Sask Travel on a Budget
To all the prairie dwellers, flatlanders, and those who love the land of living skies… let’s talk about travelling Saskatchewan and saving money! I love Saskatchewan, the prairies and travelling around our great province. I also love saving money and how cheap travelling Saskatchewan can be! If you’re still saving for that big European trip, but need a little R&R in the meantime, look no further than a couple hours out your front door!
Before we get travelling, you might be asking yourself “Why would Conexus, a ‘financial institution’, post a blog about travelling Saskatchewan?” It’s simple really…because we love Saskatchewan just as much as you do! We also know that money is more than just paychecks, mutual funds, mortgages, loans, and “grown-up stuff” but it’s about living life well…and well, we live in Saskatchewan, so why not showcase it!
Let’s Travel Saskatchewan and Save Some Money!
#1: Ellisboro Trail
Price: $50-$100 (more if you’re buying antiques)
The Ellisboro Trail is a valley drive through the heart of the Qu’Appelle Valley between Fort Qu’Appelle and Rocanville. The trail has entry/exit points off the TransCanada Highway near Indian Head, Wolseley, Grenfell, Broadview, Whitewood and Moosomin. The entire drive takes about 4 hours. From Fort Qu’Appelle to the village of Ellisboro is 78 km (for a shorter length) The drive is full of old bridges, towns, and the occasional abandoned house (one of which is a movie set built for the movie: The Messengers, starring Kristen Stewart – the girl from Twilight.)
Things to see:
- Lebret Antique Store
- Katepwa Beach
- Old Churches/House/Post Office/School Houses
- Old Bridges
- Town of Ellisboro/Tantallon
Places to Eat:
- Wolseley Tilli-Beans Bakery & Coffee Shop
- Katepwa Beach Bar
- Fort Qu’Appelle Restaurants
- Rocanville Restaurants
- Or pack a picnic and stop along the drive for a lunch
#2: Castle Butte
Price: $50-$60 (excluding a packed lunch)
Two hours south of Regina, SK. Castle Butte is the mountain of Saskatchewan! This is a quick drive for anyone in South Saskatchewan. Before you head this way, make sure you have a full tank of gas. Pack a lunch, grab your hiking shoes, your flashlight for the caves and a bit of cash to spend at the Aust General Store in Big Beaver, SK who’s slogan is: “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it”. This area of the province is also home to St. Victor Petroglyph’s, and the South Prairie Railway A train ride will cost you more than $60, but it’s worth it.
#3: The Maple Creek Weekend Tour
Price: $300 – $500 (depending on family size)
First off – I would recommend this during the summer. If you’re on the South West side of Saskatchewan, then one of the best drives is what I like to call the Maple Creek Weekend Tour. I call it this, because that’s where I usually start in Maple Creek. After a good rest at the Ghost Town Blues B&B and a stop in Maple Creek for lunch or supper it’s time to hit the 614 down past East End (if you’re into Dinosaurs, you’ll want to stop here) to the #18 Highway. Travel East while taking in the quint essential small towns of Saskatchewan. your next stop will be Grasslands National Park! This is a great stop to camp or just go for a hike. Once in the area, you can stay overnight, or check out the B&B’s in Val Marie, SK. The final end of the loop is Swift Current for a quick gas up/food stop and homeward.
#4: Winter Hiking/Camping (because we live in SK)
Price: $50 – $100 (depending on how much food you need)
This is not for the faint of heart, however, if you like rustic hiking, back-packing, and FREE, then you’ll love this. Not only does Duck Mountain Provincial Park have summer camping, but they also have winter cross country skiing/hiking trails with little cabins scattered throughout the trails. The cabins are traditionally used for day hikers, but are great for staying the night, and they’re FREE! As long as you’re okay with a bit of company stopping through in the morning, you’ll be fine. The cost is the gas to get to Duck Mt. and the food you pack in with you. The evenings spent in these warm, non-electric, wood stove huts are amazing. While the trail offers several accommodations, my favorite is Moose Lodge. The short 5 km hike in from the parking lot at Batka Lake is worth every step. This truly is a place “where peace is undisturbed”.
#5: Beaches, Towns, and Parks
Price: Varies depending on length and events.
Let’s be honest, Saskatchewan has amazing beaches, towns and parks. Living near Regina, there are countless of beaches and resorts within an hour drive. Across the province you can take a weekend enjoying the cliffs of Cypress Hills, hike to Grey Owl Cabin in Waskesiu, enjoy mini-golf at Rowan’s Ravine, relax at Grasslands National Park, enjoy a Drive-In-Movie at Moose Mt. Provincial Park, or drive up to Green Water for fishing or snowmobiling. Not only does Saskatchewan boast plenty of camping and parks, but our small towns are loaded with music folk festivals, harvest days, parades, local restaurants (see list below), B&B’s, Scarecrow festivals, Winter Festivals and so much more! Whatever you’re into, sometimes all you need to do is step out your back door. I mean, we can see our dog run away for days, why not follow him on the adventure.
Here’s a list of some great Saskatchewan small town restaurants
**In alphabetical order**
- 641 (Craven, SK)
- Blue Bird (Regina Beach, SK)
- Cafe de Paris (Gravelbourg, SK)
- Free Bird (Lumsden, SK)
- The Happy Nun (Forget, SK)
- Little Red Market Cafe (Mortlach, SK)
- Sister’s Boutique & Bistro (Montmarte, SK)
- Star Cafe & Grill (Maple Creek, SK)
All recommendation, including businesses and parks, are based on actually experiences from the author and are free of endorsement or sponsorship. The goal of this blog is to highlight, ways to save money while travelling Saskatchewan and help promote curiosity to travel Saskatchewan.
We highly encourage you to add your own comments of great places to travel, eat, and explore in Saskatchewan below!
When I’m not trying to kick start my musical career, I spend time coaching basketball, helping with my local youth group, and dabble in entrepreneurship. I grew up in the city of Moose Jaw, but love living in beautiful Lumsden, SK. As a valley dweller, I have the best of both worlds, 30 minutes from the lake, and 30 minutes from Starbucks…(Full Bio in “Meet The Authors”)
(To read other blogs by me CLICK my name.)
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