Elk Island National Park
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Elk Island National Park may be on the smaller side (covering only 75 square miles), but it has played an important role in the preservation of the Plains bison. Today you can see these magnificent beasts for yourself, along with scenic prairie meadows, aspen forests, wetlands, and lakes. This UNESCO designated Biosphere Reserve is just 35 minutes east of Edmonton and is a fantastic spot to enjoy both serene scenery and spot the protected wildlife. The park is open year round with popular summer activities like hiking, canoeing, kayaking, mountain biking, and camping. There are also many interpretive programs and a theater in the park throughout the summer. But winter has its own range of activities as well, like snowshoeing and cross country skiing. The national park is also part of Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve which makes it a great place to stargaze year round. You can also drive the Bison Loop through the park to watch for bison, elk, moose, and deer. Driving around dawn or dusk is the best time to see the majestic creatures.
- Spring 12-63 F
- Summer 47-75 F
- Fall 30-63 F
- Winter 0-32 F
- Coming soon
- Adult: $8.5
- Children Under 17: $0
- Senior: $7.25
- Family/Group: $16.75
Elk Island National Park Hiking Trails
There are many trails throughout the park for you to explore that range from easy to difficult. From level boardwalks to forest and meadows, you’ll find a diverse range of scenery and wildlife to enjoy.
Elk Island National Park Trails
Things to do Outside Elk Island National Park
Besides hiking and watching for bison, there’s plenty to do at Astontin Lake. Canoes, kayaks, and stand up paddleboards are available to rent at the day use area so you can serenely paddle around the lake.
Just 5 minutes from the Elk Island National Park entrance is the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. Step back in time and see what life was like for Ukrainian settlers in Alberta during the early 1900s. Walk through the open-air village and watch the costumed staff working at historic trades like woodworking and blacksmithing. You can even try some of the traditional food that the settlers would have made. Don’t forget to visit Edmonton, which is full of interesting museums to explore. The Royal Alberta Museum has over 10 million objects from native tribes while aviation fans will want to visit the Alberta Aviation Museum which is home to historic military and civilian aircrafts. Or stop by Fort Edmonton Park, which is Canada’s largest living history museum and teaches about local area. You can also head to River Valley Parks, the largest urban park in Canada, which features 11 lakes, 22 ravines, nature centers, and even a golf course.
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Elk Island National Park
Reservations are required for camping in Elk Island National Park. Reservations open in early January for camping between May and October and you can book online or by phone. Spots fill up fast, so plan ahead and book your spot early! Astotin Lake Campground Astotin Lake Campground is the only campground within Elk Island National Park that allows RV camping. There are 75 primitive campsites that each have a picnic table and fire pit. The campground also has washrooms and showers, a kitchen shelter, potable water, and an RV dump station. The campground is open from mid-May to Thanksgiving Day. Reservations are required and can be made on the Parks Canada website or by phone.
Campgrounds Near Elk Island National Park
Find the Best Dumpstations Near Elk Island National Park
Dumpstations Near Elk Island National Park
How to get to Elk Island National Park
Elk Island National Park is east of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada.
Take Interstate 15 north to the border of Montana and Canada. Follow AB-4 N and AB-36 N to AB-855 N. Take AB-855 to AB-14 W and head west to AB-834. Then take AB-834 N to AB-16. Head west on AB-16 to the entrance of Elk Island National Park.
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