Elk Island National Park

NOTICE: All Parks Canada facilities are temporarily closed, all visitor services and all motor vehicle access by visitors are suspended until further notice due to COVID-19

Less than 35 minutes east of Edmonton lies a year round wilderness oasis where Bison roam freely, sun glistens off lakes and ponds, and the stars light up the night sky.  Elk Island National Park is a Wildlife watchers paradise as free roaming bison, elk, deer, moose, and more than 250 bird species call this place home!  Camping, golfing, hiking, picnic-ing, canoeing and kayaking are popular all summer long. In winter enjoy the cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, stargazing, skating and more!

Must Do Winter Experiences

Winter is a fabulous time to enjoy the wilderness of Elk Island National Park. Wildlife viewing is at its best and the serenity of the winter landscape offers peace of mind and a quick getaway. Some favourite winter activities are outlined below:

Winter activities

Lace up your skates and take in a winter wonderland while gliding over Astotin lake. Enjoy a peaceful loop around the islands of Astotin Lake or bring friends for a game of pond hockey. To date the ice is not thick enough to travel on. Watch for the rink opening when ice conditions permit.

Snowshoe rentals

Snowshoeing is a magical way to explore snow-covered trails. Snowshoe rentals will be available at the Elk Island National Park Visitor Information Centre once snow conditions permit. Adult sizes: $14, Children sizes: Free


Elk Island National Park is part of the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve; with limited light pollution, stars and Northern Lights shine bright overhead. Take advantage of shorter daylight hours and visit the park after dark for a self-guided stargazing experience.

Self-guided winter experiences

Snowshoe and ski the day away! Head out on a trail and experience the rolling snow covered landscape of the Beaver Hills. Feeling more adventurous? Spend the afternoon tobogganing, throwing snowballs and searching for animal tracks. End the day with a warm fire in one of the cook shelters or take in one of these other activities: wildlife viewing, tobogganing, geocaching, campfire/picnicking, club Parka/Xplorer booklets, bird watching.

Your Elk Island Update

As of Dec 10, 2019:

Snow is here to stay and Parks Canada is ready for a winter full of fun at Elk Island National Park!

Winter activities, early-bird pass sales, 2020 campground reservations, and tips visitors should consider for a safe and enjoyable visit are outlined in this Elk Island update.  

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Brennan Bunko at brennan.bunko@canada.ca or 780-992-2959.

Summer Dreaming

Summer Dreaming

Parks Canada campground reservation launch

Planning a camping experience this summer? Campground reservations for camping in Elk Island National Park open January 9, 2020 at 8 a.m. MST. Visitors can make reservations for camping dates between May 15, 2020 and October 11, 2020. For other national park campground launch dates please refer to the reservation system.

Reservations can be made at:
or by calling 1-877-737-3783.

Remember, Elk Island National Park provides a variety of camping options:

  • Hike-in (4km) tent-only sites
  • Unserviced sites for tenting and recreational vehicles
  • Equipped sites with a tent and other camping basics supplied
  • oTENTiks: A cross between tent and cabin offering a unique blend of homey comfort and outdoor adventure


Elk Island Travel Ideas


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