I have been on a mission since moving to back to Saskatchewan a year and a half ago. My mission? To discover, explore, and share all the amazing outdoor adventures that families can enjoy together in Saskatchewan. My most recent discovery was the Massold Clay Canyons.

Hiking Massold Clay Canyons

In Saskatchewan, it can be hard to find information about all the cool places to explore. Why is is so hard to find information about some of these amazing landscapes located in Saskatchewan?

Part of me wonders if it is a cultural attitudes of people living here. Part of us wants to share with the world the wonders of Saskatchewan but it is mixed with a small desire to keep them secret. Let the world think that Saskatchewan is flat and that there is nothing to do here. Then we avoid overcrowding our natural spaces.

In fact, sometimes I feel that way about living here as well. Do I share these amazing places or keep them for myself?

Just like many of the unique places in Saskatchewan, the Massold Canyons are one of the hidden gems in Southern Saskatchewan located just an hour from Regina, SK.

I first heard about the Massold Clay Canyons when I moved to Regina. They seem to pop out of nowhere after almost 91 km of driving past farmer’s fields. The canyons are located and can be accessed at the Claybank Brick Plant and National Historic Site.

Typically there are also tours of the old brick plant that opened in 1914 but unfortunately it is closed for the year due to everything going on in the world. Instead, visitors can go and hike the Clay Canyons, and enjoy a treat at the Bunkhouse Cafe and Gift Shop.

Explore more of Southern Saskatchewan and check out these Provincial Parks.

Hiking the Massold Clay Canyons

Massold Canyon Family Hike Saskatchewan

I decided to take my two girls age 5 and 7 to Massold Clay Canyons myself as a “before the start of school adventure”. When they were little we would go on at least 1-2 adventures like this a week together. I remember when they were babies and they would sleep the majority of our hikes whereas now we experience the adventures together at their pace.

I love it.

We struggled at the beginning to cover the .65 km to the first Clay Pit but then the girls left me to climb as I pulled out my camera. I looked up and they were gone exploring. I ended up having to chase them around as they enjoyed bouldering. My heart was so happy when the girls and I hiked to the first Clay Canyon. We started climbing and exploring immediately.

Massold Clay Canyons Saskatchewan

Everything you need to know about hiking the canyons

Cost: $5 kids 6+, $10 adults, $6 seniors, $25 family pass, $20 single season pass, $30 family season pass

Closed: September 28th (Season ticket holders can access the canyons anytime of the year. Just note that the gate does close and you will have to access it from the East side)
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Distance: 5 km + (out and back, and loop options)
Elevation: minimal (If climbing the clay canyons there will be some elevation
Hike Highlights: Mountain Views, Cirque, Pond, Creek, Larch Trees
Facilities: Thursday-Sunday the Bunkhouse Cafe and Gift Shop is open during the season.
Optional Gear: All-terrain stroller, double all-terrain stroller.
TrailRider Rating: Easy

Insider Tip for Families

If you have small children then consider bringing an all terrain stroller. The first .65 km can feel very long and it would be easier to let them out of the stroller to explore once you have arrived at the first clay canyon. You may need to leave the stroller behind after Clay Pit 2 or 3 if you want to continue exploring.

There is very little shade and the hike is in direct sunlight. A hot day could be very challenging with little kids. Pack hats, and sunscreen.

There is quicksand that can be found off the main hiking area. It is marked by pink tape and on the map that is provided.

I have to pause and take a moment to highlight this photo. It was taken by my 7 year old!

Massold Clay Canyons Saskatchewan
Photo Credit: Etta Mang – 7 years old

Getting There

South for 40 kilometres until you reach signs for Avonlea SK-334. Turn right onto Avonlea SK-334 and continue straight for 48 km. There are a few bends in the road so it is important to make sure to continue on the SK-334. At the signs for the Claybank Brick Plant National Historic site turn left. Continue on to the end of the road about 1.7 km until you see a sign for Claybank Brick Plant National Historic. Turn right and drive to the visitor parking spot.

Trailhead

The trail starts behind the brick plant on the road. From there you will soon cross another road to continue straight on the wide trail.

Claybank Brick Plant National Hisotric Site

Trail Experience

One of the magical parts about hiking around the Massold Clay Canyons is that you can explore and hike anywhere. You do not need to stay on the trail. However, there is a trail of sorts to follow to view all of the clay pits. When we were there we saw only six other people exploring.

Warning: Use caution as you explore the clay pits. While the mounds feel really strong, the clay can crumble under pressure and cause an ankle to twist. Do not go into any holes or caves as the clay could break and fall down while you are in there.

Soon after starting the hike at Massold Canyons, brick piles can be found on the left hand side. My girls enjoyed checking them out up close and hiking through the tall grass.

Activities in Saskatchewan

Continue up the road until you reach a junction. Stay left at the first junction. At the second junction there is the option of turning left and following the old road or continue to the the first clay pits. I suggest going right and hiking to Clay Pit 2.

Massold Clay Canyons Saskatchewan

After exploring the Clay Pit 2, continue down the thin easy trail with grass on either side to Clay Pit 3. Enjoy exploring the pit. From there, hike to Clay Pit 4.

Clay Pit 4 was my five year olds favourite place to explore. It also has many cracks that could cause injuries. Did I let my kids still climb up ? I sure did but I did have to spot them a few times, especially when we went underneath the small arch.

Massold Clay Canyons Saskatchewan

Clay Pit 4 was where our adventure had to come to an end. The girls were tired and we had already spent a few hours exploring. We started our hike back the same way we came making sure to climb all the Clay pits again.

I am excited that we still have more exploring to do at Massold Clay Canyons as a family.

Hiking Massold Clay Canyons

The girls really want to come back with Cam. I am pretty sure my husband was just a little jealous of this adventure. I want to check out the Clay Pit 5 and the quicksand. I also want to tackle the trails from the East Gate and explore around Crocus Hill. The more I dive into Saskatchewan, the more I am excited to learn about all the adventures we can take together as a family.

Short Video of Hiking Massold Clay Canyons


For more information check out the Claybank Brick Plant and Historic Site here.

Explore more of Southern Saskatchewan and check out these Provincial Parks.

A complete guide to Buffalo Pound Provincial Park

A complete guide to Echo Valley Provincial Park

Visiting Banff, Canmore, or Calgary?

Buy the paperback book Hikes for Families: A Guide to the Canadian Rockies here.

Purchase (Ebook) Hikes for Families: A Guide to the Canadian Rockies here.

Hikes for Families
Hiking Massold Clay Canyons
Hiking Massold Clay Canyons
annika mang
By Annika Mang
Join and receieve a FREE Snowboarding Guide for Toddlers and Preschoolers
I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
SIGN UP AND RECEIVE A FREE EBOOK (SNOWBOARDING GUIDE FOR TODDLERS/PRESCHOOLERS)
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *