Within an hour’s drive of Alberta’s bustling capital of Edmonton lies a place of quiet, where no city lights dilute the starry sky. A refuge for wildlife and people alike, Elk Island National Park is an oasis of calm. For generations, people have come here for a day picnic or an overnight camping trip to escape the city’s distractions and explore by foot, canoe, bike or vehicle.

Highway 16, or the Yellowhead Highway, bisects Elk Island National Park, 35 kilometres east of Edmonton. The park is open year-round, with bison particularly active from July to August.

Getting here


1 - 54401 Range Road 203
Fort Saskatchewan AB T8L 0V3

Elk Island National Park’s main entrance, the south gate, is located approximately 48km from Edmonton’s city centre, via Highway 16 East (Yellowhead).

Visiting on a Saturday? Ride the Parkbus


Book a ride on the Parkbus to avoid hassel of driving and finding a parking spot on a busy Saturday! The bus departs at 8:30 am from MEC in downtown Edmonton, and 8:45 a.m. from the Royal Alberta Museum. The bus makes a stop at the Visitor Centre area where riders can take park in a bison backstage tour. Spend the rest of your visit enjoying the scenic views and trails of Astotin Lake. Pack a picnic for the beach or set up beside the playground for hours of fun. The Parkbus departs the park at 3:30 p.m. to return to the city. There is a $15 reservation deposit, which includes park entrance fees. Please visit TD Elk Island Express (parkbus.ca) for more details and to make a reservation.

Free admission for youth. Other fees still apply.
Detailed fees list

Be Bison Wise

Bison are wild animals. Even though they look docile they are dangerous, unpredictable, and may charge without warning. Approaching bison is unlawful and puts yourself and others at risk. Please view bison safely and follow these simple tips.

Facilities and services