Elk Island National Park

Adventure at its Best!


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Less than 35 minutes east of Edmonton lies a year-round oasis where bison roam freely, sun glistens off lakes and ponds, and stars light-up the night sky; Elk Island National Park. This gentle wilderness of aspen woodlands, prairie meadows and pockets of wetland is a wildlife-watchers paradise; free roaming bison, elk, deer, moose, and more than 250 bird species call this place home.

A short drive to Elk Island National Park rewards visitors with countless recreation opportunities; hike or bike over 80 km of trails, rent canoes and paddle around the islands on Astotin Lake, take in a free program, or borrow a geocaching kit and enjoy a nearly 200 square kilometre scavenger hunt. Fun doesn't end as the sun begins to set; stay warm by a fire and look into a sky filled with stars and dancing Northern Lights. Without the glow of city lights around you'll see more than you knew existed!

With so much to do why not stay the night? Book a campsite and bring your tent or RV to the Astotin Lake Campground or pack a backpack and make the 6 km hike into Oster Lake Backcountry Campground. If you want the experience of camping but need a few more creature comforts oTENTik's are available at Elk Island! oTENTik’s are a cross between a tent and a rustic cabin; bring a sleeping bag and discover the joys of camping without any fuss.


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Special Events

Bison Fest - June 2, 2018
Bison were nearly lost from North America! But by the early 20th century, bison purchased from Montana and brought to Elk Island National Park began to slowly re-build their numbers. Today nearly every plains bison you see in southern Canada, whether in conservation or domestic herds, had an ancestor in Elk Island National Park. That's something to celebrate! Join us for this sensory festival celebrating all things bison, from conservation, to culture, to cuisine!

Canada Day - July 1, 2018

There is no better way to celebrate our heritage as Canadians than visiting your nearest national park: Elk Island! Join us for multicultural celebration of our nations birthday!

Parks Day - July 21, 2018
Get Back to nature this Parks Day at Elk Island National Park. With musical performances, children and adults alike experience nature like never before. Try your hand at Learn To activities including fire building, pemmican making and canoeing! Come out to Elk Island National Park and experience the great Canadian tradition of a day in the park with your friends and family!

Milky Way Days - September 2, 2018
The Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve's 13th annual Milky Way Days will be bigger and better than ever before. Taking place over two days at two different locations, the Beaver Hills Milky Way Days will feature volunteer astronomers to help show you the stars with both solar and night sky viewing. Guest speakers, presenters, displays, and activities will keep the whole family entertained at this two day celebration.

Stargazing program at Elk Island National Park. Gateway to the Stars: Dates: Fridays || September 14, 21, 28 || October 5, 12, 19
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Time: 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Cost: $15 per person with a valid park pass
Register: 780-922-5790 *
Registration is strongly recommended
; max of 25 participants Experience the wonder of Elk Island’s night sky. In the heart of the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve, escape the city and gaze upon the countless stars in our galaxy with a friendly park interpreter. Campfire, hot chocolate, and s'mores provided. Note: Refunds will not be given for poor weather. A substitute program will still be delivered if the stars are not visible or if the weather is poor. We’ll still have a good time around a fire at a beautiful National Park!


WINTER at Elk Island National Park

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Select Saturdays December through March - Snowshoe & Stargaze Program - Check out the events section.

Click for more information on Elk Island National Park Winter Activities

Read our Winter Blog


Located: only 25 minutes east of Edmonton on Highway 16
For more information: To reserve a campsite, please visit http://reservation.parkscanada.gc.ca or call 1-877-737-3783 (1-877-RESERVE)
Check out our website: www.parkscanada.gc.ca/elkisland
Phone: 1-780-922-5790

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