the canadian prairies

Canadian Prairies Featured Destination:

Wood Buffalo National Park
Alberta, Canada

Mark a world heritage site off your travel bucket list when you visit Canada's largest national park, Wood Buffalo National Park. Named a world heritage site because it protects the largest population of wild bison in North America and the natural nesting site for the whooping crane, the park is a well-preserved almost undisturbed ecosystem.

The North America film crew learned that this was the only place in the world to witness the natural predator-prey relationship between wolves and bison. If you are an experienced wilderness hiker, take to the park's backcountry and pick a spot in the meadows of Sweetgrass Station, a favorite bison feeding spot, to get your best bison photo. The less adventurous could be graced with a bison sighting just by driving along a park road.

The bison, numbering 5,000, aren't the only impressive creatures in the park. The beavers make their mark with the largest beaver dam in the world at 2,800 feet. Sadly, it's in a remote area of the park only visible from the air. The busy critters have been working on the dam since the mid-1970s. But you can get close to all manner of Canadian fowl in the Peace-Athabasca Delta, one of the largest fresh inland deltas in the world.

Best Time to Visit:

The park's high season is June through August when its campgrounds are open and its staff leads canoe tours and guided hikes of the Salt Plains. But if you plan to visit Sweetgrass Station, try early to mid-September to avoid plagues of mosquitoes.  

What to Do:

There are all kinds of ways to spot the park's wild residents like moose, bears, owls and hawks, but canoeing may be one of the best. The park offers many river routes of varying difficulty from paddling the easy-going Salt River to spot swans to navigating the chutes and rapids of the Peace River. In winter, the park is a great place to experience the psychedelic Northern Lights. Get Directions

Other Canadian Prairie Destinations:

  • Elk Island National Park. A wealth of wildlife can be seen in Elk Island National Park, including moose, wood bison, coyotes, beavers and pygmy shrews. Get Directions
  • Royal Alberta Museum. Located in Alberta's capital city, the Royal Alberta Museum offers exhibits on Alberta's natural history and cultural heritage. Get Directions
  • Dinosaur Provincial Park. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dinosaur Provincial Park is a place where fossils abound and a wide variety of plants and animals can be observed. Get Directions
  • Wapusk National Park, on the banks of the Hudson Bay, this remote and breathtaking tundra houses a diverse range of habitats and subarctic wildlife, from wolves to snow geese to polar bears. Get Directions
  • Grasslands National Park contains the most intact native prairie in Canada and is the only place in Canada where Black-tailed Prairie Dogs can be seen in their native habitat. Get Directions

Explore the Canadian Prairies:


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