Killdeer Badlands & Wood Mountain Historic Regional Park
Killdeer Badlands - Killdeer is twenty five minutes west of Rockglen on Highway #2 . There, a right turn onto Highway #18 West will take you to the east entry road to the Eastern Block of the Grasslands National Park. This National Park is a 450 square kilometer preservation area, representative of the hills, valleys and creeks of the natural Prairie Grasslands region of Canada. The authentic prairie plants and wildlife, cultural landscapes and the area’s geological sites are all protected by law. Permitted activities include hiking, primitive camping, horseback riding, birding, amateur astronomy and photography. Perfect for eco-tourism, it is an authentic reminder of what Canada’s pioneers saw as they came to settle this untamed land.
Wood Mountain Historic Regional Park - Return to Highway #18 and turn left. As you continue north to this historic treasure you will travel over some of the highest hills between the Rockies and the Canadian Shield. You will be viewing land millions of years old andvirtually unchanged by glacier activity. At Wood Mountain Park as the children enjoy the paddling pool, swimming pool and beach volley-ball pit, take the hiking trail to the Rodeo Ranch Museum. Displays in the Museum feature the life of the cowboys and ranchers who first came to the area in the 1800’s. Over 2000 western and rodeo artifacts, 1200+ historical photos, an authentic adobe house and a pioneer kitchen are all reminders of early ranch life. Take part in some real Old West experiences: make a rope,cook bannock or make lye soap! Special displays also trace the
history of the Wood Mountain Stampede, Canada’s oldest continuous rodeo. (Yes, it is longer running then the Calgary Stampede).
While you are walking around the grounds, take in the original North West Mounted Police Post. Initially established to serve as a Customs Office and Police post, the NWMP provided protection from such bandits as Butch Cassidy and Dutch Henry. The Post later served as Headquarters for Inspector Walsh as he monitored the Sioux who came to the Wood Mountain area after the Little Big Horn Massacre. Reconstructed on the original site, using the original plans, the buildings house displays of authentic North West Mounted memorabilia. When you’re finished, round up the kids and head for Rockglen for a steak and a good night’s rest!
Coronach, Big Beaver and the Big Muddy Badlands
This morning brings a whole different set of vistas. Phone Coronach and District Tours(306) 267-3312 to pre-book a tour of the Big Muddy Badlands, then head twenty-five minutes east along Highway #18 to Coronach, home of SaskPower's Poplar River Power Plant and Luscar Mines. A two hour Mine tour that starts at the Information Booth will take you through Saskatchewan’s first environmentally advanced thermal power generating station. From there you’ll be driven to view two of the largest draglines in North America at Luscar Mines. These HUGE machines are used to strip away the overburden and mine the coal that’s burned to produce steam for the generators.
Big Beaver & Big Muddy Badlands - Coronach and District Tours will then take you on to Big Beaver. Take in their Museum and stop in at Aust’s General store. Be prepared to be amazed at this authentic family Department Store that takes you back to the 1940’s. Don’t Miss it!
At the Burgess Ranch with its Old Porch Gallery you’ll experience true Western hospitality and a studio filled with original paintings and genuine outlaw relics. Take time to relax and enjoy the ranch before your tour leaves for the Big Muddy Badlands where you’ll see Castle Butte and Horse thief/cattle rustler Sam Kelly’s Outlaw Caves. These caves were the northern terminal of Butch Cassidy’s infamous Outlaw Trail from Canada to Mexico. Before you leave you may have the chance
to examine the old NWMP Post and a country school, as well as a number of Indian relics. On your return, take in the Coronach Museum before you head back to Rockglen for supper and a well deserved rest.
Willow Bunch & St Victor Petroglyphs
This is a tour best taken in the afternoon, so you can sleep in and take
in the local ambiance. Hike up Columbus, take a short drive up the South Hill Road Hiking Trail for some memorable photographs taken from 1050 feet above the town. Bowl few frames, take a Tour out to the meteorite crater or go for a walk along Rockin’ Beach. Take it easy, after all it IS a vacation!
After lunch, take Highway #18 east 15 minutes to #36, make a left and drive north another 15 minutes to Willow Bunch. This historic community lies in a beautiful valley and boasts a great golf course. The Willow Bunch Museum and Heritage Society honors it’s pioneers bilingually. The Museum is found in the Old Convent at 8-5th Street and is open year round. Here you'll learn more of the Willow Bunch Giant whose 8 foot height condemned him to both fame and notoriety. You’ll hear the history of this oldest town in the area and of Jean Legare, a key figure in opening up this part of the west. As evening approaches be sure to be in St. Victor before the sun goes down because the best time to view the Petroglyphs is when the sun is low.
St Victor Petroglyphs -
Located on the rim of a plateau 150 meters above the Village of St.Victor is a massive Ravenscrag sandstone that tells a mysterious tale of a people who lived here hundreds of years before recorded history. The story is told in over 300 carvings on the upper surface of the cliff and it’s a story not yet fully deciphered. Carvings of animal tracks, human faces, human footprints, human hands and a figure of a man holding or reaching out to a circle. Carvings of the Plains Grizzly Bear are most common and leave a record of this great bear’s life on the plains before the arrival of the fur traders. The total lack of carvings of horses or horse tracks attests that these carvings predated the arrival of the white man.
We hope you'll enjoy spending a few days with us. Rockglen and District Tourism is a work in progress and new things are happening all the time! Make a point to come see us for a uniqe and memorable vacation!