The Trans-Canada Highway (Hwy. 1) cuts across the southern part of both provinces. In Manitoba, you can stop along Highway 1 at Whiteshell Provincial Park in the east. You can return to the highway or visit the shores of Lake Winnipeg at Grand Beach Provincial Park, and then head south via Selkirk and Lower Fort Garry to Winnipeg, the provincial capital. From Winnipeg, you can pick up Highway 1 again and drive west across the province, stopping for a detour to Riding Mountain National Park or to Spruce Woods Provincial Park before exiting into Saskatchewan. The only way to reach Churchill and its unique wildlife viewing opportunities is by plane or train. Winnipeg is the main gateway, with both scheduled rail service and flights departing regularly from the provincial capital.
Highway 1 leads west from Manitoba to Saskatchewan's capital, Regina, with a stop perhaps at Moose Mountain Provincial Park along the way. From Regina, it's a 2 1/2-hour or so drive to Saskatoon, and about another 2 1/2-hour drive further north to Prince Albert National Park (Batoche is a worthwhile stop en route). From Prince Albert, you can return via Fort Battleford National Historic Site to Saskatoon and then take Highway 1 to Swift Current, or you can take Highway 4 directly from Battleford to Swift Current. From here, the Trans-Canada Highway heads west to the Alberta border. From Winnipeg, the other driving option for westbound travelers is the more northerly Yellowhead Highway (Hwy. 16), which runs through Saskatoon to Edmonton (Alberta), reaching the Pacific coast at Prince Rupert (British Columbia).
In advance of your visit, contact Travel Manitoba (tel. 800/665-0040 or 204/927-7800; www.travelmanitoba.com). Provincial visitor centers are located at all major provincial border crossings, including Highway 1 (east and west), Highway 16, and highways 10 and 75 from the U.S. Once you've arrived in Winnipeg, plan on stopping by the Explore Manitoba Centre at 21 Forks Market Rd., open daily 9am to 6pm mid-May to early September.
For Saskatchewan information, contact Tourism Saskatchewan (tel. 877/237-2273 or 306/787-9600; www.sasktourism.com) or drop by a Visitor Reception Centre (located where highways enter the province, at Lloydminster [Hwy. 16] and where Highway 39 crosses into Canada from the U.S.).