TD Elk Island Express

Dec 29, 2021: All our operations are currently halted (read more)

TD Elk Island Express

Free shuttle + Behind the scenes tour!

This route is currently unavailable. Please check back soon for 2022 schedules.

Take TD Elk Island Express to Elk Island National Park for free!

50 km From Edmonton
1 hour
school bus

Ticket Prices

  • Regular rate$0
  • Students / Seniors$0
  • Children$0
  • Regular rate$0
  • Students / Seniors$0
  • Children$0

$15.00 Deposit per seat, Parks Canada admission fees will be deducted from deposit

Important: Please Read

Due to COVID-19, masks are mandatory on board the bus. Guests with COVID-19 symptoms are NOT permitted to take this trip.

Elk Island National Park is a remote part of the province. There is limited or no cellphone reception and no guides that are available on this trip. You alone are responsible for your safety in the park - many dangers exist, natural and man made. Buffalo and other wild animals are dangerous and should no be approached - it is also illegal.

If you miss the return bus, you may become stranded in an area with no cellphone reception and will be responsible for arranging alternative transportation. We are unable to follow up on missing passengers - be sure to leave your trip plan with someone who will raise alarm if you get stranded in the wilderness. Review our Safety Page before booking your trip.


The Parkbus TD Elk Island Express will operate every Saturday from September 11 to October 02, 2021. The bus will depart Edmonton from the Brewery District Mountain Equipment Coop location at 8:30 am and the Royal Alberta Museum at 8:45 am for a half-day visit to Elk Island National Park. The bus will depart Elk Island National Park at 3:30 pm to return to Edmonton.


Guests must reserve a seat by registering online at A $15 deposit (per person) is required and will be refunded to participants who arrive on-time for their scheduled departure. Regular park entry fees apply ($7.90 per adult, $6.90 per senior), and will be deducted automatically from the deposit - unless you have Parks Canada Discovery Pass. Parks Canada Discovery Pass holders must bring their pass on the bus.


Upon arrival to Elk Island National Park, the TD Elk Island Express will stop at the Elk Island National Park Visitor Information Centre where Parks Canada team will meet the passengers and and offer a one-hour behind the scenes tour of the area!Guests can also learn about the history of the park, browse local Indigenous artisan crafts and official Parks Canada merchandise. Following this stop, TD Elk Island Express guests have the opportunity to watch for wildlife as they are transported 20 minutes north to the Astotin Lake Recreation Area, where they will spend the rest of the time of the visit.

Guests have approximately four hours to enjoy a range of self-directed activities in this area: join an interpretive program, enjoy a picnic on the beach, play on the brand new playground or watch birds and other wildlife from the Living Waters Boardwalk.

Departure Times

  • Edmonton to Elk Island National Park
  • 8:30 AM at MEC Edmonton Downtown (11904 104 Ave NW)
  • 8:45 AM at Royal Alberta Museum (9810 103a Ave NW)

  • Returns to Edmonton
  • Park Departure at 15:30 PM

  • One way travel time is approximately 1 hour

Frequently Asked Questions

Who funded this service anyways?

The service is funded primarily by TD Bank Group as part of their TD Common Ground project, as well as Mountain Equipment Coop. If your organization is interested in becoming a sponsor to help us extend this important service beyond 2021, please get in touch!

What is there to do in the park? Where exactly are we getting dropped off?

The bus will first stop at the Visitor Center area, where Parks Canada staff will offer behind the scenes tour! After the tour (which will last approximately 1 hour) the bus will take the passengers toAstotin Lake Day Use Area. It has a beach, picnic tables as well as connection to multiple trails. Check out official park website for more information on park activities and facilities.

The bus is sold out on my preferred date, what can I do?

There are usually a few cancellations 2 days before the trip (cancellation with no penalty cut-off period) so if you check back right before the trip, you are likely to find some more seats.

Can I purchase food or get water in the park?

Generally, yes, but we recommend that you bring food and water with you for the day. Park cafe can close without warning, and you will not have an alternative way to get food or water.

What do I need to bring with me?

In addition to food, water and snacks, we recommend that you bring what you need to spend the day outdoors, dress for the weather and wear closed toed footwear. Check the weather forecast before you come and consider bringing rain gear with you just in case.

Can anyone board the bus for free? Is it possible to reserve seats in advance?

Seats can be reserved online with a credit card. $15 seat deposit is required and will be withheld if you do not show up.
If you do show up, a Parks Canada entrance fee of $7.90 will be charged for passengers over 18 years of age.

Can I cancel the ticket without incurring no-show penalty?

Yes, you can - no penalty will be incurred as long as you cancel your trip at least 48 hours prior to the trip.

Are your buses wheelchair accessible?

Unfortunately not currently due to costs - accessible vehicle are significantly more expensive, which would only allow us to offer one third of the dates we can currently offer with a school bus. We may offer a special run for persons with limited mobility by chartering an accessible vehicle if there is interest. Please contact us if you think you would benefit from this service.

What kind of buses do you use? Is there is washroom / AC on board?

We use school buses for this route, which have no washroom and no AC. While they are less comfortable than motorcoach buses , they also cost a fraction of what a motorcoach does cost, allowing us to triple the number of days of operation available.

Is this a guided trip?

No it is not. You must be completely self-sufficient, and be able to plan your own trip.

Are pets allowed on board?

Pets are not allowed on this route.

Can we bring bikes or strollers?

We use a school bus for this route, and unfortunately there is no space for bikes. Folding strollers may work, if they fold really well - if you are coming with a folding stroller, be sure to show up early to be the first one on the bus.