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Activities in the Cypress Hills

What's Happening in the Park This Week?

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This summer, you can find up to date Cypress Hills (Elkwater) information in a weekly event post, right here on tourismmedicinehat.com. Including weekly challenges, DIY activity guides, and much more. Each week there will be an event post showing the featured trails, photo challenge and links to other activities that will be happening in the Park over the weekend.

 

Spot the Spot

The image above is this week's photo challenge. Recognize this location? Head out to the park to find it. If you'd like to share, take a picture and share it with @tourismmedicinehat and @AlbertaParks on Social Media.

 

Bike Trail Feature

Looking for a new trail to explore in the Cypress Hills. Follow along as staff in the park share a featured trail every week over the summer. Its a great way to experience different areas & trails in the park. 

Elkwater Little decent followed by a big one -  This route starts off at the visitor centre before heading up tower trail and cobble miner to the lower part of last grizzly. It then heads over on rangers and all the way up cobble miner followed by a ride down Mazama Drop. Last there is an ice cream stop at the beach at the end.

 

Hiking Trail Feature

Looking for a new hiking trail to explore in the Cypress Hills. Follow along as staff in the park share a featured trail every week over the summer. Its a great way to experience different areas & trails in the park. 

Police Point Slump - Police Point Slump, which occurred along the north escarpment of the plateau, is the largest historic landslide in the Cypress Hills.

The spring of 1966 was excessively wet. The land was saturated with moisture, resulting in the occurrence of a small slump on the hillside near Police Point.

Then in 1967 after several weeks of cool weather and 1.5 to 3 meters of snowfall, there was a dramatic rise in temperature in May so the snow melt was extreme. Water from the melting snow seeped through the porous covering of loess soil and into the permeable conglomerate bedrock below, filling all the holes in it and the underlying layers. Like a sponge filled with water, the soil and bedrock was very heavy. The stress on the weaker bentonite and bentonitic clay at the base of the Cypress Hills Formation (the Battle and Eastend Formations) became too much so the slope structure could not support the extra weight. There was a shearing and sliding at the clay layer and a section of the plateau slumped downward along a fracture line. A mass wasting* of 1.5 to 2 million cubic meters occurred on or shortly after May 14, 1967. Along the east side, there was a catastrophic earthflow destroying the forest cover and leaving open soil. The west side remained intact and slumped as a unit leaving the forest cover intact.

Since 1967, Police Point Slump continues to change through mass wasting and erosion of the scarps and headward erosion of gullies. The main scarp is slowly retreating as the matrix of sand is washed out of the conglomerate caprock. The earthflow deposits continue to accumulate at the lower part of the landslide.

The strongest evidence of continuing erosion of sections of this site is the lack of vegetation after over forty years. Uprooted tree seedlings suggest that revegetation during quiet periods has been thwarted by debris flows, shallow landsliding and slumping and gully erosion during subsequent wetter years. The slumping is still happening, but very slowly.

 

Cypress Hills Activity Pages & Checklists 

More info on the Cypress Hills 

Covid-19 info