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Slave Lake (pop 6,650 in 2016) is a town on Lesser Slave Lake in North Central, Alberta. Slave Lake serves as a local centre for the area.

Lesser Slave Lake, as seen from Martin Mountain, with the town of Slave Lake, with the town of Slave Lake near the middle of the picture on the far shore


The administrative office for the Sawridge First Nation Reserve is also in the town.


The area of the present-day Town of Slave Lake was discovered by Europeans when David Thompson visited the area in 1799. Following his brief visit, several fur trading posts were established around Slave Lake, with a Hudson's Bay Company post established at the mouth of the lake. The first community, called Sawridge, was renamed Slave Lake in 1923. It was wiped out by a flood in the 1930s, and was moved to its current location.

In 2011, large parts of the town were affected by wildfires in the area. Winds pushed the flames into the town and destroyed many houses and businesses. Mandatory evacuation orders were issued, but with highways being closed, residents were urged to make their way to beaches, large parking lots, and open spaces. Highway 2 was eventually re-opened for evacuation, and full evacuation was ordered for Slave Lake.

One third of the town was destroyed, including the town hall, the library, a radio station, a mall and a lot of homes and other buildings; no injuries or deaths were reported.

Get in[edit]

The Town of Slave Lake is located at the intersection of Highway 2 and Highway 88. The closest major transportation hub is Edmonton, 281 km south of town. Slave Lake is accessible from Edmonton via Highway 44 and Highway 2.

By bus[edit]

  • Northern Express Bus Line. Passenger service leaves from Edmonton (Continental Inn) daily at 10:30AM, and arrives at the Sawridge Truck Stop in Slave Lake at 1:30PM.

By plane[edit]

Slave Lake has an airport available for landing charter flights only. +1 780-849-3089

Get around[edit]


Canyon Creek flowing into Lesser Slave Lake
  • Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation (19 km north of Slave Lake off Hwy 88), +1 780 849-8240, toll-free: +1-866-718-BIRD (2473). Late May to early Sep: M-F 8:30AM-4:30PM, Sa Su holidays 10AM-5PM; early Sept to Dec: M-F 10AM-4PM; Jan-Mar: M-Sa 10AM-4PM; Apr to late May: M-F 8:30AM-4:30PM. The only educational and research facility in the world that studies boreal birds on their breeding grounds. The BCBC offers 6,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor exhibits, interpretive programming, a gift shop and office space.


  • Lesser Slave Lake offers 7 km of pristine, white sand beaches in the Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park, which has been featured on the Discovery Channel as part of the Great Canadian Parks series.
  • The Pelican Mountain range is to the northeast where Marten Mountain rises 1020 metres above sea level.
  • Summer activities (April through October): biking, camping, fishing, hiking, off-roading, recreational boating
  • Summer festivals: Riverboat Daze, the Alberta Open Sandsculpture Championships, the Lesser Slave Lake Song Bird Festival and numerous fishing tournaments.
  • Winter activities: ice fishing (Walleye, Northern Pike (Jackfish), Whitefish), cross-country skiing, back-country sledding



Main Street, Slave Lake as of August 2006
  • Toniroz Grill & Restaurant, 201-2nd Ave N W, +1 780-849-4020. M-F 11AM-9PM, Sa Su noon-9PM. Filipino and Chinese food.
  • Alimo's Pizzeria, 217 2 Ave SW, +1 780-849-4666. M-W 11AM-10PM, Th-Sa 11AM-11PM, Su 4-10PM. Pizza, donairs, etc.


There are two bars ( and Fairways Lounge) and a restaurant in the Slave Lake Inn and Conference Centre.


  • Slave Lake Inn and Conference Centre, 1200 Main Street South (corner of Main Street & Highway 2), +1 780-849-4101, toll-free: +1-855-843-4101, fax: +1 780-849-3426. A former Sawridge Inn with a restaurant and two bars. Ridge Tap House (11AM-2AM, meals $8-25) is a sports bar with food and beer on tap, darts, billiard tables and TVs showing live sports. Fairways Lounge is a bar which serves light meals. The Landing is a 120-seat bistro restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Lakeview Inns & Suites, 1550 Holmes Trail SE, +1 780 849-9500, toll-free: +1-877-355-3500, . Hot tub and fitness centre. All rooms provide free WiFi, TV & DVD players, coffee machine, irons and ironing boards and hair dryers. Doubles from $105.
  • Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, 1551 Main Street SE (just off Highway 2 and Main Street, next door to the Cornerstone Business Centre), toll-free: +1-877-859-5095. Doubles from $152.



Lesser Slave River, near Slave Lake

Lesser Slave Lake[edit]

Lesser Slave Lake is a body of water (and region) which extends westward from the town of Slave Lake.

Go next[edit]

Routes through Slave Lake
Peace RiverHigh Prairie  W Alberta Highway 2.svg E  → Jct Alberta Highway 44.svg SAthabascaEdmonton

This city travel guide to Slave Lake is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.