Land & Sky Tour:

Fort Smith & Wood Buffalo National Park

Thursday August 17, 2017

(Itinerary subject to change)
  • Meet at the Wood Buffalo National Park/Town of Fort Smith Visitor Centre and tour the exhibit.
  • Take a guided Town walking tour including the Rapids of the Drowned, St. Joseph’s Cathedral and Fort Smith Mission Historic Park.
  • Tour the Northern Life Museum and Cultural Centre and learn how to play some Indigenous Dene games. Then enjoy lunch and conversation with a local Elder.
  • Hike down to The Rocks to look for white pelicans feeding at the Rapids of the Drowned on the Slave River.
  • Get a jump on activities at the Thebacha & Wood Buffalo Dark Sky Festival with the Early Bird Social, planetarium shows, night sky viewing and tours of the new Fort Smith Observatory.

Friday August 18, 2017

  • Join Parks Canada for a guided hike to the Salt Plains in Wood Buffalo National Park, the country’s largest national park. Breathe in the beauty from the viewpoint or hike down a 350 m switchback trail to explore saline springs, salt mounds, salt-tolerant vegetation and animal tracks. Park yourself in a red chair and soak up the scenery. Then enjoy a picnic lunch overlooking the Salt Plains.
  • Head to the airport for your 20-minute flightseeing tour with Northwestern Air. Fly over the Town of Fort Smith, the Slave River and get a glimpse of the vast Salt Plains of Wood Buffalo National Park.
  • Return to town to enjoy a free afternoon or drop by the Thebacha & Wood Buffalo Dark Sky Festival to watch kids make model rockets and see Professor Quark enthral them with his science demonstrations.

Saturday August 19, 2017 & Sunday August 20, 2017

  • Thebacha & Wood Buffalo Dark Sky Festival


    $300 for adults, and $200 for children below the age of 12.

    What does the tour include?

    • Tours and listed activities on all days
    • Registration for the 2017 Thebacha & Wood Buffalo Dark Sky Festival
    • Thursday lunch; Friday lunch and festival welcome dinner; Saturday festival dinner; Sunday festival breakfast.
    • Camping at Pine Lake for up to three nights during the festival: Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Please note: the campground is 60 km from the Town of Fort Smith.
    • Participant gifts: a water bottle and 2017 membership with the Thebacha & Wood Buffalo Astronomical Society
    • Shuttle transportation on Thursday and Friday.
    • Shuttle transportation to/from the Dark Sky Festival site.
    ** Please note: The tour does not include in-town accommodations nor transportation to Fort Smith. These must be booked separately.

    When does the tour start and end?

    Meet at the Wood Buffalo National Park/Town of Fort Smith Visitor Centre, 149 McDougal Road at 9 a.m. on Thursday August 17, 2017. The tour finishes on Sunday August 20, 2017, at the end of the Thebacha & Wood Buffalo Dark Sky Festival.

    What are the hikes like?

    The town tour and the hikes in the park are all on fairly flat terrain. However, the trail to the Rapids of the Drowned to see the pelicans is fairly steep. At the Salt Plains, you can choose to stay at the viewpoint or hike down a steep 350 m switchback trail to the Salt Plains.

    How do I sign up for a tour?

    Registration will be confirmed upon full payment of the tour. Bookings are made on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information and to register, please contact: Touch the Arctic Tours – 1-844-606-6784

    What happens if I need to cancel my trip?

    $50 per person is non-refundable.
    100% non-refundable after July 31.

    What should I bring?

    • Water
    • Binoculars
    • Light jacket
    • Sunscreen
    • Snacks
    • Sun hat
    • Bug spray
    • Camera
    • Sturdy shoes

    I have a question that you haven’t answered.

    We want to make sure we’ve answered all your questions.
    Please contact Touch the Arctic Tours at 1-844-606-6784