Kleskun Hill and Kleskun Creek (PNT) Natural Areas

Kleskun Hill NA is a unique badland geological formation in Northern Alberta. The site is sacred to the local First Nations. The Kleskun Creek NA (PNT) is about 20 km to the northeast, near the confluence of Kleskun Creek with the Smoky River.

Kleskun Hill Site Map (Government of Alberta)
Kleskun Hill Site Map (Government of Alberta)

Map of the Area

Any maps and map views are for general information only. Do not rely on them for navigation or to determine legal boundaries.

Other Information

The Kleskun Hills rise 100 metres above the plains surrounding Grande Prairie and contain the most extensive and diverse areas of native upland prairie vegetation remaining in the Peace region. The layers of clay, sandstone and coal exposed here, in Alberta’s northernmost badlands, date back to the age of the dinosaurs.

The site has a mixture of grassland and parkland plants and animals including Western Meadowlarks, Upland Sandpipers, Vesper Sparrows, fragile prickly-pear cactus and a diversity of grasses and wildflowers. The area is covered mainly by dry grassland and contains plant species that are either rare or at the northern limit of their range (e.g. fragile prickly-pear), (Alberta Parks website, 2012).

Kleskun Creek (PNT) is about 20 km northeast of Kleskun Hill NA. The creek flows into the nearby Smoky River.

The name Kleskun, likely Beaver in origin, means “white mud”, referring to the bentonite clay found at the site. By the time George Dawson from the Geological Survey of Canada passed through the area in the 1870s, Kleskun Hill had long been an aboriginal campsite supported by the abundance of saskatoons and the buffalo which grazed on the nearby prairie. It is the site of a stand during a running battle between the Beaver and Sekanni tribes. The grave at the north end of the hills is said to contain remains of Beaver warriors who died in that stand (Dorthea Calverley collection) [1].

Kleskun Wildlife is a mixture of grassland- and forest-inhabiting species unique to the region. At least 50 different birds can be found in the Kleskun Hills. The most common large mammals in the Kleskun area are Mule Deer. Herds are most visible during the winter when they move out into the open to browse on juniper exposed by blowing snow. Moose can also be spotted moving through the area and Coyotes and Snowshoe Hares are regular visitors. Of the 31 species of butterfly found at Kleskun, four have populations that are known only from the native grasslands of the Peace region [2].

Kleskun Hill Campground is operated by the County of Grande Prairie. The Kleskun Museum is also located adjacent to the site.

Site Statistics

Site NameKleskun Hill
Site TypeNatural Area
SubtypeOrder-in-council (OC)
Natural Region(s)Peace River Parkland
O.C. No. (Land Ref. Manual)597/87
PASite ID (Map Ref #)7
Site # (Parks Website)497
Total Area64.76 ha. (160.02 ac.)
Recreation Activitiescamping, hiking – front country, wildlife viewing
Operated ByGrande Prairie County (campground)/ Parks Division
Notes and Comments
Statistics and Details for Kleskun Hill Natural Area
Site NameKleskun Creek (PNT)
Site TypeNatural Area
SubtypeProtective Notation (PNT)
Natural Region(s)Dry Mixedwood
O.C. No. (Land Ref. Manual)N/A
PASite ID (Map Ref #)19
Site # (Parks Website)N/A
Total Area778.43 ha. (1923.55 ac.)
Recreation Activities
Operated By
Notes and Comments
Statistics and Details for Kleskun Creek (PNT) Natural Area


The following links are provided as a courtesy but are not verified or endorsed by SAPAA. Clicking on the link will cause you to leave the SAPAA website. Primary source of information is: Information & Facilities – Kleskun Hill Natural Area | Alberta Parks (All links accessed on 2022-12-11).

  1. Alberta Environment and Parks, Kleskun Hill Natural Area Management Plan, 2001.
  2. Peace Parkland Naturalists, Kleskun Hill – A Discovery Guide.

Further Reading

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