Saamis Tepee is an obvious feature located along the TransCanada Hwy about 4 KM east of the South Saskatchewan River crossing in Medicine Hat, AB.
Saamis Tepee is a colorful, 65 meter (215 foot) tall and self descriptive feature looming above the TransCanada Highway located near the exit to the very worthwhile Medicine Hat Visitor Center which provides ample parking, interesting loaner bicycles and a children’s playground as well as helpful staff who can provide an excellent and ample array of supporting information.
Paved path connects the Medicine Hat Visitor Center with the Saamis Tepee site or a short drive leads to large parking areas at the Saamis Tepee towering over the Seven Persons Creek river valley and its coulees.
The distinctive Saamis Tepee was originally designed and constructed in 1988 for the Calgary Winter Olympics to represent First Nation people and house the Olympic flame during medal ceremonies.
Following the 1988 Winter Olympics, the giant tepee was disassembled and relocated to Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada.
The interior of Saamis Tepee hosts a series of ten historic story boards detailing the lives of First Nation people. The colors of the tepee rings have significance. The white ring is said to represent purity where red represents the sun and blue represents water.
A matrix of trail connects the Saamis Tepee attraction to recreational trail leading down into the adjacent valley and coulees with access north into Kin Coulee Park and the extensive Heritage Trail System. There is a matrix of biking and hiking trail in and around the valley and a small golf course occupies one end of the valley hosting the historic Saamis Archaeological Site containing potentially millions of artifacts from ancient civilizations.
Although the tepee is artistically pure and simple, there is a wide variety of interpretive information available at the site which, given the time, will provide an in-depth historical conception of ancient civilizations and cultures contributing to the development of Canadian culture.
The Medicine Hat Tourism Centre may be able to provide the Medicine Hat Parks and Recreation Heritage Trail Network (HTN) Map which will make it startlingly clear there are amazing, and constantly expanding, hiking opportunities here within fascinating terrain. The young lady at the Visitor Center makes me aware of a new and psychologically interesting 12 KM (7½ mile) return hiking trail called Mr. Burnside on the Northwest side of the South Saskatchewan River Valley.
Photographs for this hike at and near the Saamis Tepee along the TransCanada Highway are captured on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada.