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Riding Mountain National Park

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  Riding Mountain  Lake   Riding Mountain National Park is a unique mix of habitats characteristic of eastern, western and northern Canada. This intersection forms a diverse pattern of forests, grasslands and valleys allowing for a variety of mammals such as black bears, moose, elk, wolves and coyotes. The park has over 400km of trails for hikers, mountain bikers and horse packers. Most of the hiking trails are single use but almost all of the rest of the extensive trail system is designated as multi-use. The trail network in the park is largely interconnected and many trails are accessed from other trails rather than road accessible trail heads. Many of the trails are open to cross country skiers and back country skiers in the winter months. The Manitoba Escarpment provides for exceptional viewpoints over the park and the surrounding region.  
 
 

The park's major centre is in the town of Wasagaming, which is located beside Clear Lake along Highway 10 in the south of the park. The town has a wide variety of accommodations including the parks main campground which is located here as well. Most amenities are available in the town site, where you'll find a grocery store, a bakery, a gas station, restaurants and a laundromat. A golf course and tennis courts round out the town's offerings. The parks visitors centre is also located here.

 
 
  Clear Lake Wasagaming   The park has a marina at Clear Lake as well as a boat launch. Sail boats are accommodated both by the marina and the prairie winds which sweep across the lake. Canoes and kayaks are also seen plying the park's waters. In the winter cross country skies and snowshoes are the best way to see the park and observe the wide variety of wildlife. Check with the park for conditions before setting out.  
 

Camping

Front Country Camping

Wasagaming Campground - 509 Sites, Flush Toilets, Showers, Serviced Sites, Kitchen Shelters, Sewage Dump, Wheelchair Access This is the parks main campground with access to most of the park's amenities. The campground accommodates tents, trails and motor homes and has a boat launch nearby. The campground is located beside clear lake just off Highway 10.

Moon Lake Campground - 29 Sites, Flush Toilets, Pit Toilets, Kitchen Shelters, Wheelchair Access The campground accommodates tents, trails and motor homes. Moon Lake is located just off Highway 10 north of Wasagaming.

Lake Audy Campground - 34 Sites, Pit Toilets, Kitchen Shelters, Sewage Dump, Wheelchair Access The campground accommodates tents, trails and motor homes. The campground can be access from Highway 10 by following Lake Audy Road and heading south from the Bison enclosure. The area can also be accessed from secondaries south of the park.

Whirlpool Lake Campground (Walk-in Tent Sites Only) - 15 Sites, Pit Toilets, Kitchen Shelter, Wheelchair Access The sites are located between 50 and 100m from the parking area. Whirlpool Lake can be reached from Highway 19 not far from the intersection with Highway 10. Highway 19 is also accessible from Highway 5 which travels along the eastern section of the park.

Deep Lake Campground - 15 Sites, Pit Toilets, Kitchen Shelter, Sewage Dump, Wheelchair Access The campground makes for a good staging area for backpackers and mountain bikers. Located in the western sector of the park it can be reached from secondaries from the south of the park.

Reservations can be made through the parks website via Parks Canada Camping

Backcountry Camping

There are over 20 designated backcountry camping areas in the park. You can reach them by foot, mountain bike or on horseback. The backcountry sites are spaced out along the multi-use trail network (over 300km) allowing multi-day trips with lots of flexibility. Most of the trail system is linear so either you'll have to re-trace your route or set up a shuttle. The park's website has a list of the trails and their current conditions. Permits are required and a fee is levied for the sites use. Contact the park for details.

Group Camping

There are group camping areas in the park at Kippechewin (14.7km from Wasagaming on Clear Lakes west shore) and Ma-Ma-O-Pe (13.3km from Wasagaming off Highway 10). Eligible groups must reserve the sites through the park. Contact the park for details.

Camping Reservations

The park implemented a Yurt program in 2006. For details on the program contact the park.

Note: Except for some sources in the Wasagaming area all park water should be boiled properly before drinking. Contact the park for details.

 

Cycling & Mountain Biking

The park has an large network of multi-use trails which are open to mountain bikers. See the Backpacking, Mountain Biking & Horsepacking section for detailed information on the trails.

Note: Except for some sources in the Wasagaming area all park water should be boiled properly before drinking. Contact the park for details.

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Hiking

The park has an extensive trail system. Many of the hikes can be accessed from the parks roads including Highway 10. The park website provides a list of current trail conditions. Most of the trails are linear requiring you to either re-trace your steps or set up a shuttle system.

Arrowhead Trail - Moderate, 3.4 km This is a loop trail in the Clear Lake area. The trail begins just off of Highway 19.

Beach Ridges Trail - Easy, 3.5 km This is a loop trail just off Highway 10 that is at the north end of the park, not far from the Moon Lake warden station.

