Day Hiking

Our trail system offers short, relaxing strolls and scenic, long loops.

Trails on Highway 5

 

Wetland Lookout

Stretch your legs on this short interpretive trail to a lookout, overlooking whooping crane habitat.

 

Salt Plains Access

Moderate 350 m one way, 700 m return

Make your way down a steep escarpment from the Salt Plains Viewpoint to the Salt Plains. For a hike you won’t forget, search for the spring by the treeline and walk barefoot amongst the salt mounds.

Map of the Salt Plains Access Trail

 

Salt River Day Use Area Trails

Map of the Salt River Day Use Area Trails

 

Karstland Trail

This trail is closed due to a collapsed sinkhole. We’re working on a new route.

Easy 780 m loop.

Take a boardwalk through karst and forest to views of sinkholes and access to snake hibernacula.

 

Salt River Meadows

Moderate 2.2 km loop

Meander side-by-side through wildflower meadows and along a saline stream. This wide trail starts across Pine Lake Road from the Salt River Day Use Area parking lot.

 

Grosbeak Lake

Moderate 4.0 km loop

This trail through a boulder field at Grosbeak Lake is a “must-see” site in Wood Buffalo National Park. Walk through erosion-sculpted boulders scattered across a white salt pan and to a viewpoint overlooking the lake

 

Salt Pan Lake

Moderate 7.0 km one-way, 14 km return

Watch for bison as you hike through karst and forest to an escarpment overlooking Salt Pan Lake. To hike a longer loop (15.5 km) combine Benchmark Creek and Salt Pan Lake Trails.

 

Benchmark Creek

Moderate 8.5 km one way, 17 km return

Travel along a stream, through forest, meadows, and salt flats. Take in views of the Salt River and its tributaries on your way to Grosbeak Lake. To hike a longer loop (15.5 km) combine Benchmark Creek and Salt Pan Lake Trails.

 

Rainbow Lake

High water levels have flooded this trail in recent years. We do not recommend hiking it at this time.

Difficult 6 km one way, 12 km return.

Make your way through wetland, an old forest fire, and towering spruce trees to Rainbow Lake. Watch for signs of bison - wallows, tree rubbings, and tracks - along your way.

 

Pine Lake Area Trails

Map of the Pine Lake Area Trails

 

Lakeside Trail

Moderate 3.1 km one way, 6.2 km return.

Follow the shoreline through the spruce and aspen forest between Pine Lake Day Use Area and the Kettle Point Group Campsite. Part way, you can also access the Lane Lake Trailhead.

 

Lane Lake

Moderate 6.5 km one way, 13 km return

Follow a chain of small sinkhole lakes to Lane Lake. Watch for beavers, shorebirds, and loons. Access the trailhead from Kettle Point Road, or make a longer hike by walking the Lakeside Trail from Kettle Point Group Campsite or the Pine Lake Day Use Area.

 

Stay safe on the trails

A great hike is a safe hike. Here’s what you need to know to stay safe.