Road trip from Saskatoon to Winnipeg
There is always something adventurous about road trips, something spectacular ~ the wind that touches your face, the lovely music in the background, oh and the excitement for the next pit stop. Here is presenting the road trip from Saskatoon to Winnipeg, spanning 486 miles and a journey that passes through many beautiful Prairie towns, to make your time unforgettable!
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Road Trip from Saskatoon to Winnipeg
Saskatoon to Winnipeg ~ 486 miles or 782 km
Saskatoon > Yorkton > Langenburg > Russell > Portage La Prairie > Winnipeg
We drove from Saskatoon to Winnipeg and it takes about 8 hours 10 mins by car and we used the Yellow-head highway route.
A special aspect of driving through the Prairies is the relaxing and serene drive. The road can be a great place to sit back, drive and relax.
There are 3 provinces in Canada that are part of the Prairies – Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta.
READ: How to plan the perfect road trip in Canada
Start from Saskatoon Saskatchewan
Saskatoon is located in the Prairie province of Saskatchewan. It is often nicknamed as the ‘Paris of the Prairies’, because of the many bridges over the South Saskatchewan River.
We lived in Saskatoon for 4+ years, and have taken many road trips in the province, as well as to Alberta and Manitoba – the other two Prairie states.
If you are visiting Saskatoon for the first time, and wish to explore the city, then do check out these amazing things as part of your itinerary.
- Explore the Meewasin Trail, located on the riverside. In it is the Wanuskewin Heritage Park, with exhibitions exploring indigenous culture.
- Saskatoon’s small downtown is worth a visit for dinners, or shopping (Midtown Plaza)
- From there, the river valley is also within a short walk. You can embark on walking trails and admire the South Saskatchewan river. During summers, you will find farmer’s markets, food fests, literary fests organized by/near the river banks
- One of the stunning hotels in the country is Saskatoon’s Delta Hotel by Marriott Bessborough (or Delta Bessborough). Although a little pricier to stay ($360 CAD+ a night), however you can head there for an afternoon tea or evening drinks – you won’t be disappointed.
- Near the Delta Bessborough hotel is the Kiwanis Memorial Park, located by the riverside.
- Saskatoon is also home to many museums and art galleries including the REMAI Art gallery, located by the river
- Speaking of museums, our favorite is the Western Development Museum – the museum showcases permanent and temporary exhibits about Saskatchewan’s growth through the industrial revolution from railways to the period of the British rule
- Lastly, don’t forget to admire (and photograph) the bridges. Many of the bridges have been standing there for a century, like the Traffic Bridge, which was constructed in 1906, and was closed in 2010, when we used to live in Saskatoon. Other notable bridges include Broadway Bridge, University Bridge.
So back to our road trip, we started from Saskatoon at 9:00 am in the morning.
If you are planning to stop by some of the locations listed in this road trip itinerary, it is recommended to start an hour or so early.
Stop 1: Yorkton, Saskatchewan
From Saskatoon, in about 3.50 hours we reached Yorkton. This was our first stop.
We reached Yorkton at 12:30 pm. Time for some coffee and sandwiches.
Yorkton is a small town in the province of Saskatchewan, with a population of around 16,343 (census 2016). The image above reflects the beautiful heritage murals across the town, depicting the life of by-gone days.
You can definitely stop in Yorkton to visit some of their attractions (that’s why starting early from Saskatoon helps. We have explored Yorkton on its own – weekend trip – so we didn’t stop for sightseeing here).
Here are things you can explore in Yorkton as part of your road trip to Winnipeg
- Yorkton also has a Western Development Museum, just like Saskatoon. We have visited this museum as well, and it is on the similar lines of the Saskatoon WDM museum, but it is still worth a visit, as they have different exhibits
- If you wish to stretch your legs, head to the York Lake Regional Park for a quick stroll (or play). It is a nice place to hang out with friends and family on a warm summer day
- Hand Painted Casino will grab your attention as you drive in the town of Yorkton.
Stop 2: Langenburg, Saskatchewan
From Yorkton, make your way to Langenburg, second pit-stop.
Langenburg lies on the Yellowhead Highway (Highway 16) in the southeastern part of the province, 15 km west of the Manitoba border, at the junction with Highway 8. The current population stands at about 1,165.
We reached Langenburg at 2:00 pm (Straight driving from Yorkton to Langenburg is roughly 55 minutes)
We reserve junk-food/fast-food eats for road trips 🙂 So, in Langenburg, we stopped at A&W restaurant for Root Beer and Chubby Chicken!
Other than the fast food chains, there are a lot of fine dining options as well like Kitchen Chef, Golden Bowl, etc.
After this break, we are leaving behind the province of Saskatchewan and heading to Manitoba.
Stop 3: Russell, Manitoba
After lunch we headed to Russell. This town is in Manitoba. It takes 3.75 hours to reach Russell from Langenburg.
Russell is approximately 15 km (9 miles) from the Saskatchewan border. The population of Russell is about 1,611 people (2011 census).
Russell is known for the Manitoba’s Beef and Barley Festival, which is held annually in October. This small town is predominantly an agricultural community, with grain farming and cattle ranching.
We stopped at the town for an ice-cream at Dairy Queen, before continuing on.
Stop 4: Portage La Prairie, Manitoba
Portage La Prairie was our next stop. Drive from Russell to Portage La Prairie is close to 3 hours.
