incredible amount of area – 3,874 square kilometres in total. The gorgeous frozen landscapes of the lakes, rivers and surrounding boreal forest, with a multitude of activities, offers an escape from the prairies of the southern part of the province.
There are endless outdoor opportunities in the Park with 120 kilometers of trails to explore on snowshoe or cross-country skis and Waskesiu Lake that offer ice fishing opportunities. The small town of Waskesiu is the only one that supports the area, so within the park, this is the only place to a hotel or restaurant. This is a special place to spend a quiet Christmas or New Year’s.
The Hawood Inn has a cozy restaurant and usually offers special meals during the holidays. They provide complimentary winter sports equipment while you are staying there. The lake usually features some lovely ice sculptures to enjoy as well.
Sundogs Excursions in Waskesiu offers guided adventures like dogsledding, snowshoe wanders and puppy camps for families with young children. So much fun to be had! Don’t forget that this is a National Park, so a daily Park fee is in place.
6. Historic Reesor Ranch
For 113 years and six generations, the Reesor family has been preserving the legacy of ranching in western Canada. The guest ranch hosts wannabe cowpokes year-round at its lovely spot near Cypress Hills Provincial Park, which is close to the Alberta-Saskatchewan border.
Spend some time horseback riding in the snow (weather permitting of course), snowshoeing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, or tobogganing.
There is self-contained lodging available including a 1906 bunkhouse and log cabins. The on-site restaurant offers cozy dinners, or you can take away ingredients to prepare yourself in your lodgings.
To experience winter in all it’s southern Saskatchewan glory, this is the place to be! Gather your loved ones and head off for a quiet adventure at the Ranch.
7. Winter Break in Regina
The capital of the province, Regina is a lovely city with historic buildings, nice outdoor areas and plenty of activities to keep you busy.
If you want to be outdoors, head over to Wascana Park to skate at the Marina, toboggan down Douglas Park Hill or cross-country ski the trails at Douglas Park (2.6 kilometres) and the Science Centre (1.4 kilometres).
Spend some time indoors visiting the antique shops, sipping a good coffee to chase the chills away, or at one of the interesting museums or art galleries in the area. There are plenty of hotels and comfy accommodations to choose from and numerous restaurants to try.
8. Blue Mountain Adventure Park, North Battleford
If you are a family, or an adventurous outdoorsy person who is looking for a fun and unique getaway this winter, then Blue Mountain is definitely the place to go.
This outdoor mecca has everything that you might want to experience, including a tubing park, over 30 kilometers of groomed trails for both skate and cross-country skiing, designated trails for snowshoeing, not to mention a nice Chalet to warm up in when you are cold! You can rent snowshoes and cross-country skis onsite, but you do need to bring your own skates. There are suites and cabins to cozy up in during the winter nights, and plenty of other things to do in the area.
Close to North Battleford, if you require other accommodations or dining options, there are plenty to be had in the city itself.
9. Thompson Resort, Missinipe, Lac La Ronge Provincial Park
Offering cozy log cabins with wood burning stoves, rooms in the Moose View Lodge as well as condominium-style accommodations, you can choose your stay style at this resort, which is located right on the banks of the pretty Otter Lake. For a getaway that will truly take you away from everyday life and into the gorgeous wilderness of northern Saskatchewan, this resort provides guests with the ultimate winter experience.
Enjoy activities like ice fishing, snowshoeing, skating, hockey, skate skiing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, fat biking, and tobogganing in the area. Not to mention the chance to hang out at an outdoor fire pit having a winter cookout, trying some fresh bannock and listening to local stories about growing up on a trap line in the boreal forest.
The resort can provide rentals of snowshoes, snowmobiles, toboggans, ice fishing shelters, ice augers, rods, tackle, toboggans and hockey sticks. Don’t worry, even though this destination is about 45 minutes outside of La Ronge, it is a drive-in destination that is easily accessed.
10. Ness Creek
If you are working on a budget, this may be a great place to head off to for a weekend escape this winter. The cozy cabins in the woods are nestled into the west side of Prince Albert National Park, with the beautiful boreal forest and scenery snuggled around the property.
