I am very surprised to hear how polarized opinions can be toward the disgustingly beautiful snake orgy at Fort Livingstone. It is a sight that needs to be seen. Every year, these hell-spawned creatures run amok, rolling down the hillside and tumbling over each other to get some. Whether you think it's gross or amazing, anything that can cause those reactions has to be worth seeing.
The snake den is located at Fort Livingstone National Historic Site of Canada, just north of Pelly, Saskatchewan. This place was once home to the North West Mounted Police who established a permanent post in 1874. It even served as capital of the Northwest Territories for a couple years. But the fort only stood for a decade before being burnt down by a prairie fire. All that remains is a small memorial and a hillside full of snakes.
The orgy only takes place for a brief time in the weeks before and after Mother's Day. It is difficult to describe the sensory overload of actually standing in the snake pit. They're in the trees, falling off branches and tumbling down the hill in balls. You can look away, but as soon as you regain focus, more snakes are revealed. If you close your eyes, the sound of hundreds of tiny reptiles gliding through the leaves envelopes you.
Well after leaving, I found myself hallucinating imaginary snakes crawling over the grass and in the branches — the Tetris effect in full force. There may still be time catch the tail end of the snake orgy this year, but if not, be sure to make time for it at least once in your life. The Pelly area is a charm to visit on its own - located in the aspen laced hills of the Swan River Valley near the Manitoba border. The town is directly between two of our favorite back country destinations, the Duck Mountain and Porcupine Provincial Forests.