Grande Prairie, Alberta : Kleskun Hill Park
Peace Country, Northern Alberta, Canada
Kleskun Hill Park is a geological sightseeing and historical destination located east of Grande Prairie, Alberta near the village of Bezanson in the Peace Country region of Northern Alberta, Canada.
Kleskun Hill protects some of Alberta's northern most badlands, wapiti rock formations, wildflowers and the last surviving native grasslands in the Grande Prairie region. It was because of the possible disappearance of the native grasslands that the 93 hectare park was established in 1979.
The Kleskun Hills were first created over 70 million years ago from the accumulation of sand, volcanic ash and clay. Over time the layers hardened forming shale, coal and sandstone known as the Wapiti Formation. The retreat of the Ice Age carved out the hills and the wind and rain polished the hills.
From the parking lot a designated walking trail explores the badland and grassland park. Sections of the trail were once used by the earliest settlers in the region to access the north of the province.
The Kleskun Hills trail follows along a dried up, cracked lake bed leading to the top of hills and around the base of sand dunes. Many of the dunes are signed and named.
Along the trail there are many wildflowers and cacti. At last count there were 160 different types of wildflowers in the Kleskun Hills Park including the popular wood lily. Take pictures. Do not pick so others may enjoy.
The walking trails exploring the hills lead to various viewpoints providing far reaching views looking out over the badlands. On the far end of the trail is a First Nation Burial Ground where the Beaver and Cree People once buried their dead.
Near the parking lot entrance to the park is a playground, picnic area and a historic pioneer town.
How to Get to Kleskun Hills Park:
Travel to the community of Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada. From the community travel east on Highway #43 towards Edmonton. On your left look for a gravel road marked as RR #41 and turn. Follow the gravel road for about 5 kilometres to the parking area.