Hilly region in southwestern Saskatchewan and southeastern Alberta, Canada. The Cypress Hills cover a total area of 2,500 sq km/965 sq mi and include the highest elevations in continental Canada between the Rocky Mountains and Labrador. They lie 364 km/226 mi west of the Albertan capital Regina; the highest point in this province is 1,468 m/4,816 ft, while that in Saskatchewan is slightly lower, at 1,392 m/4,567 ft. Today, coal is mined in the Shaunavon area in the east, and antelope and wild horses roam the hills.
The Cypress Hills Provincial Park in Alberta (area 200 sq km/78 sq mi) contains archaeological evidence of human habitation from over 7,000 years ago, as well as dinosaur fossils. The site was called ‘beautiful hills’ by the Cree, an American Indian people. However, early Europeans mistakenly thought the region's lodgepole pines were cypress trees and named the area accordingly. In 1873, the hills were the site of the massacre of a group of Assiniboine native peoples by whiskey traders and wolf hunters that led to the creation of the North West Mounted Police, stationed at Fort Walsh (1875) and Wood Mountain. Fort Walsh was the headquarters of the Northwest Mounted Police 1878–82. During this time the police supervised American Indian chief Sitting Bull and the Sioux who had fled to the area in 1877 after their victory at the Battle of Little Big Horn; they returned to the USA in 1881. In 1942 Fort Walsh became a horse breeding centre.