There are ten winterized cabins here to enjoy. Pack your cross-country skis and explore the 15 kilometers of groomed cross-country trails, or enjoy some downhill fun at the nearby Ski Timber Ridge. If you are truly working on a small budget, wrap yourself up, sit on the veranda of the cottage and listen to the silence.
The peacefulness here is something that you won’t find very many places. Prepare for Christmas or New Years out here by bringing your own special decorations and making it a once in a lifetime holiday season.
The Northern Lights here can be phenomenal, so stay up late and marvel at the brilliant colors that dance across the sky.
11. Elk Ridge Resort
If you would like to experience a great resort but not stay within Prince Albert National Park, Elk Ridge Resort is the perfect place to be for the holiday season or for a winter retreat.
You can have easy access to the activities and sites in the Park itself, but not have to worry about paying the day fee if you are not going to be there every day. The Resort has its own ice rinks for skating, snow tubing and tobogganing on their own hill. As well they have their own cross-country ski trails, although if you are an avid skier and want to explore other zones, you can head into Prince Albert National Park to experience the trails near Waskesiu, or over to Great Blue Heron Provincial Park (near Anglin Lake).
The best thing is that if you don’t have your own equipment and want to stay on the property, there is free equipment to use. Add curling, dog sledding, ice fishing, winter walks, snowshoeing or snowmobiling to the list of activities and you might find you don’t have enough time to enjoy them all.
Note: The Resort is currently in the process of changing ownership and expects to be open for the 2021 winter season.
12. Swift Current
Known for its unique little museums, Swift Current is a nice town to hide out in for a weekend during the winter months. Spend some indoor time in the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame or the Swift Current Museum for some interesting history of the area.
Venture 40 minutes south to Lac Pelletier Regional Park, which offers visitors a chance to get out to snowshoe, cross country ski, toboggan and snowmobile.
Spend time in the town itself, especially around Christmas, to enjoy the boutique and gift shops, lovely decorated downtown area, and the 50 restaurants that have their home in the city! With an incredible number of hotels to choose from, you will find something that will fit your budget and expectations with no problems.
13. Resort Village of Candle Lake
It is not a surprise that so many of our winter getaway destinations are located in the northern part of the province. A lovely change from the plains and prairies of the south, the north offers up the chance to spend Christmas or winter months in exactly the fairy tale wonderland that we all conjure up in our imaginations.
Sparkling, snow covered trees, windswept frozen lakes, crisp winter air. This is the stuff that winter dreams are made of. One of the most popular resort areas in the province, Candle Lake is less than an hour from Prince Albert.
Snowmobiling is the number one sport in Candle Lake as there are over 330 km of groomed trails in the area. Stay at the lovely Candle Lake Golf Resort, which offers guests cozy cabins to relax in.
14. Manitou Beach
Visit a beach in Saskatchewan in the winter?
While the beach may be a bit too cold to spend time at, Manitou is home to what is dubbed “the Dead Sea of Canada” with its unique mineral pool which allows you to float with no effort. The healing and therapeutic minerals in the water will help you relax this winter as you soak in the warm waters at Manitou Springs Hotel.
Stay at the amazing Manitou Springs Hotel, where you will receive unlimited swimming time with your stay, and you can take advantage of their on-site spa and restaurant for an all-inclusive stay.
Strap on some skates, snowshoes or cross-country skis and get outside to enjoy some winter fun before hopping back into the pool to warm up.
15. Prince Albert
The city of Prince Albert is not necessarily a destination that travellers think of when they are planning a vacation, but this small city has much to offer those who want to adventure into the northern region of the province.
For one thing, Prince Albert’s 500-hectare Little Red River Park is a perfect spot to enjoy over 30 km of hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails that wind their way through a beautiful forest. There are lots of outdoor skating rinks for those who would like to strap on a pair of skates, not to mention the toboggan hills in Little Red River Park and Crescent Heights, and all the snowmobiling trails just outside the city.
Venture out to Prince Albert National Park for more activities, such as ice fishing, dog sledding, winter hiking and more. There are plenty of hotels, restaurants and shops to check out while you are in the city.