[HT/PC-MEDIUM] La SalineNatural Area

Composed of a large OC portion and smaller PNT, this NA is located 10 km north of the Suncor base plant north of Fort McMurray.

Saline Lake Site Map (Government of Alberta)
Saline Lake Site Map (Government of Alberta)

Map of the Area

Any maps and map views are for general information only. Do not rely on them for navigation or to determine legal boundaries.

Other Information

La Saline Natural Area preserves an oxbow along the Athabasca River north of Fort McMurray. There are a number of springs in the area with tufa cones and various mineral deposits and crystal formations.

The Largest Tufa Deposits in the region are found in the Natural Area. At La Saline, tufa has formed a cone 3 metres wide. Tufa deposits formed here because the bedrock under much of the area consists of oil-bearing sandstones with underlying limestone formations.

Spring Water Dissolves the limestone and combines with carbon dioxide in the water to form bicarbonate. Water from the area’s springs bubbles to the surface in the Athabasca River valley where the sandstones & limestones meet. When the flow surfaces at La Saline, the carbon dioxide is lost to the atmosphere, leaving behind calcium carbonate. This substance will not dissolve in water, so it precipitates out forming the hard, crust-like white deposit known as tufa (or travertine). The water collects in a shallow pool, then flows down an embankment to Saline Lake, leaving a white trail of tufa behind.

An Important Waterfowl Lake, the Athabasca River serves as an important migration route for many species of birds. In particular the thousands of ducks and geese that nest on the Peace-Athabasca Delta each year. On their way to and from the nesting grounds, many birds stop to rest and feed on the quiet backwater of Saline Lake. Some, including coots, mallards, widgeons, buffleheads and green-winged teal, stay and nest on the lake.

Salt Licks attract ungulates and the lake is the most productive in the region for waterfowl. (Alberta Parks web site, 2012).

No Access as there are no roads or developed trails to La Saline Natural Area. The best access is from the Athabasca River [1].

Site Statistics

Site NameLa Saline
Site TypeNatural Area
SubtypeOrder-in-council (OC)
Natural Region(s)Central Mixedwood
O.C. No. (Land Ref. Manual)327/90
PASite ID (Map Ref #)435
Site # (Parks Website)483
Total Area413.36 ha. (1021.43 ac.)
Recreation ActivitiesBirding
Operated ByParks Division
Notes and Comments
Statistics and Details for La Saline Natural Area
Site NameLa Saline (PNT)
Site TypeNatural Area
SubtypeProtective Notation (PNT)
Natural Region(s)Central Mixedwood
O.C. No. (Land Ref. Manual)N/A
PASite ID (Map Ref #)435
Site # (Parks Website)N/A
Total Area37.81 ha. (93.44 ac.)
Recreation Activities
Operated By
Notes and Comments
Statistics and Details for La Saline (PNT) Natural Area


The following links are provided as a courtesy but are not verified or endorsed by SAPAA. Clicking on the link will cause you to leave the SAPAA website. Primary source of information is: Information & Facilities – La Saline Natural Area | Alberta Parks (All links accessed on 2022-12-18).

  1. La Saline Natural Area – Wikipedia

Editing, Review and Silence Procedure

  1. FRANK: Publish page
  2. HUBERT/PATSY: Assign page for editing by update tbd in the Title (4-
  3. Review for readability and alignment to SAPAA organizational reputation.
  4. Best available image
  5. Review for accuracy including:
    1. Correct map and site statistics
    2. Area size is correct
    3. Standards (e.g. use of hyphens, spelling, etc.)
    4. References are accessible and and notes match
  6. Review for formatting, e.g.: Centered captions, No empty blocks
  7. TEAM: Last walk through
    1. Any final discussion or notes
    2. Remove [name] from title
    3. Add to log book for silence procedure
    4. Delete these notes.

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