70 Mile Butte - Hiking Trail Information
70 Mile Butte Trail Map
Canada’s only national prairie park, located on the Saskatchewan-Montana border, is a throwback to the turn-of-the-last-century — when native grasses like gamma, spear and fescue covered the prairies and the bison roamed freely. The most accessible front-country hiking is found in the west block of the park, with 70 Mile Butte being a favourite.
A surprisingly challenging hike, this trail passes cacti and buffalo berry and offers sightings of roaming bison herds and bounding pronghorn antelope as well as dive-bombing and peregrine falcons and other birdlife. Look for centuries-old tipi rings; there are some 12,000 in the park. In fact, Grasslands is an archeological and paleontological showcase: Sitting Bull sought refuge here after the battle of Little Bighorn and Canada’s first fossil was found in the area. As you hike, watch for rattlesnakes, and keep in mind there is no drinkable water in the park — even purified, it may be brackish. The hike takes you to a 100-metre-tall hilltop and a lookout over the French River Valley.
This steep climb is not for the faint of heart—but the rewarding view at the summit will be well-worth your efforts.
HOW TO GET TO 70 MILE BUTTE
70 Mile Butte is located in the very south of Saskatchewan, near the USA border. Starting at the Visitor's Centre, drive south on Highway 4 for three kilometres, turn east and continue for five kilometres.
Take the Trans-Canada Highway to Moose Jaw. Take the SK-2 S to SK-43. After Gravelbourg, continue south onto SK-58. Follow signs for Mankota.
View a map of driving directions to 70 Mile Butte.
CAMPING AT 70 MILE BUTTE
Purchase a backcountry camping permit and spend the night.
DOGS AT 70 MILE BUTTE
Dogs are permitted on-leash.
TOILETS AT 70 MILE BUTTE
There are restrooms at the Visitor Centre in Val Marie and at the day-use areas.
Contributors to This Trail Guide
Image by Tourism SK