Landscape: This is the driest area of the province, with
few trees, lakes (with some notable exceptions) or other permanent
water bodies. But it includes some of the most diverse landscapes
in the province, including glacial lake plains, sand dune areas,
the rugged and romantic Big Muddy Badlands near the U.S. border, hilly
country along the Missouri Coteau and the vast and natural Grasslands
grassland and coulees provide habitat for pronghorn antelope.
Wildlife: Pronghorn antelope, white-tailed and mule deer,
horned lizard, prairie rattlesnake, jack rabbit, coyote, Richardson's
ground squirrel and western painted turtle are found in this diverse
region. Canada's only population of black-tailed prairie dog is
found here, as well. Birds include ferruginous hawk, long-billed
curlew, yellow-breasted chat, chestnut-collared longspur, burrowing
owl and sage grouse.
Fish: Northern pike, walleye, rainbow trout and perch. Fishing Guide
Recreation: Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park, on the
southern leg of Lake Diefenbaker, offers good bird and other wildlife
The Great Sand Hills, near Leader, is a fascinating place to spend
an afternoon hiking amid active sand dunes. Grasslands National Park,
near Val Marie, features a self-guided eco-tour of preserved prairie
grasslands, including one of the last prairie-dog communities on the
continent. The Big Muddy Badlands, just north of the U.S. border near
Big Beaver, is a ruggedly beautiful valley of hoodoos and caves, where
Butch Cassidy and other outlaws sought refuge from the authorities.
Urban area: Swift Current (pop: 15,000).
bedrock along valley walls is typical of "badlands".
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