This past June I paid my most recent visit to Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park in Saskatchewan. An aunt and uncle were visiting from England and we were going to see the Cypress HIlls Vineyard and Winery near the park so took the opportunity to take a side trip to see the views from the Conglomerate Cliffs in the park.
If you have time to spend a couple of days in the area, a trip further into the park to Fort Walsh National Historic Site is worth a visit. On previous trips I have stayed in the park and have taken the tour of the fort which is staffed by costumed interpreters who explain the history and life of the settlers in days gone by.
On this occasion our goal was to have lunch atop the cliffs while taking in the views of the surrounding prairie landscape. As we approached the road up to the cliffs, we were concerned about some horses roaming freely on the road with a young foal but were assured by a local that they were always there and would be fine. There is a cattle grid to prevent them from getting onto the main highway and the drivers, like us, going into the park are careful to give them a wide berth. Just when the car seemed like it wasn’t going to make it up all the hairpin turns as it climbed to the top of the plateau, the road leveled out and we were on a dirt road through pastures and heading for the cliffs. It is a bumpy ride and would not have been passable if wet. After drinking in the vista below us we settled in for a bite to eat. Unfortunately the mosquitoes had the same idea. Despite the gusting wind on top of the cliffs, the mosquitoes were persistent. In the end we surrendered and retreated into the vehicle for our picnic. It was self-preservation.