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In partnership with Midas Canada

A road trip from Winnipeg to Dauphin, Manitoba’s City of Sunshine

Experience the natural beauty of Canada’s interior, including prairies, farmland, and sand dunes

Set out for adventure amid Canada’s prairies in the province of Manitoba. Start in the buzzing cityscape of Winnipeg, Canada’s third-largest city, before winding your way north, through patches of grasslands, rustic family farms, and pristine lakes. Here you’ll find Dauphin, a small town on the edge of the northern wilderness. While not as high as Canada’s coastal ranges, nearby Baldy Mountain is the highest point in Manitoba. Riding Mountain National Park, and a number of provincial parks and public lands, provide scenic spots for recreation, showcasing the natural beauty of Canada’s interior. 


Canadian Midas locations

Midas wants to help you get ready for your summer road trip, starting with your vehicle. Our techs can run a completely free Closer Look Vehicle Check. This in-depth visual inspection lets you know what needs fixing now and what can wait, so you can hit the road with confidence. 

Make the trip before the trip to Midas and get $20 off a full-synthetic oil change. Request your appointment at Midas.com.

Map showing all Midas locations in Canada

A nighttime shot of the glowing Winnipeg skyline

Winnipeg

Winnipeg is admittedly cold. The winters can be challenging, but the city has incorporated the cold and snow into its culture. The Annual Warming Huts Competition provides dozens of whimsical places (like a reverse snow globe or the inside of a burning woodpile) to rest and revive your toes while skating up and down the Red River Mutual Trail. The Festival du Voyageur is 10 days of music, dancing, and French food in the middle of February. There are charms to be had in the summer, too. Take a stroll through the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden, visit the polar bears at the zoo, or grab a meal at The Forks Market. 


Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre

Venture south of Winnipeg to the Discovery Centre to find the largest collection of marine reptile fossils in Canada. That may sound like a very specific honor, but the collection is genuinely impressive. Most notable is Bruce, a Guinness World Record mosasaur more than 43 feet long. Sign the kids up for Dino Day Camp or take the whole family on a fossil-digging adventure. 


A vast expanse of sand dunes fill Spruce Woods Provincial Park

Spruce Woods Provincial Park

Your first stop in Spruce Woods should be the Spirit Sands Trail. Technically, these constantly shifting sand dunes receive too much rainfall to be an actual desert, but it’s still fascinating to find the appearance of one in Canada. The trail through the dunes will lead you to Devil’s Punch Bowl, an eerie blue-green pond formed by underground rivers. Besides the dunes, there are tons of options for hiking, biking, and paddling all over the park.


Souris Swinging Bridge

Located on the Souris River, the town of Souris is a summertime destination for boating, fishing, and watersports. In the winter, snowmobiles take over for a roaring ride along the frozen waterway. Originally built in 1904, the Souris Swinging Bridge crosses overhead and is Canada’s largest swinging bridge (don’t worry, it’s been rebuilt and reinforced since). The very photogenic Plum Museum and Visitor Centre tells the bridge’s tale. The 600-year-old Mystical Old Oak Tree makes for another intriguing stop. Stand nearby and see if you can feel its supposedly special “aura.”


A bison trots forward through a field

Bison Park

Bison is an integral part of the prairies in Manitoba. They sustained the First Nations people living in Manitoba for thousands of years, and they were a crucial part of the grassland ecosystem. But due to over-hunting, bison populations have been severely depleted. Located along the Little Saskatchewan River, the Bison Park near Minnedosa is part of a concentrated effort to restore bison to the region. The best time to visit is in the spring, when you might see the new calves. 


An aerial view of the unspoiled wilderness found at Riding Mountain National Park

Riding Mountain National Park

Riding Mountain manages to hold forests, plains, and parkland all in one beautiful place. There is a resort inside, so you can come back from a day of exploring to enjoy ice cream and a film festival. See the home of Grey Owl, a conservationist who, despite his controversial history, did some amazing work for the environment. Riding Park is also a good spot to see the northern lights, so you can check the aurora borealis right off your bucket list.


Asessippi Ski Area & Resort

Where can you go skiing and snowboarding amid the prairies of Manitoba? The Asessippi Ski Area & Resort is located on the Manitoba Escarpment, providing a 120-meter vertical drop and 26 runs. The park also offers a snow tubing park, snowshoe trails, and even snow biking, with rentals available on-site. You’ll also find a number of places to dine and shop. During the non-snow season, call ahead to see if the park’s mountain bike trails are open.


Sunset over a farm field fills the sky with multi-color hues

Dauphin

We end our journey in the charming farm town of Dauphin, the City of Sunshine. Although the scenery and outdoor recreation make this a great place to visit any time, you might want to plan your trip around one of the many festivals the city hosts throughout the year. Countryfest attracts major country music stars from all over the continent. The National Ukrainian Festival, complete with Cossacks and borscht, takes place in August. The Fort Dauphin Museum will take you back in time to learn about the fur trade. And don’t forget to take a beat to appreciate the scenery. It’s some of the best in Manitoba.


Manitoba is a land of fresh air, fresh waters, and fresh views—all awaiting your exploration. Carry along a fishing pole or snow shoes—depending on the season—and get away from the highway and out into the vast countryside of this Prairie Province. Surprising finds are around every turn, whether your road trip takes you back to the south or continues north to find Duck Mountain Provincial Park, Lake Winnipeg, and the great beyond.