Great Sandhills Saskatchewan
Features – Canada’s most active sand dunes!
Yes – it is true, there are sand dunes in Saskatchewan and you can find them at the Great Sandhills! When I think of sand dunes, I think of Arizona or the deserts in far off lands but Saskatchewan has their own unique version of sand dunes. The Great Sandhills are located 27 km south of Sceptre, 47 km southeast of Leader and 137 km south of Kindersley. The Sandhills and River Routes area is a very beautiful area and if you have an opportunity to travel there you won’t want to miss the South Saskatchewan River as well as the badlands located in the area. From Regina, Saskatchewan the trek took us through many small towns which was certainly worth the trip. To get to the Great Sandhills you will need to drive through the Great Sandhills Ecological Reserve. Once there, you can park your vehicle and trek along the dunes as well as the surrounding area which has its own set of unique landmarks. There is a parking area where you can leave your car to do a small climb up a hill – the landmark on the top of the hill is the Great Sand Hills Hanging Cowboy Boots – Sceptre (shown below).
What’s up with all of these cowboy boots? Well . . . the boots are a memorial to a man named John Both. The story begins like this: “There was a man who made the world a better place just by being the kind of person he was. He had the gift of kindness. John was caretaker of the Sandhills Stockman’s Association from 1950 – 2007. He was a rancher and lived in this area all of his life.”
John had built an archway of his boots, a cowboy’s way of showing appreciation and love for life. Some of his ashes were spread beside the boots. It is said that by respecting this land, you are honoring his legacy. I haven’t re-written the poster verbatim but if you visit the area, you may want to take the time to read it (or zoom in on the image below). I can however say that there is a feeling of serenity – a peacefulness in the area – I am sure that is one of the reasons John Both loved it so much.
The Great Sandhills covers a large area it is 1,900 square kilometers and rises 50 feet above the ground. The dunes are always moving and creating sculptures and patterns in the sand. On a windy day, you are able to watch the changes unfold if you take the time to sit and enjoy. We spent the better part of a day there and could have spent more time but due to the 3.5 hour drive and the need to see other places in the area we had to shorten our visit.
Great Sandhills & River Routes is an area of contrasting landscapes; river coulees; sand dunes; South Saskatchewan River; badlands and much more! If you ever have a chance to visit this area – you will be pleasantly surprised.