Ah, Saskatchewan. The flat, boring province in the middle of nowhere.
To all who believe that, you’re missing out on some of the most spectacular scenery and unforgettable adventures in Canada!
So, what exactly is there to do in the remote wilds of Northern Saskatchewan? Laura Hale, general manager of Adventure Destinations in Missinipe, shares her top five recommendations.
#1: See Northern Saskatchewan from the air
Missinipe’s Osprey Air is one northern air charter that provides scenic tours, including some unforgettable sites around Otter Lake, such as the nearby community of Stanley Mission, the historic Holy Trinity Anglican Church along the Churchill River and picturesque Nistowiak Falls. “It’s an amazing experience to see Northern Saskatchewan from the air,” says Hale.
Take it to the max! Farther north is Athabasca Sand Dunes, Canada’s largest active sand surface. This natural wonder is only accessible by float plan or boat. Imagine that view!
#2: View Indigenous rock art
There are more than 70 recorded locations along the Churchill River where ancient Indigenous pictographs adorn the sheer rock surfaces viewable from the water. These red ochre pictographs depict various scenes of humans, animals and geographic shapes, some estimated at more than 300 years old.
- Kinosaskaw Lake after leaving Pinehouse Lake
- Rattler Creek joining Otter Lake
- Smith Channel connecting Hickson and Mirabelli Lakes
#3 Nistowiak Falls
Hale insists: “Nistowiak Falls is a must-see!” Located a short boat, canoe or kayak trip from Stanley Mission, Nistowiak Falls is along Rapid River, the waterway that drains Lac La Ronge into the Churchill River. Chasing waterfalls?
Add these beauties to your list:
- Manitou Falls on the Fond du Lac River (not easily accessible)
- Grease River’s Hunt Falls (largest falls in Saskatchewan)
- Smoothrock Falls along Clearwater River (most picturesque)
#4 Get out there and glamp!
“Want the best date night ever?” asks Hale. “Try glamping at Twin Falls Lodge!” Accessible by air, boat or a moderate five-hour paddle from Missinipe, this adventure includes views of Robertson Falls, supper and breakfast, a hot shower, and a comfy queen-sized bed in the middle of nature.
There are hundreds of campsites throughout the north. Check out:
- Buffalo Narrows – Be sure to play at Big Buffalo Beach, a 10-kilometre long white sand paradise at nearby Peter Pond Lake.
- Denare Beach on Amisk Lake – While you’re there, take yourself on a fossil exploration at the Limestone Crevices.
- Cumberland House Provincial Park – This is the site of the first Hudson’s Bay Company fur trade post, established in 1774.
#5 Indulge in a traditional shore lunch
Northern Saskatchewan is well known around the world for its unparalleled fishing and hunting. Hale also points out the valuable traditional food wisdom passed along by elders from local Indigenous communities. “We’re learning from the makers and producers who approach food as nourishment and medicine,” says Hale. “We have amazing, unique, delicious and thoughtful food in the middle of Northern Saskatchewan!”
Twin Falls Lodge has a reputation for its incredible menu. This summer, it offers a unique drive-through option for the boaters and paddlers who use the waterway along the peninsula where the lodge is located.
Food for thought:
• Did you know? Saskatchewan is the No. 1 producer of Canadian wild rice. Precambrian Wild Rice Plant, a processing facility of certified organic wild rice located south of Denare Beach, offers tours.
• Fonos Fish, located at Dore Lake, has a true lake-to-plate philosophy. For more than 15 years, each fish caught in the pristine lake is frozen within a few hours. Chefs across the province rely on this delicious, homegrown, quality product.