Province/Territory: Alberta

Roam with the buffalo

  • 44800 square kilometres of boreal wilderness
  • 10000 free-roaming wild bison
  • 200 rare whooping cranes

Cruise a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site the size of a small country - home to wild bison and whooping cranes. Ease your motorhome through moist expanses of moss and peat and deeper into the boreal plains. Slow down, an immense bison nudges her shaggy calf up ahead. Meet a Métis whose ancestors have coexisted with the bison for 8000 years. Join other birders and raise your binoculars to watch a rare whooping crane dance. Follow migratory birds from all four North American flyways pass through the Peace-Athabasca Delta, the largest of its kind in the world. Crunch onto a sparkling salt plain, turned white by millions of years of percolated ground water and salt. Canoe with a marine biologist to Sweetgrass Station under a long, low sun. Follow wolf tracks, spy on a moose, join rush hour on the muskeg.

Why you should visit
  • Enter Canada's largest national park: a World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO for its boreal forest, freshwater delta, and wild bison and whooping crane populations.
  • Experience complete wilderness--from the comfort of your motorhome.
  • Stand next to a salt mound as tall as a door, and taste spring water ten times more saline than the sea.
  • Flight-see the Peace-Athabasca Delta, where all rivers flow into the Arctic.
  • Hear the roar of the fierce waters of Pelican Rapids, a “flattened-out Niagara Falls”.
  • Wander a karst landscape of “drunken forests” and underground rivers.
  • Cree, Chipewyan, Metis, other First Nations have called this home for more than 8000 years.
  • Learn the Legacies of the Great Plains People."

Weather

  • Wood Buffalo is in Canada's north. Summer months (June to August) are warm and dry with long hours of daylight. September and October are cooler, and temperatures drop to winter levels starting in early November and through to March. In March and April days become longer and warmer.
  • Discover local weather information. Research local weather patterns at Environment Canada's Canadian Climate Website.
Visitor information
When to go
  • Park open year-round, visitor centres open between May and September.
  • Watch for the aurora borealis (northern lights) starting in late August and through the winter.
  • Late August and September offer colourful foliage and fewer mosquitos.
Need to know
Getting Here
  • Wood Buffalo National Park is located on the provincial border of Alberta and the Northwest Territories.
  • The park's Port Smith entry is a 16-hour drive from Edmonton, or a 12-hour drive from Yellowknife.
  • Arrange local transportation into the park from the town of Fort Smith.
  • Fly from the Edmonton airport to arrive in Fort Smith or Fort Chipewyan.
  • Rent a motorhome in the city of Edmonton.