I hadn’t visited the pierced rocks since my parents took my sister and I when I was a child.
We spent the night in Woodlawn Regional Park Campground just south of Estevan. It is a pretty campground with all the usual amenities and an added bonus was the well treed valley and campsites right on the Souris River. The weather was perfect and there were no mosquitoes even though we were close to the water.
The next morning we made the 20 km trek to the town of Roche Percee (southeast of Estevan) in search of the rocks that had some historical significance for the province and country.
Historical references to Roche Percee began in 1872 when the Boundary Commission made note of the unique rock formations while they were surveying the border between Canada and the United States.
Then, while following the maps made by the Boundary Commission, the NWMPolice created Short Creek Camp here during their March West trek to Fort McLeod, Alberta in 1874. They made use of the coal in the exposed banks of the Souris.
I thought this one resembled an Easter Island face.
Do these hills have eyes?
Indigenous people had inscribed petroglyphs (rock carvings) on the sandstone at Roche Percee for generations. Later, early European explorers also left their marks on the rocks. Sadly, since that time, many visitors have obliterated earlier markings.
Even though southern SK was experiencing a severe drought, wildflowers flourished in their native environment. The day was warm but the aspen groves provided shade. Each time I thought that was the last one, we found another trail. This one must be the last… but no, there’s more…!
Frost cracking was evident on this sandstone “log” that was once a sandbar in a river. Wind and water have eroded the exposed surfaces. The pathway now leads us between.
Dolphin or tortoise? You decide.
Coal mining dredge still operates nearby just across the river.
Roche Percee is an outcrop of the Ravenscrag Formation. It was eroded by water and wind causing voids in the soft sandstone. Isn’t nature amazing?!
I hadn’t visited the pierced rocks since my parents took my sister and I when I was about 7-8 years old. At that time, I was too young to really appreciate the forces that created this Saskatchewan wonder but I’m sure I enjoyed exploring the rocks as much then as I did this summer.