Current Road Conditions in Wood Buffalo National Park
Wood Buffalo National Park is a 44,741 sq. km road-accessible wilderness. The park is open year round for visitors. Our road network includes major highways, all weather gravel roads, seasonal ice roads and rough, 4x4 dirt roads. Park users should be prepared for changing weather conditions on park roads and come prepared for extra time on the land in the event that they are stuck or that roads should close. For roads where AWD or 4x4 access is recommended, visitors should consider bringing extra supplies and a chainsaw. All vehicles should always have a spare tire with an operable jack.
Notice: Winter Road from Fort Chipewyan to Moose Island will not be in operation in winter 2020-2021.
- Due to COVID-19 restrictions at the border between NWT and Alberta, Parks Canada will not be building the usual winter road this year. Inter-provincial travel between communities is not encouraged at this time.
- The decision to not build the road was made after discussions with Indigenous co-operative management partners and regional governments. Please refer to the information bulletin for more information.
- General travel into the NWT is currently subject to travel restrictions which does not permit recreational travel. Please consult with the Government of the NWT for more information: 1-833-378-8297 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- The winter road closure will be in place until further notice and is anticipated to last the entire winter season into early spring 2021.
Winter or summer, visitors are always responsible for their own safety and need to come prepared. The Government of the Northwest Territories has a number of excellent winter driving tips and considerations to help you get started. Visit:
Remember that Wood Buffalo spans the NWT and Alberta border. You need to consult different sources depending if your destination is in the NWT or Alberta. Driving distances are long between each community: services are limited, and no cell service is available. Fuel is only available in Hay River, Fort Smith and Fort Chipewyan.
For travellers using:
- Highway 5 (Hay River to Fort Smith), use NWT highways information: https://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/Highways/Highway-Conditions
- The Peace Point (AB Hwy 58) and Moose Island Roads (AB Hwy 59) use Alberta 511: 511.alberta.ca
Ice roads are seasonally maintained by Parks Canada, as natural conditions allow, from Moose Island through to Fort Chipewyan, AB. Conditions can change quickly with warming and cooling weather events, which can affect the maximum allowable weight. Roads are recommended for high clearance 4x4 vehicles only. Parks Canada provides daily updates on this road using a free phone line. For information updates on the status of this road, call: 867-872-7962
Ice roads from Fort Chipewyan to Fort McMurray are not maintained by Parks Canada, and are maintained by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. For ice road updates, visit:
|Highway 5 to Fort Smith||Paved||OPEN|
|Salt Plains Access Road||All weather gravel. Trailers not recommended.||CLOSED|
|Pine Lake Road||All weather gravel||OPEN|
|Parson's Lake Road||Dirt- AWD or 4x4 recommended. No trailers.||CLOSED|
|Hay Camp Road||Dirt-AWD or 4x4 recommended. No trailers.||CLOSED|
|Moose Island Road||All weather gravel||OPEN|
|Winter Road (Moose Island to Fort Chipewyan)||Snow/ice crossings||CLOSED FOR SEASON|
Information about park road conditions can be had by calling the Park Information Centre at: 867-872-7960 or emailing: email@example.com