Cypress Lake, Sask – Recreation Site – Prairie Fishing & Boating At Its Best

Cypress Lake, Sask is truly one of the deep southwest’s best recreation areas and best kept secrets. With rolling hills to the north, natural prairie grass and farmland to the south, this prairie lake spans 7 miles out to the east/west tips and 2 miles out to the north/south at it’s widest area. The recreation site is off of Cypress Lake Road (between Consul and Cypress Hills Park), which can be accessed from #21 highway. Heglund Island, a bird sanctuary (which you cannot go on or too close to), prominently stands out of the lake to the east of the recreation site.

*Side note: Heglund Island was named after Peter Heglund who homesteaded south of Cypress Lake and the island back in 1912.*

 

cypress-lake-sask-rmofreno

Cypress Lake
Looking North to Cypress Lake from nearby farmland.

What makes this lake so appealing, is the fishing and boating! Predominately caught are walleye (approx 17″ for the most part in 2014), brown trout and the occasional jack. Most evenings anglers haul in their catch quota in the blink of an eye! A fish fillet station on site allows for cleaning and gutting your fish before taking them home for a delicious meal. Ice fishing is popular in the winter time.

Fishing at Cypress Lake Sask
Peaceful evening fishing off the rec site dock, the island is on the right hand side of the picture.

Waterskiing/wake-boarding, tubing and jet skiing are also popular activities on the lake. While the boat launch is in need of some repair, you rarely have to wait in line to get your boat in/out on the water, and the lake is large so there is plenty of space out on the water for your chosen activity. An afternoon boat trip around the island is a popular choice for sight seers.

Cypress Lake Rec Site
Blue skies & boating, looking towards Heglund Island
Cypress Lake Rec Site
Cypress Lake Boat launch and dock.
Cypress Lake Sask
Looking northwest over the lake.

Cypress Lake Sask

The beach area is comprised of small rocks with some sand. Boats can dock right up against the beach. Some people swim at the beach area…however certain areas have a high concentration of leeches! Leeches are not an issue when engaging in water sports further into the lake.

Playing in the water at Cypress Lake Rec Site
Playing in the water at Cypress Lake Rec Site

 

Cypress Lake at dusk
Cypress Lake beach area at dusk.

In 2014, a new outdoor toilet was installed close to the dock area, as well as the fish fillet station previously mentioned. A second dock should be en-route for the 2015 season. A second outdoor toilet is available close to the camping area. Camping is rustic camping, with no electricity and no running/potable water, so it is camp at your own risk.

Cypress Lake Rec Site
Looking south to the camping area.
Cypress Lake Rec Site
Outer area of the camping area.


PROS:

The Lake: Beautiful, serene, large and quiet!

Costs: $0, but donations to Friends of Cypress Lake, a non-profit/volunteer group that looks after the site (overseen by SaskParks), are welcome to help cover costs

CONS:

Bugs: At certain times of the year, the fish flies are unbearable! Luckily they don’t bite and their life cycle is very short and a few days later they are less in numbers, and sometimes there is none at all. They tend to congregate over grassy areas, so once out on the boat it is not an issue.

Boat Launch: Plans are in the works to improve the boat launch, but currently is a bit of a rough go, especially for some trailers.

Water: No running or potable water

NOTE: Cypress Lake is NOT located in Cypress HILLS interprovincial park, it is south of the park by about half an hour.

 

All images copyright Prairie Trail Rentals, except map (Google Maps)

Cypress Hills Park Campsite Reviews

We often get asked what campsite we recommend for Cypress Hills Park, Saskatchewan. Well, here is an answer to that question…sort of!

The answer is not cut and dry because:

A. Not everyone is planning on getting up at 7 am on SaskParks opening reservation day AND luck out on the slow, overburdened reservation site to get the best spot!

B. Everyone has different likes and requirements in a campsite.

So because the “best” locations often book up minutes after booking opens, especially for busy times of the summer, I decided to just analyze the camp areas (eg: Terrace, Warlodge, Rainbow, etc), instead of actual campsites within the areas. I should note, this doesn’t include the group campsites (Sleepy Hollow, Hidden Valley or Lone Pine) or Deer Hollow, which does not have any electrical sites. So, in no particular order:

WARLODGE

Warlodge is mostly lodgepole pine of unless you are on the outer west edge, where it’s young poplar stands reaching for the sky. Some sites have grassy areas, and others pine needle floors. There is lots of room between most of the sites in Warlodge and it seems to book up pretty fast once reservations are available.

AMENITIES: No shower house, but there is a path to the Pine Hill shower house. The playground has a tire swing, and play apparatus with a slide.

Cypress Hills - Warlodge Campground
Cypress Hills - Warlodge Campground
Cypress Hills - Meadows Campground

TERRACE

Terrace is the hilliest of all the camp areas. It is an older camp area with towering lodgepole pine and spruce. If you start at the highest point in the campground and roll a ball down the hill, it will just keep going until it gets to the other end of the campground! Most sites have adequate space in-between sites.

AMENITIES: Shower house is a decent size, located in the middle of Terrace. The playground has a tire swing, and play apparatus with a slide.

Cypress Hills - Terrace Campground
Cypress Hills - Terrace Campground

MEADOWS

Meadows lives up to its name! Parts of the campground are a large meadow with few trees and other parts are young poplar stands, with sites nestled neatly into the trees. Some site are far apart, others are close together. This camp area is huge! The terrain is varied and it is split into two groups: “A” and “B”.

AMENITIES: Meadows boasts the best shower facility in the park! It’s new and spacious inside. Also, right next to the showers, is the best playground in Cypress Hills (as voted by my 5 year old)! It’s a huge, deep sandbox numerous pieces of playground equipment in it, though no swings. Close to the free firewood lot. Most sites have water hookup or shared water.

Cypress Hills - Meadows 2
Cypress Hills - Meadows Campground

Cypress Hills

RAINBOW

Rainbow is predominately pine trees, with some pull through sites and some not. Some sites are close together, and others are not. This camp area looks like a true forest with its overhead canopy! Rainbow has a few full hook up sites, which is great for longer stays.

AMENITIES: Nice shower house. No playground though, only a set of swings.

Cypress Hills - Rainbow Campground

 

LODGEPOLE

This is the smallest camp area, with only 25 spots. The sites are pretty close together, but most are pull through and the outer ring beyond the sites is all tall lodgepole pine trees with a pine needle forest floor – a great place to play! One great thing about Lodgepole, is that it is a short walk to the lake (Loch Leven) and the core area of Cypress Hills Centre Block. Can’t beat that!

AMENITIES: No shower house. No playground, but very close to swingset.
Cypress Hills - Lodgepole Campground

Here is the general area map from the SaskParks website:

Cypress Hills Campground Map

Because the areas are so varied in Cypress Hills, it really just depends on what you like! Luckily the SaskParks Reserve a Site website has pictures of all the individual campsites, with some details about each site such as privacy, sun/shade, special features and so on. My suggestion if you plan on camping during the busiest season: when you are bored in the winter, use that website to make a top 10 list of your favourite campsites and then try and nab one of those when reservations open! Or alternatively, camp during a non-busy time, such as early June or late August and you will have a lot more choice!