Lake Diefenbaker…Elbow

Lake Diefenbaker 2022….just add water. It’s been a number of years since visiting the lake community of Elbow, Saskatchewan situated on Lake Diefenbaker. I really don’t know where to start, the lack of water in Lake Diefenbaker or the building boom in Elbow. OK positives first, for years, 10 to be exact, the rodeo committee in Elbow hired Charlotte and myself to photograph their rodeo events for them. At the time we were professionally doing rodeo photography and being at many different events always found Elbow our favourite rodeo. I know we were paid to say that….not really, Kevin Volmar and his crew were the best we have ever worked with and treated us good year after year, we also like the small community of Elbow. Fast forward several years and we found we were in for a surprise.

Mainstreet Elbow features the cabin of yesteryear
Mainstreet Elbow features the cabin of yesteryear a little contrast to the new developments.

I hardly recognized the community when driving in, new cabins/homes, new streets numbering in the dozens where there were none before and empty stores now with tourist/lake business in most spaces. RV parks expanded into streets and avenues in several locations. Pulling over on main street I talked to an elderly gentleman who lives in town, I asked him if they found gold in the area that created all the growth to which he answered “no Covid did”. Since 2019 I would say the town has doubled in size, and some say Covid hurt the economy….well not in Elbow. If one is going to work from home why not the lake, it appears this is the case.

For those not familiar with Elbow it’s situated halfway between Regina and Saskatoon on Highway 19. Elbow got its name from a bend in the south Saskatchewan River that reassembled an elbow. Elbow is now situated on Lake Diefenbaker and features a first class marina, golf course, miles of beaches and the sailing club. The lake is 225 km long with 800 km of shoreline so very attractive to larger boats and sailboats. I’m told fishing is excellent. Danielson Provincial Park and Douglas Provincial Park are also located on the lake. The lake was created when the river was dammed up for the Gardner River Power Plant. This trip Charlotte and I visited and stayed at both Provincial Parks which I will feature in the next blogs.

Monument at the Elbow Marina overlooking Lake Diefenbaker
Monument at the Elbow Marina overlooking Lake Diefenbaker.
Twin Monument's made from the sacred rock
Twin Monuments made from the sacred rock on Lake Diefenbaker at Elbow Marina.

As mentioned the Marina is home to probably the biggest number of sailboats for sure on the prairies. Charlotte and I were lucky enough to visit with the owners of the Elbow Harbour Marina, Trish and Jake. Although early in the season they said the lake was the lowest it has been in 20 years. People familiar with Lake Diefenbaker know the levels vary over the season and count on the spring runoff from the mountains to refresh the lake levels every year. Well this year its appears runoff is later than normal and the lake is lower than normal. Boats that normally are going in are still on shore. One gentleman who we met and lives on his cabin cruiser in the summer and some of the other boaters remain optimistic it’s only a matter of time and the lake will rise. The lake has been known to vary by approximately 20 feet so it has a lot of water needed.

Lakeshore Harbor Marina Elbow early May 22
Lakeshore Harbor Marina Elbow early May 22.
Lake Diefenbaker just add water
Lake Diefenbaker – just add water.
Early in the season and low water the many slips and docking system awaits completion
Early in the season and low water the many slips and docking system awaits completion.
The Marina now stocks RV parts for us land yacht types
The Marina now stocks RV parts for us land yacht types.

By the way for you RV types the Marina is not just for marine types, it’s also set up for those who travel and live in our land yachts. They have a very good stock of RV parts as well so if in need of parts near Elbow check them out the prices are good as well.

Northern Lite with our little boat.
Just dreaming I would probably be over my GVWR anyway.
This fine craft is more in my budget
This fine craft is more in my budget.
My Land yacht parked next to its sea worthy cousins
My land yacht parked next to its sea worthy cousins.
Got to add this to my ever expanding bucket list
Got to add this to my ever expanding bucket list. Looks like it might fly.
Sailboats of every make and model await launch.
Waiting patiently to be launched
Waiting patiently to be launched, summer home to many.
Majestic what else can be said
Majestic, what else can be said.
come June this will look like the starting line of the Daytona 500
Come June this will look like the starting line of the Daytona 500.
A quiet breakfast overlooking the Marina and Lake Diefenbaker
A quiet breakfast overlooking the Marina and Lake Diefenbaker .
The color on the dock poles gives you an indication just how low the water is
The colour on the dock poles gives you an indication just how low the water is.
Just liked this image
Just liked this image.
For sure the beauty of this marina is unlike anything else in Saskatchewan
For sure the beauty of this marina is unlike anything else in Saskatchewan.
For sure the beauty of this marina is unlike anything else in Saskatchewan
For sure the beauty of this marina is unlike anything else in Saskatchewan.
Always well groomed and kept when it greens up for summer very beautiful
Always well groomed and kept when it greens up for summer, very beautiful.
Harbor patrol
Harbor patrol.

This makes me wonder if the Northern Lite will float they say they are built like a boat... so peaceful
This makes me wonder if the Northern Lite will float. They say they are built like a boat… so peaceful.
Getting ready for launch takes a lot of prep work
Getting ready for launch takes a lot of prep work.
No shortage of beach this early in the season
No shortage of beach this early in the season.
A new friend and his companion spend their summer living on this cruiser, at home on the water
A new friend and his companion spend their summer living on this cruiser, at home on the water.
Also at home at the marina these Purple Martins prefer condo life
Also at home at the marina these Purple Martins prefer condo life.
The "Martins" condo's
The “Martins” condos .

Signs signs everywhere mark the hiking trails
Signs signs everywhere mark the hiking trails.
For the hiker no shortage of trails here starting at Tuffs Bay
For the hiker no shortage of trails here starting at Tufts Bay.

Just a little on Lake Diefenbaker and the boom community of Elbow, worth a trip to check it out just north of Number 1 highway and south of the Yellow Head highway. Highway 19 is in great shape and a nice drive from Elbow to Saskatoon right by the door of the Whitecap Casino.

Until next post on our visit to two provincial parks, take time to enjoy the beauty around us, drive safe and with these fuel prices may the wind always be on your back. Thanks to those who have taken the plunge and subscribed it gives this old guy something to write about and share some images.

Hope to see you down the road….studiowest.ca

Charlotte and Gerry

2 thoughts on “Lake Diefenbaker…Elbow”

  1. Water levels are the same as a report I did on my travel blog 2 stories ago. Here in the Pacific Northwest USA, we have a very large snowpack, but spring has been very cool, colder than usual by far. So, the reservoir levels controlled by the dams are very low still. Lower by several feet. The levels will rise but it has put a dent in immediate plans for some to get boats and other water activities going on the waters. Those plans will be delayed but eventually will happen.

    1. Yes the same here we know they will rise it’s just been two bad years in a row and starting behind the eight ball. Sometimes we try and control nature too much and we have more irrigation happening as well, it’s a balance for sure to try and keep everyone happy. We will find water very valuable in the future. Appreciate you checking out the blog will check in on your as well, not all of us are UTubers. Cheers…Gerry

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