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Saskatchewan Highway #11: Saskatoon to Regina

What to See and do Saskatoon to Regina

This route is a twinned highway that connects Saskatoon on the Yellowhead Route with Regina, the provincial Capital on the Main Route of the Trans-Canada, and traverses prime prairie farmland between two large lakes in the southern part of the province.

Yellowhead Highway Overview: Saskatoon to Regina

Saskatoon to Regina

Highway 11 stretches from Regina through Saskatoon to just south of Prince Albert. In 2001, Saskatchewan’s Hwy 11 was renamed the ‘Louis Riel Trail’ in honour of Louis Riel, who led the 1885 Northwest Resistance and was executed in Regina for his participation in the uprising. This itinerary covers the 270 km between Saskatoon and Regina, that should take about 3:30 hours.

You begin your journey in Saskatoon, consider exploring the city’s attractions before heading south. The South Saskatchewan River, the University of Saskatchewan campus, and the Meewasin Valley Trail are notable highlights.

Dundurn is a small town south of Saskatoon along Highway 11, about 45 km SE of Saskatoon. While it may not have major tourist attractions, it reflects the rural character of the region. Located about 48 km southeast of Saskatoon (just east of Highway 11, via #211), Blackstrap Provincial Park features Blackstrap Lake, offering opportunities for boating, fishing, and other water activities. The park is a peaceful spot for outdoor enthusiasts.

You will pass through Hanley, a small town along the highway, that is typical of the agricultural communities of Saskatchewan. Continuing south, you’ll pass through Kenaston, 80 km SE of Saskatoon, which provides north access to Last Mountain Lake. At Chamberlain (173 km SE of Saskatoon, 100 km NW of Regina), you access highway 2 which provides north access to Lake Diefenbaker, which is a reservoir behind the Gardiner Dam on the South Saskatchwan River whre it is joined by the Qu’Appelle River.  Lake Diefenbaker is 225 km long, has a surface of 430 sq km.  It has world-class fishing, full service marinas, cozy resort towns, sandy beaches, multiple golf courses, extensive hiking trails, and campgrounds on every side of the lake.

Craven (which lies just north of Highway 11, and is about 234 km SE of Saskatoon or 40 km NW of Regina), is known for hosting the Craven Country Jamboree, an annual country music festival held in July. While the festival itself might not be happening during your drive, the town is part of the cultural landscape of the region. Craven is the best access to Last Mountain Lake, just north of the highway, which is one of the largest natural bodies of water in Saskatchewan, formed at the end of the last Ice Age. The lake is 93 km long as has a surface area of 215 sq km. While the lake itself may not be directly visible from the highway, there are recreational areas and parks around it, offering potential spots for outdoor activities. It is named for the “Last Mountain House” Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) trading post that was on its shores from 1869 to 1871. The town of Regina Beach is a popular resort community for prairie residents.

Lumsden  is a town 30 km NW of Regina, and lies on Highway 11, in a scenic location in the Qu’Appelle Valley. The highway continues through the Qu’Appelle Valley, providing beautiful prairie landscapes as you approach Regina.

The journey finishes in Regina, the capital city of Saskatchewan. Regina offers several attractions, including the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, the Legislative Building, Wascana Centre, and the RCMP Heritage Centre. Take the opportunity to explore the city’s cultural and historical sites before concluding your trip. You can choose the Regina Bypass to travel speedily to the west and south around the city

Saskatoon - Broadway Bridge - sliver (Ryan Booth)
Saskatoon - Broadway Bridge - sliver (Ryan Booth)

Saskatoon Big Circle Route

Saskatoon has a ring road, the Big Circle Route to move traffic around the city.

To get to the city’s business district from the northwest, you can just continue straight south (which becomes Idlewyld Drive W)/ Louis Riel Trail). To get to the University of Saskatchewan campus, head east on 16 and after crossing the river, head west on #5.

To get to the city’s business district from the southeast,head west on #11  and take the Idlewyld Drive exit.  To get to the University of Saskatchewan campus, head north on 16 and then west on #5. As you approach from the east, to get to the Saskatoon airport, it lies northwest of downtown, and to the SW of the Yellowhead.

Regina-Albert memorial Bridge-sliver (Spectrum Multimedia)
Regina-Albert memorial Bridge-sliver (Spectrum Multimedia)

History of the Saskatchewan Highway #11:  Saskatoon to Regina

The beginnings of this overland route was the Carlton Trail for  Red River carts that connected Fort Gary, Fort Ellice, Fort Carlton, Fort Battleford, and Fort Pitt.

The Qu’Appelle, Long Lake and Saskatchewan Railway connected Regina and Prince Albert through Saskatoon as early as 1890, and roughly followed the red river cart route.

By 1926, the highway map of Saskatchewan shows the route of Provincial Highway 11 following along the CNR line, but the actual route used township and range roads, so travel is zig-zag path with 90 degree angles betwen Regina and Saskatoon. In the early 1930s, a gravel highway was straightened and extended between Saskatoon and Regina .

Highway 11 was considered an important transportation route from a national perspective, and therefore received funding under the National Highways Project. The highway between Saskatoon and Regina was partially paved and initially oiled to create a dust-free all-weather surface. By 1952 the paving of Highway 11 between Saskatoon and Regins was completed.

In 1960, the section between Regina and Lumsden (31 km) was the first to be converted to a four lane twinned highway. By 1968, this weas extended from Regina to Chamberlain (88 km), and from Saskatoon to Dundurn (45 km ), and by 1978 to Regina to Davidson (145 km). In 1968, the section from Saskatoon north to Rosthern (26 km) and then in 2013 to Prince Albert was also twinned.

In 2019, the Regina Bypass was completed, which diverted truck and travel traffic about 5 km south of the Highway 1 Route, and connected to Highway 11 west of the Regina Airport

Route Elevation Chart

Yellowhead Elevation Chart for SK-Highway 11 Saskatoon-Regina
Yellowhead Elevation Chart for SK-Highway 11 Saskatoon-Regina

Map of Yellowhead Highway from Lloydminster to Saskatoon


Route Itinerary Details

Coming soon…