Enjoying more than 2,500 hours of sunlight each year, perched 721 meters (3,365 feet) above sea level, Medicine Hat is the nation's sunniest city, enjoying warm summers and mild winters.
Described as the oasis of the prairies, Medicine Hat is the metropolitan gateway to the Canadian Badlands, and is the perfect central location from which to explore the vast and diverse region.
Coined the Gas City in the early 1900s following the discovery of one of the continents largest natural gas wells below the settlement, history, arts, and culture remain important to the thriving municipality of 60,005 (2011). Visitors are welcomed into the heart of the city to view the Clay Industries National Historic District, take in the National Historic Site of St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, and enjoy the offerings of the Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre, which houses an award-winning theatre and two glistening modern galleries.
Visitors don't have to leave the city's limits to discover the area's wonders. Police Point Park, an early 1900s RCMP outpost turned wildlife sanctuary and nature centre, is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. The park's interpreters are on hand during business hours to help you discover the valley, nestled next to the South Saskatchewan River, which separates the citys north from south.
Just 66 kilometres from Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, the Gas City is a great central location from which to discover southeastern Alberta. The Cypress Hills offer opportunities for camping, hiking, mountain biking, sightseeing, wildlife viewing, fishing, boating, lake swimming, playing on the beach, golfing, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, and snowshoeing.
The majestic hoodoos of Dinosaur Provincial Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site) reach for the sky in hues of terra cotta, bronze, and amber. Little more than an hour's drive northwest of Medicine Hat is home to one of the most extensive dinosaur fossil fields in the world, unexpected croppings of cottonwood trees and buffalo-berry bushes, and one of the best places to watch avian species native to the prairies (warblers and woodpeckers for example) in their natural habitat.
Just north of Medicine Hat (1.6 kilometers) sits Echo Dale Regional Park. The Park welcomes visitors to explore 255 hectares (630 acres) of true prairie grasslands. The Park features endless walking trails, picnic sites, and two recreation lakes. Recreators appreciate large sandy beaches, grass lawns, volleyball courts, and supervised swimming in the summer. The park also presents families with an opportunity to relive the late 1800s by visiting the Woolfrey House, Ajax Mine, farm animals, Pony Barn, and Dairy Barn.
Visitors to Medicine Hat and region have a variety of shopping at their fingertips, with more than 100 independent shops. Whether choosing a favourite of six first class golf courses, finding a seat to take in pro rodeo action, or frolicking with your family at the citys brand new Family Leisure Centre, you will be happy you stopped in the city where the Trans- Canada Highway and the Crowsnest Trail (Highway 3) meet.