Both rivers originate from glaciers in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta and flow east. The two rivers combine and eventually flow into Lake Winnipeg and on to Hudson Bay by way of the Nelson River. The Saskatchewan River, like the province of Saskatchewan, takes its name from the Cree word "Kisiskatchewan", meaning "swift current".
The North Saskatchewan flows through Banff National Park from its source in the Saskatchewan glacier. The North Saskatchewan has been designated a Canadian Heritage River for its importance in opening up western Canada.
The South Saskatchewan begins at the junction of the Oldman and Bow Rivers in Alberta. It joins the North Saskatchewan east of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan[?].
Major tributaries include the following rivers:
The North and South Saskatchewan River system are an important source of water for the southern Canadian prairies.