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Riding Mountain National Park

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Earth : North America : Canada : Prairies (Canada) : Manitoba : Parkland : Riding Mountain National Park
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Riding Mountain National Park is in the Parkland region of Manitoba. The park was established in 1929 to protect an area of 2,969 km2 of prairie parkland.


  • The only community located within the national park is Wasagaming (often referred to as Clear Lake).
  • Park offices are open from 9:30 AM - 8:00 PM during from May - September.


Much of the park's public infrastructure was created during the 1930s by labourers participating in Canada's great depression relief programs. Illustration of this early construction survives to this day in the park. During World War II the park was home to a Prisoner of War camp which has since been dismantled. In 1986, Riding Mountain National Park and its surrounding municipalities were designated a biosphere reserve by UNESCO.

Until 1996, Riding Mountain was the only national park located in the province of Manitoba.

Flora and fauna[edit]

Riding Mountain is a vibrant wilderness oasis, set high above a sea of prairie agricultural lands. Located in the centre of North America, the Boreal Forest, Aspen Woodland, Prairie and Eastern Hardwood Biomes come together. These Biomes, occur on a hilly, 'Pot-and Kettle' glacial moraine with fertile soils and an abundance of wetlands, streams and lakes. This biogeophysical phenomenon creates a mosaic of flourishing ecosystems with an incredible diversity of plant and animal species.

Moose, elk, deer, beaver, River otter, porcupine, Grey wolf, lynx, cougar, Common Loon, White Pelican, Great Grey Owl and Canada Goose are just a few of the animal and bird inhabitants of Riding Mountain National Park. The park boasts one of the largest populations of Black bears in North America. There is also a wild bison range located near Lake Audy, where you can view the Prairie Bison on native fescue grasslands.

Riding Mountain National Park is also well known for its wildflowers and wide range of unique vegetation, most of which is not seen anywhere else in the prairie regions of Canada.

Get in[edit]

Provincial highway 10 bisects the eastern half of the national Park. Brandon is located approximately 100 km to the south, Dauphin approximately 30 km to the north. During the winter months, it is not uncommon for Highway 10 to be closed during poor weather. Check local road conditions via Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation [6] or listen to a local radio station.

Greyhound Bus Line [7] provides daily bus service to Brandon (onwards to Winnipeg) and to Dauphin.


The 2009 Entrance fees for Riding Mountain National Park [8] are:

  • Adult $7.80
  • Senior $6.55
  • Youth $3.90
  • Family $19.60

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

Do[edit][add listing]

The park has a number of hiking trails, including:

Guided wildlife viewing and photography tour packages

  • Riding Mountain Guest Ranch [9]

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

Drink[edit][add listing]

With the large number of family cabins in the clear lake area and the tradition of young people working in Wasagaming for the summer, there are a number of places to drink. There are security guards and RCMP officers that patrol the townsite area at night, so drinking in public areas of the townsite is not recommended.

Southgate Motor Inn

Known by locals as The Southgate, there are parties at the bar every night during the summer. Located in Onanole, 10 minute drive from Wasagaming, there is a shuttle that runs at night during July and August from Wasagaming ($5 each way.) Catch the shuttle on the main strip of Wasagaming drive in town, or look for the crowd gathering in the corner of the big gravel town parking lot around 10-11:30 pm. On weekends there is often a $5 cover charge.

The Wigwam

If you prefer to stay in Wasagaming area at night, The Wigwam has a good lounge. No cover charge and the occasional karaoke night make it a good time, usually the 18-30 crowd will start their night there before heading to the Southgate.

Sleep[edit][add listing]



  • Wasagaming Campground, [1]. Full service campground in Wasagaming/Clear Lake. $27.40-$38.50.  edit


  • Moon Lake Campground, Moon Lake, [2]. Primitive campground operated by Parks Canada at Moon Lake. $15.70.  edit
  • Lake Audy Campground, Lake Audy, [3]. Primitive campground operated by Parks Canada at Lake Audy. $15.70.  edit
  • Whirlpool Campground, [4]. Primitive campground operated by Parks Canada at Whirlpool Lake. $15.70.  edit
  • Deep Lake Campground, Deep Lake, [5]. Primitive campground operated by Parks Canada at Deep Lake. $15.70.  edit

Stay safe[edit]

Riding Mountain National Park is a safe area to visit, however, common sense is required. Key safety concerns in the park include:

Be careful when doing outdoor activities during the winter time as temperature can reach as low as -40°C so check local television/radio when going out.

Get out[edit]

All-inclusive Black Bear Watching and Wildlife Viewing Packages

  • Riding Mountain Guest Ranch [12]

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