Bead Lakes Trail - Moderate, 4 km This is a loop trail located just above the Clear Lake area and is accessed off of Highway 10.

Boreal Island Trail - Easy, 1km This is a small loop just off of Highway 10 that is wheel chair accessible.

Brule Trail - Easy, 2.2/4.2km This trail is made up of two loops in the Clear Lake area. It is 4.2 km if you hike both loops. The trail begins just off of Highway 19.

Burls & Bittersweet Trail - Easy, 2.2km This is a small loop trail at the east end of the park that is just off of Highway 19.

Clear Lake Trail - Difficult, 25.2km The trail completely circles around the shores of Clear Lake and is accessed from Highway 10.

Evergreen Trail - Easy, 1.6 km This is a small loop trail in the Clear Lake area that is on the north side of Katherine Lake. The provides access to 2 other small loop trails in the same area.

Gorge Creek Trail - Difficult, 6.4km A linear trail that leads to the Burls & Bittersweet loop Trail on the east side of the park that follows Highway 19.

Grey Owl Trail - Moderate, 8.9km This is a linear trail in the Clear Lake area that travels north from the lake to Grey Owl's Cabin. Access to the trail is from Highway 10 and first follows the west side of the Kinosao Loop Trail to get to the 5.3 km stretch of the Grey Owl Trail.

Kinosao Trail - Moderate, 4km This is a loop trail in the Clear Lake area that connects to The Grey Owl Trail. Access to this trail is from Highway. 19.

Kippan's Mill Trail - Easy, 1.2km This is a small loop trail just off of Highway 10, almost at the top of the park.

Lakeshore Trail - Easy, 1/2.6km This is a small linear trail that follows the shores of Clear Lake and is a continuation of the main 25 km Clear Lake Trail. It is accessed via Highway 10.

Loon's Island Trail - Easy, 2.4km This is a loop trail on the east side of Katherine Lake in the Clear Lake area.

Ma-ee-gun Trail - Easy, 1km This is a small loop trail on the north side of Clear Lake. Access to this trail is from Highway 10.

Moon Lake Trail - Difficult, 9.2km This is a loop trail just off of Highway 10 that circles Moon Lake. There is tent camping on this lake.

Oak Ridge Trail - Easy, 3/6.4km This trail is made up of two loops. It is 6.6 km if you hike both loops. The trail begins just off Highway 19 in the east side of the park and is not far from the Agassiz Ski Hill.

Ominnik Trail - Easy, 1.9km This is a small loop trail that is on the south side of Clear Lake and is accessed from Highway 10.

Rolling River Fire Trail - Easy, 0.5km This is a small loop trail in the east side of the park that is just off of Rolling River Road and is accessed from Highway 19.

Wasagaming Trail - Moderate, 10km This is a multi-use hike/bike trail in the Clear Lake area that leads from the Wasagaming campground to the east side of Clear Lake. Access to the trail is from Highway 10.

Note: Except for some sources in the Wasagaming area all park water should be boiled properly before drinking. Contact the park for details.

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Backpacking, Mountain Biking & Horsepacking

The park has over 300km of trails for backpacking, mountain biking and horsepacking. There are over twenty backcountry camping areas (reservations and permits are required) which you can take advantage of. The trail network in the park is largely interconnected and many trails are accessed from other trails rather than road accessible trail heads. The park website provides a list of current trail conditions. Most of the trails are linear requiring you to either re-trace your steps or set up a shuttle system.

Birdtail Trail - Moderate, 11.4km This trail heads to the western most portion of the park where you can stay at Kay's wilderness campground

Central Trail - Moderate, 73km linear This is the longest trail in the park and takes you to the following backcountry campgrounds, the White water Lake, Gunn, and Deep Lake wilderness. The trail travels from the central portion of the park all the way to the western edge.

Cowan Lake Trail - Easy, 7.8km linear This trail takes you to Cowan Lake wilderness campground which is an easy hike and not far from the starting point of the 8.9 km hike to Grey Owl's Cabin Note: Horsepacking is not permitted on the Cowan Lake Trail

Crawford Creek Trail - Moderate, 12km one way This trail can be access from the parking lot off of Highway 10 in the northern most portion of the park near the Agassiz Tower. The takes you to Dauphin wilderness campground.

Grasshopper Valley Trail - Easy, 17.9km linear This trail starts near Audy Lake and heads for the Minnedosa campground

Gunn Lake Trail - Difficult, 1.9 km one way This is a short but demanding trail that heads to Gunn Lake wilderness campground from the Central Trail.

Long Lake Trail - Easy, 14km linear The trail can be accessed from a parking lot at the Bison Enclosure and takes you to Long Lake wilderness campground. From here you have easy access to Whitewater Lake and Audy Lake.

