South Slave

Out-of-territory visitors allowed in Wood Buffalo National Park

Out-of-territory travellers are allowed to drive through the NWT to get to the Alberta section of Wood Buffalo National Park this summer – as long as they follow certain rules.

Any out-of-territory visitors must drive directly to the Highway 5 border station just past Fort Smith and get a pass allowing them to continue on to their campsite in the national park. 

They are only allowed to stop in NWT communities along the way for things like gas, to use the washroom, or for a medical emergency.


The NWT’s Chief Public Health Officer encourages visitors passing through the NWT but staying in Alberta to follow the NWT’s public health guidelines, like not mingling with other campers, staying two metres away from others, and wearing masks in busier areas of the park.

When their camping trip is over, out-of-territory visitors have to hand in their pass at the same border station and leave the territory directly, again only stopping for essential reasons.

The border station and pass system is meant to ensure there is minimal or no contact with NWT residents and communities while “respecting deep ties between communities on either side” of the border.