Alberta’s National Parks

Alberta’s Famous National Parks

Alberta is home to 5 of Canada’s most beautiful and awe inspiring National Parks. Millions of tourists from all over the world flock to Alberta to experience these parks. The five parks are: Banff National Park, Elk Island National Park, Jasper National Park, Waterton National Park, and Wood Buffalo National Park.

Photo by Andre Furtado on

Banff National Park

Banff was Canada’s first National Park (1885) and it set the stage for all the other parks across the country. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has some of the best skiing and hiking in the world. People fly into Calgary just to visit Banff.

Image: KirstKG, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Elk Island National Park

Elk Island is a National Park located in northern Alberta. It is the smallest of Alberta’s National Parks however it is a favourite for activities such as hiking, wildlife viewing, and stargazing. Elk Island is the closest National Park to Edmonton.

Image: ChadTheHow, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Jasper National Park

Jasper National Park if found north of Banff National Park in the Alberta Rockies. It is the second largest dark sky preserve in the world (after Wood Buffalo National Park) and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. If you some of the darkest skies and most beautiful landscapes that Canada has to offer – Jasper is your place!

Photo: Kedarangirus, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Waterton Lakes National Park

Waterton Lakes National Park is located in the southwestern-most part of the province near the Montana border. The park features unique landscapes, loads of history, and some pretty amazing hikes.

Photo: Jon Eeuwes, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Wood Buffalo National Park

Wood Buffalo is Canada’s largest National Park spanning nearly 45,000 square kilometers (17,000 square miles) across the northernmost parts of Alberta. Wood Buffalo is the world’s largest dark sky preserve which makes it perfect for stargazing. It is Alberta’s most remote National Park but well worth the drive!