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Nature & History

Bypassed by retreating glaciers during the last Ice Age, the Cypress Hills are the highest point between the Rocky Mountains and Labrador. First-time visitors are surprised to find lodgepole pine forests and rugged mountain-like terrain here. The Cypress Hills are the prairie's oasis - cooler in the hot summer and warmer in the cold winter.

More orchids grow in these hills than anywhere else on the prairies. Over 220 bird species, 47 mammal species, and several species of reptiles and amphibians are found here. The natural environment makes the Cypress Hills a wild and wonderful place!

The Cypress Hills are known as an erosional plateau in geology. The hills were formed by millions of years of sedimentary deposition followed by millions of years of erosion.

An archaeology project began here in the 1970's at the stampede site near the Elkwater townsite. It reveals human habitation of the hills for more than 8,500 years. A display in the visitor centre highlights the archaeological peel that was removed from the site.

Discover more about the rich and exciting history of the Cypress Hills!  Fort Walsh National Historic Site is located on the Saskatchewan side of Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. Fort Walsh takes you back to the 1870's when whiskey traders, Aboriginal people and the North West Mounted Police co-existed.  

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Updated: Jun 28, 2017