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Spirit Sands & Devil's Punch Bowl is a 6.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Glenboro-South Cypress, Manitoba, Canada that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 6.2 mi Elevation gain 426 ft Route type Loop
Dogs on leash Hiking Nature trips Walking Bird watching Running River Views Wild flowers Wildlife
Description
Waypoints (0)

The Spirit Sands Trail is located about two hours west of Winnipeg in Spruce Woods National Park, just off Highway 5 south of Carberry. There is a spacious parking lot at the trailhead with a clean outhouse-style toilet and a water pump. There are more water pumps along the trail but the water in them is not treated. There are outhouse toilets along the trail as well, shortly after the sand dunes and near the Punch Bowl. The trail passes through varied landscapes and ecosystems including grassland prairies, forest, parkland and sand dunes. The sand dunes are a unique environment and it is known as Manitoba's desert. This area is also home to all the different types of snakes in Manitoba and the Prairie Skink, Manitoba's only lizard. The trail starts off along the sandy trail and leads through a forested area before arriving at a fork in the trail. There is a slightly longer 0.6 km (versus the 0.5 km shorter and easier trail) trail to a viewpoint overlooking the surrounding landscape and sand dunes in the distance. From here, the trail continued on to the sand dunes and widen open desert. Before reaching the sand dunes, you have to climb a wooden ladder placed along the first steep sand dune where you arrive to the vast desert. It definitely does not feel like you're in the middle of the Prairies! There are lots of rolling sand dunes and flat sections of sand which the hike continues crossing. The sand is somewhat challenging to walk on as it was difficult to get a firm footing and traction, especially when going uphill. It is a good leg workout and definitely requires some stamina and strength. The Devil's Punch Bowl is another beautiful sight to admire along the trail. There is a viewpoint overlooking this crater-shaped small lake with vibrant green-coloured water for some great views. It is formed by an underground stream from the Assiniboine River. From here, take the sandy trail leading down to the Punch Bowl where there are wooden viewpoint areas with benches - perfect places to stop for a picnic lunch. The trail then continues along boardwalks with steps leading down to cross another pretty lake (with great photo opportunities of the tree reflections on the calm water) and then back up more stairs to connect with the main trail again. After the Punch Bowl, the trail continues through mostly forested sections and loops back around to the trailhead. There are fewer sandy sections along the final portion of the hike and the terrain was flatter and easier. This trail takes me around 4 hours to complete (including a stop for lunch and lots of photo taking along the way) if you are somewhat in shape. There are unique environments, fantastic views, beautiful scenery, and interesting trees and plants along the trail. Some tips: When it is hot, we recommend starting the trail in the morning as it can get really hot in the sand dunes around midday in the summer. Wear sturdy hiking shoes or boots (not flip flops - you are not going to the beach!). Come prepared with the essentials (water, map, rain jacket, extra food, etc.). Bring at least 2 litres of water with you (there are a few water pumps along the way if you need more).

Weather
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Reviews (376)
Photos (428)
Recordings (267)
Completed (697)
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Mark Jenkins
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Hiking
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kianna t
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Hiking
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Jennifer Caya
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Hiking

It was a gorgeous day for a gorgeous walk

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Kevin Morin
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HikingGreat!

Did the Devil’s Punch Bowl section. Keep expectations in check for the finale and it’s an enjoyable hike. Easy if you are in decent shape. Moderate to hard if you are out of shape.

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Jon Rosset
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Hiking
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Cheryl Sichewski
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Hiking
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Lisa Giesbrecht
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Hiking
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Neil Bell
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Mountain biking
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Michelle Pattison
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HikingGreat!

+10 was the perfect temperature to do this trail. Spirit Sands were more challenging but a great experience. Be prepared to stop frequently to dump sand out of your shoes! Enjoyed the informative plaques along the way. The walking path markers were very helpful in the Spirit Sands and Oasis Trails.

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Tara Diane
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Hiking
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Shayne Thiessen
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Hiking

Amazing trail, but bring water, especially if it's 30c.

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Stacy Dittmer
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HikingGreat!

Not for those who like trails less traveled but understandable as its so beautiful! Don't forget your parking pass!

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Sherry Perehinec
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HikingGreat!

