From lakes and rivers to hole-in-the-wall restaurants, Wild Rose Country is full of surprises, but few are as astounding as the Athabasca Dunes Ecological Reserve.

Located in the Maybelle River Wildland Park approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes from Fort McMurray, this unique destination is part of Alberta’s largest active sand dune system and is a must-visit on your next northern vacation.

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Despite being surrounded by lush trees and water, these dunes are dry, hot and impressive in size.

At 8 km in length and 1.5 km wide the Athabasca Dunes are just as incredible and feature 12-metre tall sand dunes and 60-metre-high kames (irregular hills of sand and gravel with steep slopes), which are among the largest in the work, according to Travel Alberta.

“Shifting up to 1.5 metres a year, these powerful dunes are slowly migrating south, burying jack pine forests and filling in small lakes, leaving behind a flat, barren plain,” they write on their website.

“Birdwatchers take note, Arctic terns, not known to nest elsewhere in Alberta, can be seen nesting in the reserve.”

Interested in checking it out for yourself? Enjoy a respectful visit, and don’t forget your binoculars!

From flora and fauna to wildlife, there’s nothing quite like it! Enjoy!

Athabasca Dines Ecological Reserve, Alberta

Where: Athabasca Dues Ecological Reserve РWood Buffalo, AB