North Escarpment - Trail Difficult, 8.7km one way This trail is in the east portion of the park and takes you to East Deep Lake and Breezy Hill wilderness campgrounds. You can access the trail from Highway 19.

Ochre River Trail - Difficult, 24.9 km one way From Clear Lake you head north to Highway 10 and use the first parking lot, The trail heads northeast to three sites, the Elk Creek, Ochre River and Lone Coyote wilderness campgrounds.

Scott Creek Trail - Easy, 1.8km one way This is a sort trail that can be accessed from Highway 361 and takes you to the Scott Creek wilderness campground, which is at the eastern most portion of the park.

South Escarpment Trail - Moderate, 31.8km one way This trail starts on Highway 19 in the east part of the park and takes you to Campbell and Muskrat Lake wilderness campgrounds. From Muskrat Lake you can travel to the southern most portion of the park to Kerrs Lake which is 18.2 km one way.

Strathclair Trail - Easy, 22.9km one way This is a long but fairly easy hike that starts at the parking lot near the Bison Enclosure and travels north to Vermilion and Kinnis wilderness campgrounds.

Tilson Lake Trail - Difficult, 38km one way This is a hike on the trails of the western portion of the park and takes you to 3 camps Tilson Lake, Birdtail and Boundary wilderness. These trails can be accessed from the Deep Lake Warden Station parking lot.

Note: Except for some sources in the Wasagaming area all park water should be boiled properly before drinking. Contact the park for details.

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Canoeing

A number of the parks rivers can be run in the spring providing a variety of challenges one of which may be access. The parks lakes are open to paddlers as well but you'll have to share the larger lakes with motor boats so be careful.

Note: Except for some sources in the Wasagaming area all park water should be boiled properly before drinking. Contact the park for details.

 

Cross Country Skiing & Backcountry Skiing

There are ten trails in the Clear Lake and Whirlpool Lake areas of the park for skiers. You'll find over a dozen more along the alternative access roads into the park. The trails are rated from novice to expert and several of them have warming huts on route. The North Shore Skate is designated for skaters and several of the trails are backcountry routes including Ochre River, Cowan Lake and the North and South Escarpment Trials.

The park has a backcountry cabin available (reservations and fee) for overnight trips in the winter. Cairns Cabin is located 13.2km along the Ochra River Trail (you must break trail to get there). Contact the park for details.

Note: Except for some sources in the Wasagaming area all park water should be boiled properly before drinking. Contact the park for details.

 

Snowshoeing

There are three trails set aside for the snowshoe crowd (over 17km) in the park, Moon Lake, Bead Lake and Burntwood. The Moon Lake trail is not packed so you'll have to break trail if there has been a recent snowfall and no skier traffic.

Note: Except for some sources in the Wasagaming area all park water should be boiled properly before drinking. Contact the park for details.

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Nature

The park has a bison compound at Lake Audy where you can observe these wonderful animals close up, in a natural setting. Over 270 species of birds have been observed in the park. Bears, Lynx, Moose are some of the mammals you might observe if your lucky. Several varieties of amphibians and reptiles can also be seen.

Note: Except for some sources in the Wasagaming area all park water should be boiled properly before drinking. Contact the park for details.

 

Interactive Map of Riding Mountain National Park


View Larger Map

 
Riding Mountain Nature Video
 
Riding Mountain Video Montage
 

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Resources

  Riding Mountain Visitors Centre  

Getting There

From Winnipeg head west on the Trans-Canada to Brandon. From Regina head east on the Trans-Canada to Brandon. The main entrance to the park can be reached from Highway 1, the Trans-Canada Highway by heading north on Highway 10 from Brandon. The east park gate is located along Highway 19 which can be reached from Highway 5. The parks nearest large neighbor is the City of Dauphin north of the park along Highway 10.

 
 

Friends of Riding Mountain
Park Weather - From the Weather Network
Riding Mountain National Park - From Wikipedia

Wasagaming and Clear Lake

Wasagaming is the parks main centre and has most amenities, you'll find a gas station, bakery, coffee shop, restaurants and a variety of accommodations.

Surrounding Area

Dauphin
Brandon
Portage La Prairie

Parkland Tourism - Regional Tourism

Province of Manitoba - From Out-There
Travel Manitoba - Official Travel Site
Province of Manitoba - Official Government Site

 

Related Links

 

Links of Interest Backpacker



Canadian Geographic

Canadian Cyclist
Conde Nast Traveler

Islands Magazine
Kanawa
National Geographic
National Geographic Adventure
National Geographic Traveler
Outside Magazine
Sunset Magazine
Travel and Leisure Magazine
Wavelength Magazine

 

Out-There's Destinations

 

 


Riding Mountain National Park

Riding Mountain National Park
Wasagaming
Manitoba
Canada
R0J 2H0

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