[MEDIUM] Scalp Creek Natural Area

Scalp Creek Natural Area is a frost-active site with palsas, thermokarst, micro-hummocky and pockmarked terrain. It is 8 km northwest of the Ya Ha Tinda Ranch which is approximately 70 km west of Sundre.


Scalp Creek NA 2005-09-02 (TBlake)
Scalp Creek NA 2005-09-02 (TBlake)

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

This natural area is a frost-active site with palsas, thermokarst, micro-hummocky & pockmarked terrain; sub-alpine colluvium, fluvial, morainal & organic terrain; grassland & wet meadows; Engelmann spruce-alpine fir-lodgepole pine stands; dwarf birch shrubland.

Arctic Alberta? Palsas are peat mounds with a permanently frozen peat and mineral soil core [1]. Thermokarst is a type of terrain characterised by very irregular surfaces of marshy hollows and small hummocks formed as ice-rich permafrost thaws [2]. Both of these geological phenomenon are typical in a polar or subpolar zone. As a result, they are unique for Alberta and, like permafrost, sensitive to disturbance.

OHV’s and Permafrost. Unfortunately, areas close to this NA are popular spots for motorized traffic and this NA is at risk for extreme disturbances as a result [3].

Site Statistics

Site NameScalp Creek
Site TypeNatural Area
SubtypeOrder-in-council (OC)
Natural Region(s)Alpine; Subalpine
O.C. No. (Land Ref. Manual)327/90
PASite ID (Map Ref #)464
Site # (Parks Website)567
Total Area716.21 ha. (1769.78 ac.)
Recreation Activitiesnone noted
Operated ByParks Division
Notes and Comments
Statistics and Details for Scalp Creek Natural Area
Scalp Creek Site Map (Government of Alberta)
Scalp Creek Site Map (Government of Alberta)


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 – Scalp Creek Natural Area | Alberta Parks (All links accessed on 2023-01-21).

  1. Palsa – Wikipedia
  2. Thermokarst – Wikipedia
  3. Bighorn Backcountry Cutoff Creek Area Trail Map March 2017 (davidthompsoncountry.ca)

Further Reading

  • Scalp Creek NA 2005-09-02 (TBlake)
  • Scalp Creek NA 2005-09-02 (TBlake)
  • Scalp Creek NA 2005-09-02 (TBlake)
  • Scalp Creek NA 2005-09-02 (TBlake)

Editing, Review and Silence Procedure

  1. FRANK: Publish page
  2. HUBERT/PATSY: Assign page for editing by update tbd in the Title (4-
  3. Review for readability and alignment to SAPAA organizational reputation.
  4. Best available image
  5. Review for accuracy including:
    1. Correct map and site statistics
    2. Area size is correct
    3. Standards (e.g. use of hyphens, spelling, etc.)
    4. References are accessible and and notes match
  6. Review for formatting, e.g.: Centered captions, No empty blocks
  7. TEAM: Last walk through
    1. Any final discussion or notes
    2. Remove [name] from title
    3. Add to log book for silence procedure
    4. Delete these notes.

1 thought on “[MEDIUM] Scalp Creek Natural Area

  1. Phrank P.

    Scalp Creek is a pretty rugged and isolated place. I took a mountain bike up the access trail from the Ya Ha Tinda gate to the SEast corner of the NA but that’s where I had to turn back. One would need a couple of days to get into the Natural Area and see it properly. I believe it’s popular with equestrians. The photos are from September 2, 2005 and most were taken on the way into the NA. (T.Blake, email to SAPAA, January, 2023).



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