- Some trails here are suitable for mountain biking. Other trails are good with any bike.
- Bike rental is available during peak season in the Elkwater Lake area.
- To ride your horse on the Alberta side of Cypress Hills Provincial Park, you must first obtain a free Equestrian Permit and parking pass. Check our Equestrian page for information on the permit applications, recommended rides and safety tips.
- Equestrian camping is available at Spring Creek Equestrian Campground.
- Historic Reesor Ranch offers "Cowboy Comfort with Atmosphere and Western Hospitality". Horse-related activities include two-hour horseback riding excursions, buggy rides, and wagon rides. Day visitors are welcome but must book in advance at 306-662-3498.
- We have one of the longest mountain biking seasons in Alberta, from April to October (depending on weather).
- Exploring the roads in Cypress Hills takes in gnarly climbs and elevation gain to reach some amazing viewpoints.
- There are also over 60 km of trails to explore, ranging from paved easy ones to technical downhill trails. More trails are being completed every year. See our Summer Trails Guide.
- Trails begin at an elevation of 1,234 m above sea level (the same as Banff) and rise 200 m to the highest point east of the Rockies.
- Cypress Hills Provincial Park hosts several adventure race events including Conquer the Valley, Mile High Tri and Battle Creek Showdown.
- Off-highway vehicles are NOT ALLOWED in the park. This includes snowmobiles, dirt bikes and 3-wheelers.
Sightseeing by Vehicle
- Driving Routes Map
- On the west driving route, visit Head of the Mountain viewpoint, the highest point in the Cypress Hill. Horseshoe Canyon Viewpoint has a spectacular view of the countryside to the north and northwest.
- The east driving route is a 60-kilometre loop. Reesor Viewpoint has a panoramic view. You can continue to Fort Walsh National Historic Site on the Saskatchewan side of the interprovincial park.
- Sightseeing by vehicle is dependent on road conditions. Occasionally, some roads are closed due to heavy rainfall, slumping, etc. To check on road conditions, please contact the Visitor Centre.
Elkwater Lake (located adjacent to Elkwater townsite)
- Largest body of water in the park (4 kilometres long, 3 kilometres wide, maximum depth of 10 metres)
- All types of boats allowed - including motorized boats, jet skis, paddle boats, sail boats, canoes
- Suitable for water-skiing and wind surfing
- Boat rental open during peak season in Elkwater Lake area
- Marina stalls for rent on Elkwater Lake
- Only non-motorized boats (canoes, kayaks, etc) and electric motor boats allowed
- NO gas-powered motor boats permitted
Spruce Coulee Reservoir (located 10 km east of Elkwater)
- Only non-motorized boats allowed (canoes, kayaks, etc)
- Elkwater Lake has naturally occurring perch and pike.
- Reesor Lake and Spruce Coulee Reservoir are stocked annually - rainbow trout in Reesor Lake and brook trout in Spruce Coulee Reservoir.
- Michelle Reservoir and Bullshead Reservoir (located 20 minutes from Elkwater Lake) are other popular fishing areas.
- Check the Alberta Guide to Sportfishing Regulations for details on regulations and restrictions.
- Fishing licenses can be purchased at select locations in Medicine Hat. There is also internet access available at the Elkwater Visitor Centre to purchase licenses online.
- Large designated swimming and beach area at Main Beach and West End Day Use
- Unsupervised beach - Swim at your own risk!
- Spring-fed lake, clean and very refreshing
- Seasonal food concession at Main Beach
No beaches at Reesor Lake or Spruce Coulee Reservoir - swimming NOT recommended
- Water skiing popular on Elkwater Lake
- Launch from West End Day Use
- Area located approximately 1.5 kilometres from Main Beach
NO motorized boats or water skiing at Reesor Lake or Spruce Coulee Reservoir