Elk Island National Park, Edmonton

4.4
#2 of 21 in Parks in Edmonton
Explore the natural setting of Elk Island National Park, home to the densest population of hoofed animals in Canada. Observe imposing wild bison roaming the fields among herds of elk, white-tailed deer, and moose. Many other types of animals inhabit the parkland including beavers, coyotes, shrews and more than 250 bird species. Spread out a blanket and have a picnic next to Astotin Lake, or camp overnight. Seek out the bison handling facility to learn how the creatures were stopped from extinction and how they are protected today. Put Elk Island National Park into our Edmonton trip itinerary planning app and find out what's close by, where to stay, and where to head next.
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Elk Island National Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
446 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • An easy 5/5. I took an evening drive out to the park - also a dark sky preserve - a few days ago as we neared winter solstice, just to be reminded that a night sky is full of majesty, for, being a cit...  more »
  • Nice fall weather...beautiful trees. Saw many buffalo but it's a hit and miss. They tend to come out more when the traffic is less. Lots of Migrating birds for those who like to bird watch. One of the...  more »
  • Beautiful lake & trails. If you want to experience buffalo, beavers & birds in their natural habitat this is the place to go.  more »
Google
  • Went through the park a few times this past summer with the free parks pass. Stopped with our trailer just before Canada Day long weekend and found a nice parking lot next to a nice water body where there was a beach and swimming. Scenic drive. Saw bison walking right along the road one evening as well. Up close and personal if you want!
  • I came from Austria to visit your amazing country. It is fantastic, I love it a lot. We also stayed at Elk Island National park (camping) over night. It is pure nature, clean and beautiful. But what I did not like at all: visitors playing loud, annoying music even late at night and several motorcycles racing like hell through this unique National Park! This is really a no-go! How can this be? I felt so sorry for the animals living there. And also for the visitors who came to enjoy this peaceful area.
  • Not majestic like the mountain parks, but great wilderness hiking available for an hour or a day at different fitness levels. Astotin Lake is beautiful, and the main parking lot and facilities make an extremely enjoyable family day spot. Some interesting programming from parks staff takes place in the theatre that gives context to the park. Fun trip under an hour away from the city for part of a day or overnight camping. Bring food or check the hours of the golf course clubhouse. Their food is mass produced standard and not unreasonably priced.
  • Extremely good place to go with lots of lake sight viewing and hands-on interaction with the environment. Be sure to bring bug spray during mosquito months. If the weather is cool, there will probably be wood bisons in sight around the trails when driving into the park. The beach portion of the lake next to the parking lot is usually filled with sea gulls and very beautiful in sunny days. Most of the hiking is within forests surrounding the lake. Paths is rather narrow and hiking is limited with seniors. Recommended for highschool biology IB field trips due to its diverse ecosystem and unique wetland organisms.
  • I can't believe I've lived in Edmonton for as long as I have and not enjoyed this beautiful treasure! There's a wonderful bison Loop where you can drive by and see bison if they are nearby. But reminder to everyone, do not leave your car's! Bison are wild animals and can seriously harm people. I wish people were more respectful of wildlife. I saw an adult and child 10 ft away from a bison, outside of their vehicle. That is they weren't in the protection of their vehicle. That bothered me a lot but I don't know what more the park can do to educate people. There are tons of shaded and non shaded areas to have picnics, there's canoe rentals, bathrooms with flushing toilets and sinks, a great place to enjoy nature.

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Where to stay in Edmonton

For access to the best entertainment options and proximity to the North Saskatchewan River and the parks surrounding it, you can't beat Downtown's accommodations. Look near the intersection of Jasper Avenue and 100 Street NW--you'll be right next to Central metro station and just a few minutes' walk from the riverside park. If you're after nightlife and cafe culture, look south of the river in Strathcona, or in the neighboring student hub of Garneau. You can also choose from a large selection of accommodations farther out in West Edmonton.
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