Slave Lake serves as a local centre for the area. The administrative office for the Sawridge First Nation Reserve is also in the town.
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. There buildings were damaged by the wildfire.
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.
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.
- 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.
Slave Lake has an airport available for landing charter flights only. +1 780-849-3089
- Riverline Taxi, +1 780 849-6290
- Arrow Taxi, +1 780 849-7506
- Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation (19 km north of Slave Lake off Hwy 88), ☎ , toll-free: . 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
- Toniroz Grill & Restaurant, 201-2nd Ave N W, ☎ . M-F 11AM-9PM, Sa Su noon-9PM. Filipino and Chinese food.
- Alimo's Pizzaria, 217 2 Ave SW, ☎ . M-Sa 11AM- 10PM, Su 4PM-10PM. Pizza, donairs, etc.
There are two bars ( and Fairways Lounge) and a restaurant in the Slave Lake Inn and Conference Centre.
- Dog Island Brewing, 250 Caribou Trail, ☎ . F 3-7PM. Craft brewery and taproom.
- Ridge Tap House, 1200 Main Street South (Slave Lake Inn & Conference Centre), ☎ . M-Sa 11AM-2AM, Su 11AM-midnight. Brew pub with full menu.
- Slave Lake Inn and Conference Centre, 1200 Main Street South (corner of Main Street & Highway 2), ☎ , toll-free: , fax: . 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, ☎ , toll-free: , e-mail: email@example.com. 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: . Doubles from $152.
Lesser Slave Lake
Lesser Slave Lake is a body of water (and region) which extends westward from the town of Slave Lake.
- 1 Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park, ☎ . Birding, boating, trails for hiking, biking and cross-country skiing. The 18-hole Gilwood Golf and Country Club (+1 780-849-4389, fax +1 780-849-2293, restaurant and lounge +1 780-849-3179) is located in the park. The Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory holds a Songbird Festival in the park every spring.
- North Shore Homestead, ☎ , fax: . Next to provincial park. Full kitchen, bathroom, satellite TV, DVD, broadband Internet in all units. Bison ranch, museum, two private white sand beaches, BBQ, boat launch. cabins and suites, $125-225.
- Northern Express Bus Line. Passenger service to Edmonton (Continental Inn) daily at 4:30PM, from the Sawridge Truck Stop in Slave Lake, and arrive at 8PM. A northbound bus leaves daily at 1:30PM from the Sawridge and arrives in Peace River at 5PM (IGA store), and in High Level at 8:30PM (Four Winds Centre).
|Routes through Slave Lake|
|Grande Prairie ← Peace River ←||W E||→ Athabasca → Edmonton|