Seasonal Road Safety
Wood Buffalo National Park
Wood Buffalo National Park is a large, road-accessible wilderness park open year-round. There is no cell service throughout most of the park, and travellers should be prepared for changing weather conditions.
There are currently no notices in place.
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.
What to expect
Wood Buffalo National Park’s main road is a paved highway that connects Fort Smith to Hay River and is used year-round. The rest of the park’s roads include all-weather gravel roads and a seasonal winter road. Travellers should always prepare a trip plan, tell others where they’re going and when they expect to return, and have proper safety equipment and seasonal gear.
Travelling to and from Wood Buffalo National Park
Wood Buffalo National Park is within both the Northwest Territories and Alberta. Depending on where you’re going, you will likely need to consult different sources. Driving distances between communities are sometimes quite lengthy. Services are limited in some communities, and there is no cell service in many parts of the Northwest Territories and northern Alberta. Fuel is only available in Hay River, Fort Smith, and Fort Chipewyan, so it’s important to plan accordingly.
A winter road runs through the south-eastern part of the park from Moose Island to Fort Chipewyan, Alberta. The road usually is open from mid-December-March as conditions allow.
Quick changes in temperature (warming or cooling) mean conditions on this road can change quickly and change the maximum allowable weight. This road is recommended for higher clearance vehicles with four-wheel drive only.
Call the Winter Road Information Hotline at 1-867-872-7962 for daily updates on the status of this road.
The winter road from Fort Chipewyan to Fort McMurray, Alberta is maintained by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Get updates here.
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