Maps and Climate
and Geology
Forest Ecology
Grassland Ecology
Wetland Ecology
Human History
Provincial Park

Maps and Climate

A look at the Cypress Hills and
Elkwater Lake from a small aircraft.


Maps - Where are the Cypress Hills?
This Landsat image, taken on October 25, 1982, straddles the Alberta-Saskatchwan provincial border in Canada. The Cypress Hills are located in the bottom portion of the image and can be recognized by three black objects in a line, the largest of which is to the left. This large, black, curving object is the Alberta portion of Cypress Hills Provincial Park. The Hills are shown as black because trees/forests are less reflective of solar radiation than the surrounding grasslands. The scale is 1:1,000,000.
From Landforms of Alberta by D.G. Smith (1987).

The Cypress Hills are located in the south eastern corner of Alberta. This map indicates the natural regions in the province of Alberta. The Cypress Hills are represented by the yellow (mixed grass) and purple (montane) anomalies within the cream (dry mixed grass) prairies. This map was produced by the Government of Alberta in A Framework For Alberta's Special Places.
To access Cypress Hills Provincial Park from Alberta, travel east from Medicine Hat, Alberta, on the Trans-Canada Highway. Turn south on Highway 41 just before Irvine, Alberta. To access the Park from Saskatchwan, travel west on the Trans-Canada Highway from Maple Creek, Saskatchewan and turn south on Highway 41 just west of Irvine, Alberta. The Park is 66 km from Medicine Hat, Alberta, 99 km from Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, and 80 km from Wildhorse Border Crossing (Canada-USA border).

Map of the Park

Trail Map

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Climate - What is it like at the Cypress Hills?
"On July 28, 1850, Captain John Palliser wrote in his journal: 'These hills (the Cypress Hills) are a perfect oasis in the desert we have travelled'." (Beaty, 1975)
"The climate of the Cypress Hills area is one of dramatic extremes, fluctuating greatly from summer to winter."
+30 degrees C (+100 degrees F) to -45 degrees C (-50 degrees F)
(Hildebrandt and Hubner, 1994)

The average rainfall is 36 cm (14 inches), most of which falls in June.

Onefour Research Station - Weather Reports

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4

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