Alberta Parks Home

Hand Hills Ecological Reserve

Lat: 51.3985132226 Long: -112.285140776 | Directions
Information: 403-742-7516

Park Boundary

Visitor Centre

    Summer Activities

      Hiking - Backcountry

    Winter Activities

    Note Permitted activities may vary within a park. Please confirm details with park staff.

    • Note: Overnight camping and open fires are prohibited in Ecological Reserves. There are camping facilities at nearby Little Fish Lake Provincial Park. There are no facilities on this site.
    • Access: Access is via Hwy 573, less than one kilometre from the reserve. Public access in the reserve is restricted to foot only. (Although not generally allowed, motorized access is sometimes permitted for grazing lessees to access their grazing reserves.)
    • Birding/Wildlife Viewing: There are more than 130 bird species in the area, as well as a variety of amphibians, reptiles and mammals.

    Park Management

    ClassificationEcological Reserve
    LegislationWilderness Areas, Ecological Reserves, Natural Areas and Heritage Rangelands Act
    Park Size5,507.8 Acres  /  2,229.02 Ha
    Legal BoundaryHand Hills Ecological Reserve
    Administration / Information403-742-7516 
    Regional OfficeEast Central Regional Office
    District Office Wainwright
    Special DesignationsImportant Bird Area
    Natural RegionGrassland - Northern Fescue 
    Natural Region Description

    This site is situated on the lower south slopes of the Hand Hills upland. Elevations range from 815 to 970 metres above sea level. Threatened ferruginous hawks and prairie long-tailed weasels occur here and the endangered piping plover nests along Little Fish Lake on the edge of the reserve. Vegetation includes porcupine grass, June grass, spear grass and northern wheat grass on lightly grazed areas. Blue gamma grass and low sedge grow on more heavily grazed sites.

    Land Use Framework RegionRed Deer 

    Public Safety