Scenic Driving

Elk Island National Park

From beavers in the ponds to birds in the trees, Elk Island is teaming with creatures who call the park home. Heart pounding with excitement, you could find yourself in the middle of a bison traffic jam as you tour the park. Pull over to the side, open your window - breathe in the woolly smells and listen for the soft grunting as you get up close and personal from the safety of your vehicle.

  • The Yellowhead Highway (Hwy 16) bisects Elk Island National Park for 10km. Watch for wood bison to the south and plains bison to the north;
  • Elk Island Parkway is the major roadway running 20 km north and south through the park. Bison herds often gather along the Parkway and the Bison Loop Road year-round; elk herds can also be seen during the winter;
  • Be patient and careful, as motorists may not be familiar with the park and may stop suddenly to see bison/wildlife on the road. Animals may attempt to flee from a car by continuing to run alongside the vehicle. If safe to do so, pull over or slow down until the animals safely leave the road;

Exhibits and viewpoints are located at most trailheads. Some of the most spectacular views can be seen on the shores of Astotin Lake and Tawayik Lake, especially at sunrise and sunset. When safe to do so, pull over to enjoy the wildlife and scenery; use a road pull off site, a trailhead parking lot, or watch for signs indicating viewpoints. 

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.

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