COVID-19 and Spring 2020 park user guidelines

Issued: April 03, 2020


FORT SMITH, NT, April 2, 2020 – Wood Buffalo National Park is open to limited land use and vehicular access. This includes access to park roadways and trails. Parks Canada remains committed to ensuring visitor safety and supporting on-the-land access for local communities during these times. Because Parks Canada has temporarily suspended all visitor services across the country to help limit the spread of COVID-19 and reduce risks to employees and visitors, search and rescue capacity is limited at this time. Please make safety your first priority when entering the park.

Parks Canada strongly encourages everyone to follow health authority regulations and do their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Important notes to all local residents intending to use the park:

  • Motorists may use park roadways which access the Alberta side of the park.
  • Through traffic on Highway 5 remains unaffected.
  • All park facilities remain closed. This includes bathrooms, day use areas (including picnic shelters and picnic tables), campgrounds, and rental cabins.
  • Use of park trails is allowed, though all users must practice physical distancing measures at all times.
  • Consider visiting during non-peak periods (morning/evenings) and not on weekends. If locations are busy or crowded, consider using another location elsewhere.
  • Parks Canada has taken measures to limit the parking at Salt River Day Use Area in order to support Government of the NWT and Alberta Provincial health orders regarding group sizes and physical distancing.
  • Spring time is here, and so is the wildlife. Secure all attractants, practice leave no trace values and pack in/pack out your garbage. Spring is bear season and wildlife may be become habituated if they are able to access human food.

Thank you for your cooperation

For more information, please call:


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

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