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Praising the Prairies

Q&A with Ashlyn George

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Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m Ashlyn (@thelostgirlsguide) and I’m an outdoor travel writer and adventurer based out of Saskatoon. I grew up on a grain farm in Saskatchewan. After completing two degrees at the University of Saskatchewan, I took off to travel the world for 5 years not knowing at the time it would become a full-time career for me. After exploring more than 60 countries and all 7 continents, I’ve become a passionate advocate for all the incredible things there are to see, do and explore right here at home. Today, I’m fortunate to share stories of my adventures across Canada and around the world through my social media and blog.

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What inspired you to start your travel blog and social media pages to highlight Saskatchewan?

My blog and social media career began as a passion project back in 2013 while I was completing my “5-year travel plan” where I spent six months of the year travelling the world for 5 years. I was getting so many questions about where I was going and how others could do it too that I launched my own corner of the internet sharing it all on Today, it’s grown to become my full-time career.

Because Saskatchewan is my home, I naturally share a lot of local content about my personal adventures. While I’ve been fortunate to cross many borders for trips and adventures, I can honestly say that you don’t need to travel far to have world-class experiences – there are so many opportunities right here in our own back yard in Saskatchewan.

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Can you share some of your favourite places to visit in the Prairies, and what makes them special to you?

My favourite top three outdoor locations to explore include the Athabasca Sand Dunes, the Boreal Trail and Grasslands National Park East Block.

Last summer I went on a bucket-list trip and travelled up to the Athabasca Sand Dunes in northwest Saskatchewan. These are the most northernly dunes in the world and also home to a variety of endemic plant species. It’s quite a trek to get there. First you have travel 13 hours north of Saskatoon on mostly grid road. Next you hop in a float plane for 90 minutes. Then you get dropped off on the shore of the inland sea that is Lake Athabasca. You’re left completely in the wilderness with no cell phone service. The closest communities are 50-100km away across the lake. We were out there for 10 days with our canoes, tents, and backpacks. We lucked out with incredible weather: mirror-like reflections in a typically very windy lake and no wind when we visited the 34m tall William Dunes. It felt like we were in the Sahara Desert. I also got to visit the dunes with my mom and a good friend which made the trip extra special.

I also love to get away into the Boreal Forest any chance I get. Surprising to many people, Saskatchewan is more than 50% forest. I enjoy backcountry hiking and camping and have completed the Boreal Trail twice. It’s Saskatchewan’s longest and only through hike at 130-km. But you don’t have to hike it all in one go – there are several different routes and loops that you can hike in a weekend getaway and it’s very family friendly.

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What do you think makes the Prairies region, specifically Saskatchewan, stand out as a go-to travel destination?

In Saskatchewan you don’t have to worry about big crowds. We have some amazing natural sites and very few people in them for the amount of space and land. The access we have to nature and the outdoors are such a privilege (and often underestimated in the province.) Plus, with four distinct seasons, you get to experience these places in new ways throughout the year.

I love that we get to see the stars every night – even in the middle of our biggest cities. We also frequently get to experience the northern lights. Every time I’ve backcountry camped in Grasslands National Park East Block, I’ve had the entire area to myself. It’s truly special to be out in the Badlands, particularly at night as it’s one of Canada’s few Dark Sky Preserves.

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Do you have any advice or tips for people looking to plan their upcoming summer travelling?

Saskatchewan is full of small-town charm – you’ll likely be greeted by big smiles everywhere you visit. There are hidden gems in many small communities that you’ll miss out on if you don’t take the time to stop and not only check them out but get to know the amazing people behind these locations and businesses.

If you’re passing through on a trip, I highly recommend you look beyond the straight stretch of highway that bisects the province to really see what all Saskatchewan has to offer.

Learn more about Ashlyn and her upcoming travel adventures at and on Instagram @thelostgirlsguide.  

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