We reached Portage La Prairie in the evening. Outside the window, the sun was setting. Being closer to the border, there are shops and gas stations lined up. There are also open fields, beautiful countryside…… long winding roads, my music, tea and the view outside.
There are a few amazing things to look out for in Portage La Prairie, from the world’s Largest Coca-Cola Can, Splash Island Water Park, Island Park to name a few.
We did another quick stop here, filled the gas tank and some tea into our bodies 🙂
We are now pretty close to our destination ~ Winnipeg. Portage La Prairie to Winnipeg is another hour’s drive.
Stop 5: Winnipeg Manitoba
We reached Winnipeg, at around 8:00 pm or so and headed to our Downtown Hotel Radisson. We still had some energy left, and so we headed to capture the Esplanade Riel Bridge, under the night lights.
We stayed in Winnipeg for the next 2 nights, and explored more of Winnipeg. Some of the highlights of the weekend itinerary include
- Of course, the Esplanade Riel Bridge. It is a pedestrian bridge, named after the 1848 revolutionary Louis Riel. It connects downtown Winnipeg to St Boniface
- St Boniface is the French part of the Winnipeg, you can clearly see the shift/change from Saskatchewan’s countryside to the eastern side of Canada
- Hanging out in the downtown area is a must. Downtown is also home to the MTS centre
- The Forks are a National Historic Site of Canada and is a must visit. We spent hours here, and also walked along the river valley
- Assiniboine Park also deserves a place in your itinerary. Don’t forget to stop by especially in the evening and enjoy the greenery and their walking trails
- Lastly, pay a visit to the Royal Canadian Mint located here. Highly recommend a tour inside the mint, and/or to purchase some souvenirs to bring back home. Visit the Mint on your final day, as you depart from Winnipeg.
Map: Saskatoon to Winnipeg Road trip
Here is a Google map of the road trip from Saskatoon to Winnipeg. You can save it and follow along, as you go
When to take this road trip?
We recommend embarking on this road trip in warmer months, preferably May to August when the weather and road conditions are nicer for a long trip. There are so many things that you can enjoy in Winnipeg by being outdoors, including Winnipeg Beach (if you have time), so we recommend traveling here in the summer.
Packing for the road trip
- Weekender bag – A day bag or a weekender bag is useful to carry your clothing or sightseeing needs. Or something to store road trip essentials. Here is a 25L day pack.
- Clothes – Pack essential clothing for the trip. If it is a 2-day road trip, pack 2 sets of shirts/tops, one pant, underwear, light jacket
- Comfortable shoes – Wear comfortable shoes. It is helpful while you are behind the wheel or taking rest stops (for a stroll) or out and about exploring
- Travel Mug – Coffee and tea lovers, pack your travel mug, and refill it on the go!
- Water bottle – Super important, carry your water bottle. Stay hydrated!
- Sunglasses – The sun can be a little harsh while driving in Canada, especially in the afternoon or evenings. Carry and wear your favorite sunglasses. Here is my favorite one which is made of polarized glasses
- Sunscreen – Summer or winter, sunscreen is a must.
- Hand cream – We keep a hand cream inside our car, cause summer or winter, our hands get super dry on the roads in Canada.
- Emergency car kit – An emergency car kit is essential should things happen on the road. You can create one from scratch or buy one pre-pack from Amazon. Here is an emergency car kit from the Canadian government site. Either way, ensure you carry it on your road trip.
- Emergency first aid kit – Check the first aid kit inside the car (check for expiry dates). If you don’t have one, here is one that you can buy from Amazon.
- Dashboard mount for phone or GPS – Go hands-free while you are driving. Use a dash mount to keep your phone or GPS for navigation.
- GPS or navigation system – Don’t forget navigation systems or Google maps (offline) on your phone. Prepare it with your routes prior to your trip. It is also important to keep TomToms (or any navigation system) up-to-date.
- Charging cables – Unless your car has cable-free charging, it is important to pack one for your road trip. We do have wireless charging in our car, but it can only charge one at a time, so we also carry charging cables (to charge the second phone and to charge inside the hotel). Click to purchase yours
- Playlist – No road trip is complete without an amazing playlist.
- Camera – We always carry our camera on our trips. Our Sony mirrorless camera is usually the one that comes with us on our quick road trips. It is small, compact, and lightweight to carry around. You can also snap photos from the car (passenger duty!). Click to view our mirrorless camera.
- Cell-phone – Don’t forget your cell-phone. Stay connected with family, let them know where you are heading. Store the hotel or campsite contact information, plus roadside assistance number for emergencies.
- Car freshener – Refresh your car, using refresher. I LOVE vanilla or lavender based fragrances, super yummy (smells pretty haha). View car refreshers here.
- Small pillow – Salil never forgets to pack a small pillow for me! And I love it, nice when you want to relax whilst soaking in the views. Click to grab your travel pillow!
- Blanket – An emergency blanket is included in the kit/s mentioned above. This is completely optional and you can pack a proper blanket. We always pack one. I am always cold while the A/C is on, so it is super handy for me.
- Road trip games – License plate, sing-along, card games (for kids)
Road journeys (near or far) are always beautiful. The night before is always exciting! Pack and wake up to start the journey, no work emails, and no deadlines. The sun shines, grab coffee/tea/juice, and play some music and head to your destination!
What else makes road journeys unique? Share your thoughts!
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