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Elk Island National Park – All You Need To Know


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Vivette Kajal

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Playing a large part in the conservation of the American bison, Elk Island National Park provides a safe haven for them and other animals from this and other areas. As an island of conservation, you can expect to find many wild animals roaming free, including elk. Along the Yellowhead Highway, this island opens up to the island itself.


The Parks Canada Agency is in charge of running this piece of land, and they do allow visitors and residents of the area to visit and stay at the Elk Island National Park. It is regarded as one of the Edmonton points of interest.


If you are wondering what’s an elk? The Elk Island National Park is where you want to go.

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What Can You Find In Elk Island National Park

You’re able to find several terrestrial animals on the lands of the park. From the largest to the smallest, including a pygmy shrew, you’re able to come face to face with many of them. Being protected, they are not to be harmed during your time on the island, but rather, inspected, observed, and enjoyed.


The wood bison is one of the largest types of animals found on this land, but you can also find coyote, moose, porcupines, timber wolves, black bears, elks, beavers, and even trumpeter swans. There are over 200 different bird species that flock to the area. You can find that these animals come and go and do not pay any attention to visitors coming on the island for a visit.


Don’t be surprised if some of the animals are not afraid of you. They might come right up or walk past you without giving you a glimpse back. The animals see visitors regularly. It is illegal to hunt, trap, or harm the animals that are living on the lands. You can visit and enjoy them, but you cannot disrupt the natural order of how they live on the land and function.


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Camping On Elk Island

Those visiting the area can find that camping is allowed on Elk Island National Park. This is because it is also a dark sky conservation area. When you set up your tent, look out at the skies, and see the world around you; it is truly awe-inspiring experience for anyone and something that is a must-do.


Bring your gear with you when you are staying on Elk Island National Park because you can set up your tent in the camping sections that are set up around the park. Once set up, you can view the animals around you, the black skies, the beautiful stars, and more. Listen to the sounds of wildlife and bugs chirping around you, or the water flowing down the river; there is plenty to offer you when you want a beautiful, serene place to enjoy the great outdoors.


Those that are camping on Elk Island have access to the telephones located on the lands, as well as water and washrooms in the many areas. The park does not recommend swimming, as swimmers may contract swimmer’s itch or other conditions. Only start fires in the designated fire pits when camping on the island.


Activities Offered From Elk Island National Park

Several activities are offered from Elk Island National Park. You can choose different activities depending on the time of the year that you are visiting the park during. Here are some of the things to do in the island park for those that may want to keep busy in an outdoor setting while visiting the park.


Winter Activities Include:




Cross-Country Skiing

Wildlife Enjoyment

Dog Walking

Ice Skating



Summer Activities Include:



Kayaking or Canoeing

Mountain Biking

Wildlife Enjoyment






Bird Watching


Many visitors enjoy driving through the park and viewing the bison, elk, and other creatures that roam the lands during the day. You don’t have to stay overnight to enjoy the park, you can come for a day visit and see what is happening on that day, whether it is sunny and warm, or cold and snowy. You can find the perfect activity to take part in.


Visiting The Elk Island Lodge

This lodge is located just outside of the main Elk Island area and it provides a full-on lodge for those visiting the area to stay in. There are also smaller outposts for those that are traveling through the area or anyone that wants to go on a fishing trip or see the beautiful wildlife around them.


This lodge is open to those visiting the island. Located in Northern Manitoba, just minutes away from the water. Elk Island Lodge provides a rustic appeal, with views inside the lodge to the outside world around you, and to all of the wildlife that passes by the cabin.


Furnished, with heat or cool air; they boast a host of amenities that staying in a tent on the park may not be able to provide to the visitor of the park. They have private bathrooms with hot showers inside the cabins and outposts.


Never ask what’s an elk again when you visit the Elk Island National Park during your visit, or if you are coming into the city of Edmonton from an outside area. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week; everyone is welcome to come in and enjoy all that comes from visiting the area.


There may be a small fee for those that want to visit the Elk Island, National Park. This is determined based on the time of year and specific needs of the visitor, whether it is a day visit, if they will be staying, or if they need to park during their trip to the park. As one of Edmonton points of interest, it is a place that you must visit and see at least once if you are coming to this Canadian city. It has plenty of wonders to offer the visitor that loves watching mammals roam the lands before your eyes.