Perfect weather today for this hike. Cool, windy and a little bit of rain near the end was nice. Saw some snakes and heard more of them in the bushes.

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Andre Buisse
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Chery Lee
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Tara Lynn Frykas
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HikingGreat!

I love this trail so much! The landscape never ceases to amaze me (how cool is it that we have desert-style landscapes in Manitoba?!) and the beauty of this hike is breathtaking. I would highly recommend packing plenty of snacks and water, and I’d also recommend a good pair of shoes. The sandy terrain can be difficult for some to trudge through - so just be weary of that. Otherwise, pack out what you pack in and enjoy the beauty that this vibrant Manitoba trail has to offer!

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Siobhan Maas
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Hiking

The Dunes were moving when visited September Long weekend! Too windy to visit the dunes properly.

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Adriana C
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HikingGreat!

Absolutely one of my favourite hiking trails in MB. The landscape changes so much throughout, from sand dunes, to water to open spaces to the forest so it’s a really cool experience.

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Brenlee C
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HikingGreat!

This was a very cool Manitoba experience. We opted to do sand dunes first, hoping we’d also make it to the punch bowl, but as others have hinted, it’s a bit much for one day especially in 27 degree weather. We were out on trails a total of two hours with fairly minimal stopping. You need good endurance (it’s tough to trudge thru sand) and def need good shoes and lots of water. There were easier routes marked at a few points but we thought we’d be missing great views! I think it would have been just fine (to have not taken steep sand dune routes, based on others’ comments). Outhouse style toilets existed at a few points. I didn’t see water options (but may have been me!). Several leashed well behaved mainly larger breed dogs out there & they seemed to enjoy (tho must have been HOT!!)

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Justin Bastedo
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Hiking

Sandy but fun

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Sabrina S
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HikingGreat!

My second time here this summer, so we chose the shorter route to the dunes this time, and the views were just as pretty! I also didn’t check out all the side paths to the other views (of the Assiniboine River, butte, etc) so this hike is easily longer than 10km if you do it all. Beautiful views, well-maintained trails, and it got busy as we were headed out. The third water pump closest to the punch bowl is dry, so be aware if you were counting on that as a water source. I’ll be back in a few weeks to see the fall colours!

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Leah Marie
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HikingGreat!

Well marked, busy/frequented.

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Amber Marion
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HikingGreat!
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Vienna P
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HikingGreat!

Just did the devils punch bowl next time would love to do the sand dunes. Spent a few hours hiking is quite moderate, but amazing views!

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Lauren Biddulph
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HikingGreat!

It was a great day for a hike! Cloudy, about 26 degrees, with a breeze. We did the Spirit Sands and The Devils Punch Bowl. Both different and amazing views! Make sure to bring enough water and a snack. We did 10.7 km in about 3 hours 4 mins, with a few rest stops, and photos and to just take in the views. Make sure to be prepared, with enough water and other things you may deem essential. Great trails, and awesome adventure!

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Michelle Childs
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We spent the day at Spirit Sands and added the Oasis Trail. We started around noon so it was a scorcher as there was little shade but we had lots of fluid and snacks and took our time with lots of breaks. Definitely a moderate trail - as a beginner/intermediate - beautiful challenge that I will need some down time now to recover. May go back in fall as views will be beautiful. And wonderful, clean washroom facilities for outhouse style.

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Gary Bergen
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Hiking
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TL Lee
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Hiking

Loved it. Did the Sand Dunes first then the Punchbowl. Started before 10am when the sun was not scorching hot yet; definitely would not recommend ending up in the dunes in the afternoon, you’ll fry. Overall great hike. Moderate for sure with plenty of opportunities to stop and catch your breath or duck into the shade. Washrooms in a couple spots as well. Would do again for sure!

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Scotty Bidzinski
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sarah burke
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HikingGreat!No shadeScramble

So fun! I went here this past summer with my sisters and Dad. Even though my sisters' ages range from 10-18 (Me being the 18 year old), we were all able to hike it! Albeit with some tears from the younger ones. Such a fun time-but don't hike in 40 degree weather in jeans!! Big mistake!! So many wildflowers, pretty trees and gorgeous views! God's creation is wonderful!

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