Medicine Hat

Medicine Hat is a city in the Alberta Badlands region of Alberta.

It's also known as the Gas City thanks to its vast reserves of natural gas. Rudyard Kipling famously described it as the city with "all hell for a basement".

Medicine Hat isn't a large metropolis, and downtown Medicine Hat does not offer megastores with an excellent variety at excellent prices. However, you'll find it to be funky, hip and small-town sincere.


The city's name comes from the word Saamis, which is a native word that means Medicine Man's Hat. According to the 1983 centennial song "Hats Off to 100 Years!":

In eighteen-eighty-three, the Blackfoot fought the Cree
in a battle raging on near the South Saskatchewan.
In a ritual of defeat, the Medicine Man fell to the ground
and laid his feathered headdress down as a legend for our town.


 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°C) -5 -1 6 14 19 24 27 27 21 14 4 -2
Nightly lows (°C) -16 -12 -7 0 6 10 12 11 6 0 -8 -14
Precipitation (mm) 14 9 18 25 46 63 41 33 36 19 15 16

See the Medicine Hat 7 day forecast at Environment Canada

Medicine Hat experiences a semi-arid climate, and is one of the driest cities in Canada. Due to the aridity, it is also one of the sunniest in Canada, with an average of over 2500 sunshine hours annually. Winters (November through March) are long and cold, but snowfall is low compared to the rest of Canada. Conditions usually alternate between mild and windy, due to chinook winds, and positively frigid temperatures frequently accompanied by clear blue skies and light winds. Spring (April and May) is short, variable and relatively wet. Snow often occurs in April, and is not unheard of even in late May. Summer (June through August) is typically hot and dry, often without a single cloud in the sky. However, thunderstorms often interrupt the bright, sunny weather late in the afternoon, and there are always a few days (particularly in June) with heavily overcast skies in which the temperature only reaches the mid teens °Celsius. Autumn (September and October) is short and generally mild, though September can bring scorching temperatures in the mid 30s °Celsius, and snow in October is usual. The season typically brings sunny and warm to cool days and cool, sometimes cold nights.

Get in

You'll probably arrive in Medicine Hat on the TransCanada Highway (the #1), which is the principal highway crossing Canada. If you're travelling across Canada by car, you're almost certain to pass through this city. Alternatively, you can fly into the city from Calgary. Given the time that it takes to transfer within the airport, check in luggage and board (plus the inevitable delays that often accompany small planes), voyagers are almost always better off going by car, bus or shuttle.

You can also use J&L Shuttle offering daily trips to the city from Calgary. (+1 403-528-8851 )

Get around

Medicine Hat Transit buses run regularly 6:45am to 10:45 pm Monday through Friday, 6:30am to 10:45pm Saturday and 8:00 am to 6:45 pm Sunday. The routes do change when it is peak and non peak services, and not all buses run during the non peak service. All passengers must wear shirts and shoes. Transit does not provide any services on Holidays.


The Medicine Hat Tourism office can be reached at +1-800-481-2822.



In Medicine Hat, you can find excellent values at second hand stores, which have yet to be picked over. There is also a Wal-mart Supercentre, a Canadian Tire, and many independent specialty stores.



Medicine Hat has several dance bars, but certainly not the "megaclubs" you would find in larger cities like Calgary. The dance clubs in town are as follows:


Go next

Routes through Medicine Hat

Calgary Brooks  W  E  Swift Current Regina
Lethbridge Taber  W  E  END

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, March 21, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.