Slave Lake

Area Overview

Slave Lake is located 250 km northwest of Edmonton at the southeastern tip of Lesser SlaveLake, within the Municipal District of Lesser Slave River. This regional service centre lies at the foot of the lower slopes of the Swan Hills, at an elevation of 582 meters. Primarily boreal forest and some of the most easterly foothills in the province surround the community. The Boreal Plains region, within which Slave Lake falls, is characterized by a dry, subhumid climate with warm summers and cool winters. It is part of the Mackenzie drainage system, drained by two major Alberta river systems – the Peace and the Athabasca.

The area is comprised of a number of natural ecological sub regions including boreal highlands, central mixed wood, and dry mixed wood, lower and upper foothills. A characteristic microclimate, general topography, modal vegetation communities, plus dominant soil types dominate each of these areas.

Within the area are also a number of protected parks and designated “Special Places”. Each area is administered by a management plan established (or in process) for its designated land (i.e. Grizzly Ridge Provincial Park). Generally none of the areas allow commercial development but do permit some degree of recreational use such as snowmobiling, mountain biking, or crosscountry skiing. Historically known as the place “where trails meet”, Slave Lake’s establishment on major highway, railway and pipeline routes continues to render it a natural hub of industrial and commercial development.