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Experience Fort Chipewyan

Ariel view of Fort Chipewyan

Fort Chipewyan is Alberta’s oldest settled community. Over 200 years of rich history has created a destination that has enticed explorers, fur traders and adventure enthusiasts since the 18th century. Fort Chipewyan’s roots can be traced back to the Northwest Company trading post built there in 1788. Fort Chipewyan ranks as the second largest community in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, with a population of 1,008.

Located on the southwest tip of Lake Athabasca, one of western Canada’s largest lakes, Fort Chipewyan is nestled in some of this country’s most spectacular natural beauty and wildlife reserves. The quiet beauty and remote location create the impression of stepping back in time. A must see in Fort Chipewyan is the Bicentennial Museum where Aboriginal and historic displays depict the key role Fort Chipewyan played in Canada’s early exploration and fur trade.

Steeped in history this region is a living testament to the people who live here. The region is stamped with their timehonored traditions, their natural and authentic way of life, and their love for the land and water. Fort Chipewyan is the launch point for your adventure into Wood Buffalo National Park. This UNESCO Heritage Site is home to the world’s largest free roaming herd of buffalo and over 200 species of migratory birds, including the most famous and rarest – the Whooping Crane.

In summer, Fort Chipewyan may be accessed by air or by boat from Fort McMurray. Only a 40 minute flight north from Fort McMurray, your Fort Chipewyan getaway is the ideal spot to leave your worries behind and experience the remote beauty, history and culture.

Winter roads link the community of Fort Chipewyan to Fort McMurray in the south and Fort Smith in the North West Territories. The 280 kilometer trip from Fort McMurray takes only a few hours and driving the winter roads is a unique experience. Be sure to call the Winter Road Hotline at 1.866.743.6111 for up to date road conditions.

Fort Chipewyan is the perfect destination for your remote getaway, plan your trip well in advance and contact the tourism operators in Fort Chipewyan to assist you with planning accommodations, company retreats, activities and travel.

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What can I discover in Wood Buffalo National Park?

  • Watch for wood bison grazing by the roadside.
  • Wiggle your toes in the soothing clay at Grosbeak Lake and look for animal tracks on the salt-encrusted landscape.
  • Taste the salt that an ancient inland sea deposited at the Salt Plains.
  • Stare into the abyss of the Angus Sinkhole – a yawning gap wide enough to swallow a truck. It was formed when the top of an underground cave collapsed.
  • Swim in the aquamarine waters of Pine Lake, created when adjacent sinkholes joined together.