Limited visitor access and basic services resume at Wood Buffalo National Park

Issued: May 27, 2020

Fort Smith, NWT, May 27 2020 – Starting June 1 2020, Wood Buffalo National Park will offer limited visitor access and basic services.

Visitors will be able to access the following services and facilities:

  • The entirety of Highway 5 and the road through to Peace Point, Alberta;
  • All official hiking trails for day-use only;
  • All boat launches and shorelines for day-use activities; and
  • Day-use areas including some washrooms, picnic tables and trailhead parking areas.

Until June 1, these facilities remain closed and we ask that visitors respect these closures in order to allow park staff to do the necessary work to prepare for opening.

The following facilities remain closed until further notice:

  • All shelter buildings in day-use areas;
  • Playground facilities at Pine Lake and Angus Day-Use Area;
  • Pine Lake Campground, Rental Cabins and Kettle Point group camp;
  • all personal interpretive programs;
  • Fort Smith and Fort Chipewyan visitor centres; and
  • All overnight recreational backcountry use.

The Northwest Territories (NWT) Chief Public Health Officer has prohibited ALL travel into the territory by non-residents to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Though the majority of the park is situated in Alberta, summer road access is through the NWT only. Residents should consult the Government of Northwest Territory’s COVID-19 information pages for more details prior to leaving the NWT to visit the park. A mandatory self-isolation period may be required upon return to the NWT.

Visiting Wood Buffalo National Park will be different than it has been in the past. Visitors are asked to plan ahead by checking the Wood Buffalo National Park website before they travel to find out:

  • what is open
  • what they can expect
  • how to prepare for their visit

The health and safety of visitors and employees is of utmost importance to the Government of Canada. Parks Canada is following the advice of public health experts and continues to make every effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. Visitors should follow the advice of public health experts, including necessary hygiene practices and physical distancing of two metres from others.

Anyone participating in recreational activities should be extra cautious to avoid injury and/or getting lost to help minimize the demands placed on search and rescue teams and on the health care system.

All camping facilities remain closed until at least June 21, 2020, while Parks Canada assesses whether and how these services might resume. Group activities and public events are suspended until further notice.

Detailed information on Parks Canada places and the measures the Agency is taking to limit the spread of COVID-19 can be found on the Parks Canada website: parkscanada.gc.ca/woodbuffalo. Please check regularly for updates.

For more information, please call:

Tim Gauthier
Manager, External Relations
SWNWT Field Unit
Parks Canada
(867) 872-0107

Cam Zimmer
Superintendent
Wood Buffalo National Park
Parks Canada
(867) 872-0775