Located in southwestern Saskatchewan, this park of 6,641 sq km (2,564 sq mi) in two blocks is the only national park on the prairies. The park was established in 1981. In October 2009, Grasslands National Park was designated as the world’s largest dark sky preserve.
The Frenchman River Valley of the park’s West Block features deeply dissected plateaux, coulees, and the seventy-mile Butte. The Killdeer Badlands of the park’s East Block feature the Wood Mountain Uplands. The landscape is characterised by the exposed layers of Bearpaw, Eastend, Whitemud, Frenchman, and Ravenscrag formations. In the Badlands are the richest resource for dinosaur fossils in Canada.
The Plains Indians lived here, evolving a lifestyle centred on the great herds of bison. It was also a favourite bison hunting area for the nomadic Métis, during the early days of the Red River Settlement. There are over 12,000 ancient teepee rings within the park.
See maps of the park.
See also: National Parks of Canada.
(This page was updated in November 2012.)