With trails that stretch for thousands of kilometers and a blanket of snow that lasts from late November until early April, Saskatchewan is one of the best places around for snowmobiling. Its interconnected network of meticulously groomed trails makes it easy to hop on your machine and start exploring the province’s stunning forests, frozen lakes, and vast prairies. Plus, well-maintained warm-up shelters are sprinkled around Saskatchewan like salt on a winter sidewalk, giving you cozy spots to shake off the chill whenever you need a break from the sled and the snow.
Ready to ride? Here’s what you need to know to enjoy an adventurous snowmobiling trip through this frozen frontier.
Lay of the land
From rolling prairies to dense boreal forest, Saskatchewan deserves bragging rights for its diverse terrain. And you can zoom through many of those scenic landscapes on a sled, thanks to the Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association. Members of its 65 snowmobile clubs have built and maintained a whopping 11,065 kilometers (that’s more than 6,875 miles!) of groomed trails and 233 warm-up shelters throughout the province and its parks.
Locals have voted Hudson Bay as the best place to snowmobile in Saskatchewan for several years. With more than 680 kilometers (422+ miles) of groomed trails, 11 warm-up shelters, and an average yearly snowfall of 6 feet, it’s got all the key ingredients for a memorable snowmobiling trip. The sledder-friendly community hosts an annual snowmobile rally on the second weekend in February, which features a 100-mile trail ride. Looking to put your snowmobiling skills to the test? Hudson Bay’s got long stretches of abandoned logging roads and backcountry trails you can traverse on your sled.
You can find more than 360 kilometers (223+ miles) of groomed and marked trails — plus 13 warm-up shelters — in and around Great Blue Heron Provincial Park through the Lakeland snowmobile trail system. They’ll take you through the boreal forest on routes that range from 7 kilometers (4+ miles) to 120 kilometers (74+ miles). Fun fact: Some of the main snowmobile trails here intersect with the the Great Canadian Snowmobile Trail, which runs through or near 1,000 communities and is accessible within 30 minutes for over 80% of Canadians.
Moose Mountain Provincial Park, one of the first provincial parks in Saskatchewan, is another excellent place to bring your sled. You can explore 100 kilometers (62+ miles) of hilly snowmobile trails through enchanting forests filled with aspen, birch, poplar, and green ash trees.
Responsible for grooming more than 480 kilometers of trails, the Battlefords Trail Breakers Snowmobile Club has opened up tons of beautiful terrain for riders in the North Saskatchewan River Valley. In this area, you can take your sled on the edge of frozen lakes, through powder-white fields and rolling hills, and around twisting bush trails. When you’re ready for a break, you can escape the cold in 15 solar-powered warm-up shelters — rated among the best in the entire province.
Several hundred more kilometers of groomed trails await riders at the Candle Lake resort village. You can zip through thick pine forests and take a leisurely ride around Candle Lake — or speed right across the frozen water.
Discover even more of Saskatchewan’s most popular snowmobiling trails in Greenwater Lake Provincial Park. It’s part of the 1,000 Miles of Snow initiative, which links communities in northeastern Saskatchewan with (you guessed it!) 1,000 miles of groomed trails, some of which take riders to remote areas only accessible in the winter. Keep your eyes peeled for fox, moose, and elk as you carve through the powder.
Resorts and guided trips for snowmobilers
Given how many snowy trails you can find in Saskatchewan, it’s no surprise that there are plenty of expert outfitters offering gear rentals and guided trips, plus snowmobiler-friendly resorts where you can kick back after a day on the sled. Sno Cruise, an independent operator, aims to show off the best snowmobiling Saskatchewan has to offer. They run a mix of full-day trips, family-friendly sightseeing rides, and advanced multi-day overnight cross-country tours throughout the province.
Need a sled to hit the trails on your own? Lake County Rentals can hook you up with a well-tuned machine and a trailer for the day, a weekend, a week, or even long term. They operate several pick-up locations and drop-off services in Saskatchewan, including near Candle Lake, Nisbet Forest, and Whiteswan Lake. They also serve as the snowmobile rental partner at Elk Ridge Resort in the Lakeland area. Once you have your sled, you can drive it right up to the resort’s restaurant, the Wyld at Fredrich, and refuel on hearty fare like meatloaf, pizza, and chicken pot pie before turning in for the night.
Conveniently located on the edge of a snowmobile trail halfway between Prince Albert and Lake Tobin, Western Trophy Outfitters | Great Grey Outfitters is another accommodation option that caters to snowmobilers in Saskatchewan. In addition to all-inclusive snowmobile packages with rentals and guided tours, the chalet-style lodge offers guests a snowmobile shelter, premium fuel, heated gear storage room, and a sauna to get toasty.
For more options, check out Fir River Ranch near Hudson Bay — it’s won awards for its promotion and development of snowmobiling — and Madge Lake Retreats, which provides snowmobile rentals and cozy cabins to spend the night.
Riding rules and safety tips
Knowing the rules of the road and safety guidelines for snowmobiling in Saskatchewan will help your adventure remain free of icy surprises. Keep these items in mind:
- Make sure you have the right credentials to hit the trails. Your sled is good to go if it has valid registration and adequate insurance that meets the laws of your home province or state. A driver’s license is also required for all riders. (An exception is made for ages 12 and over without their driver’s license, if they ride within 50 meters of a licensed driver.) Keep your driver’s license on you while you ride.
- Younger Millennials and Gen Z, you’ll also need to earn a snowmobile safety certificate after completing an approved course. It’s a must-have for anyone born on or after January 1, 1989, as well as any riders who don’t have a driver’s license. The good news? You can do it all online. (The safety course is not an alternative to a driver’s license, it is an additional requirement.)
- It should go without saying, but always wear an approved helmet and safety gear while riding. And never ride impaired.
- Riding on private land without permission of the owner is trespassing, so stick to the trails. Use the Saskatchewan Snowmobile Trail Map to check the snow depth and grooming status of trails, plan your trip, and find facilities, like warming shelters, gas stations, and repair shops.
- Common sense can go a long way toward keeping your snowmobiling adventure incident-free. Ride at a speed that’s appropriate for the conditions and go slower at night or when visibility is poor. Keep an eye out for grain bags and white silage bales, which can blend in with snow banks on the prairies.
Check the Snowmobiling in Saskatchewan Handbook for more details, then go for a rip!