Make Elk Island National Park your Weekday Destination

Trevor Tessier 2021 Roadtrip Adventures, East of Edmonton, Elk Island National Park, Fall Adventures, Highway 16, National Park, Outdoor Adventures, Parks & Trails, Roadtrips, Spring Adventures, Summer Adventures, Water Adventures

Only a 35 minutes drive east of Edmonton, it’s no wonder why Elk island is a popular destination for Edmontonians looking to escape the city and get the most of the warm season, especially this year!

Being in nature provides important physical and mental health benefits. And going outdoors is a great way to maintain health and wellness, as long as everyone follows public health measures.

The close proximity to Edmonton and high demand means thousands of visitors come to Elk Island every weekend. Unfortunately, there isn’t space in Elk Island for everyone who wants to visit. Visitation on weekends is so high that the number of vehicles in the park is causing a public safety concern. Once the park reaches capacity, visitors will be turned away.

It’s important to prepare ahead of time to ensure a pleasant and more enjoyable experience. Elk Island park is open 7 days a week, so there’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy the park mid-week. If you must visit Elk Island National Park on weekends, they strongly encourage visitors to come before 11:00am or after 4:00pm to avoid the disappointment of not being able to enter the park because the number of vehicles has exceeded capacity.


The health and safety of visitors, employees and all Canadians is of the utmost importance to Parks Canada. To help limit the spread of COVID-19, visitors must follow the advice of public health experts and guidelines outlined by the Government of Alberta while visiting or participating in any activities in Elk Island National Park.

For more information on the best times to visit Elk Island National Park this summer please visit Parks Canada.

Here are a few simple tips to ensure you enjoy the outdoors east of Edmonton this summer!

Visit Elk Island on the weekdays

There’s plenty of reasons to visit the National Park during the week. Avoid the big weekend and holiday crowds and enjoy having more space to roam safely. With less people visiting during the week, wildlife is undisturbed by congested cars passing by and hikers on trails, which makes it the perfect time to explore the area. During the school summer holidays, you may be looking for exciting outdoor activities during the week, making Elk Island your perfect weekday destination!

Bonus tip: Arrive a few hours before dusk on weekdays to spot amazing wildlife, especially beavers as they are most active at dawn and dusk.

Purchase a Parks Canada Discovery Pass

The Parks Canada Discovery Pass is your gateway to history, nature, and adventure from coast to coast. It provides unlimited access to 80 Parks around Canada and is valid for up to 12 months from the purchase date.

To save time and money at the gate, buy your Discovery Pass ahead of time online.

Alberta Fire Bans

UPDATE:  Elk Island has raised the fire danger level to high.  Currently fires are still permitted within designated fire pits. Please keep campfires small and in designated fire pits, completely extinguish your campfire, and dispose of cigarettes in appropriate receptacles.

Up-to-date information can be found on: