The moon shimmers on the lake nearby your tent. You hear the evening songs of birds and the triumphant calls of coyotes welcoming the falling night. With no city lights and no vehicle noise, this hike in campground is perfect for your individual or group needs. Oster Lake offers a truly unique and wild camping experience.

Located on the west shore of Oster Lake in one of the most picturesque and serene areas of the park, this tenting only site provides a truly unique and wild camping experience. Oster Lake is a waterfowl sanctuary offering a place to catch a glimpse of plains bison, coyotes and many of the 250 species of birds found in the park. Oster Lake Backcountry Campground is a newly designated hike-in site with six campsites available for reservation.

Call the Visitor Centre to make a reservation.

Oster Lake Backcountry Tenting area features,

  • Six campsites available for reservation
  • 100% reservable, contact the Parks Canada Reservation Service.
  • Pit toilets
  • Each site has a picnic table and fire pit
  • Fire permit can be purchased at the Visitor Centre

Important Notice: No Water is available at the Oster Lake backcountry tenting area. Visitors must bring their own water for drinking and washing.

Access: The site can be accessed by hiking the Shirley Lake Trail (6km) or by hiking the Oster access road (6km) starting at the Tawayik Lake picnic area. Please watch for wildlife, hikers, cyclists and park staff.

Parking: Vehicles must park at the parking lot of the Tawayik Lake picnic area and display a valid park pass and a valid camping permit.

Campground Check In / Check Out

  • Check in at the Elk Island National Park Visitor Centre upon arrival
  • Check in time is 2:00 pm.
  • Check out time is 11:00 am.

If you will be arriving after the Elk Island National Park Visitor Centre is closed please call the visitor centre in advance during regular business hours to make arrangements for late arrival.

Additional information:


  • Dial 911 for emergencies
  • Hospitals are located in Lamont and Fort Saskatchewan. Please note that the Lamont Hospital closes at 20:00; emergencies must be taken to Fort Saskatchewan
  • For general information on how to stay safe and a list of the 10 essential items you should bring when enjoying the outdoors visit
  • Cell phone service may be unreliable depending on your service provider
  • 24-hour emergency number is 1-877-852-3100. Response times may be up to an hour