Hiking

The perks of being larger than 105 countries (44,741 km2 and Canada’s largest national park), means Wood Buffalo National Park offers endless hiking possibilities. Our trail system offers short, relaxing strolls, day hikes and more challenging overnight adventures. However, given the vast majority of the park is undeveloped, experienced hikers will love exploring the backcountry.

A great hiking experience is a safe hiking experience. Please remember that your safety is your personal responsibility. Be well-prepared for the activity and route you choose.

Easy - Green These trails are relatively flat in elevation. They are suitable for all skill levels and those with little hiking experience.

Moderate - Blue Moderate trails will have some elevation gain with short steep sections. We recommend that you have some some prior hiking experience.

Difficult - Black Difficult trails in Wood Buffalo National Park are long, remote and may have obstacles. These trails are for visitors who have hiking experience. Please come prepared with the proper equipment. Registration is required when backcountry camping. You can opt in for deregistration, if you want to ensure someone is expecting your safe return. Contact us for more details.

Trail Reports The trail report includes trail status and conditions, road conditions and maintenance projects. Trails may be closed for safety reasons, repairs or to improve its ecological sustainability. Please respect the closures to ensure the continued enjoyment and preservation of Wood Buffalo National Park. To see maps, elevation and the most current updates on our trail conditions, head here.

You can contact the Visitor Centre for more information. 867-872-7960 or by email: wbnp.info@pc.gc.ca

Below is the complete list of our trails in Wood Buffalo National Park.

Trail Length Habitat and Landscape Hiking
randonnee-backpacking
Cycling
biking_velo
Hidden Gem
Easy trails
Karstland 780 m loop Karst, Forest checkmark - checkmark
Salt River Meadows 2.2 km loop Streamside, Forest, Meadows checkmark checkmark checkmark
Lakeside 3.1 km one way Lakeshore, Forest checkmark checkmark -
Moderate trails
Salt Plains Access 350 m one way Salt flats, Forest checkmark - -
Rainbow Lakes* 6 km one way Forest checkmark checkmark -
Lane Lake 6.5 km one way Forest checkmark checkmark -
Salt Pan Lake 7.0 km one way Karst, Forest checkmark checkmark -
Benchmark Creek 8.5 km one way Streamside, Forest, Meadows, Salt flats checkmark checkmark checkmark
Difficult trails
Sweetgrass** 14.0 km one way Forest, Sedge Meadows checkmark checkmark -

* Rainbow Lake Trail is a backcountry trail accessible from the Pine Lake Road.

**Sweetgrass Trail is a remote backcountry trail and requires experience travelling waterways or a licensed park guide.

 

Before Heading Out

  • Visit the Visitor Information Centre in Fort Smith for trail updates and the latest in public safety information. Staff will inform you of reported bear sightings and any fire bans or other restrictions in effect.
  • Contact the Visitor Information Centre to get issued a backcountry camping and fire permit. Deregistration is an option for those who want an extra level of safety – be sure to check-in if you opt for this as cost recovery may be enforced in the event of an unnecessary search and rescue.
  • Always let someone know where you are going and when you plan to be back when embarking on a day hike.
  • If you plan to venture off the trail be prepared with safety provisions and navigation equipment.

Frontcountry trails

Backcountry trails