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Camping and Side Trips

Fort Smith connects to both long and short side trips that will show you many different sides of Northern life and wilderness.

NWT Parks Camping Routes

Fort Smith connects by road to a number of  NWT Parks’ campsites and camping routes, the nearest being the Wood Buffalo Route. As the name suggests, the route focuses on campsites and day use areas in Wood Buffalo National Park. Other routes connected by road to Fort Smith include the Waterfalls Route, Great Slave Route, and the Frontier Trail.

All campsites have well-maintained amenities and facilities, as well as beautiful views of NWT lakes, rivers, and landscape:

Queen Elizabeth Territorial Park: Nearest to Fort Smith is the full-service Queen Elizabeth Territorial Park campsite. It accomodates both RV and tent campers, and it's connected to trails with views of the Slave River and Rapids of the Drowned.

Little Buffalo River Falls:  Little Buffalo River Falls, is located approximately 50km from Fort Smith on Highway 5. It has six non-powered sites, a great view of the falls, and an ideal lauch for a paddle on the river. To book a campsite or learn more about NWT Parks campsites click here.

Thebacha Campground is a year-round facility perched on the banks of the Salt River, a 20-minute drive northwest of Fort Smith. It’s maintained by the Metis Council and has four cabins, a gazebo, and an open hall with a kitchen. To rent facilities call the Metis office at 867-872-2643 or stop by 25 Camsell Street.

Wood Buffalo National Park - Pine Lake Campground is embedded in a spruce forest, minutes away from the crystal clear waters of Pine Lake. The lake was created by a series of five sinkholes and is boarded by soft, sandy beaches. It’s a favourite swimming location for locals. Self-registration sites operate on a first-come-first-served basis but Kettle Point Group Camp can be reserved for larger groups. Call 867-872-7960 for more information.

If a truly rustic camping experience is what you’re after, Fort Smith has no shortage of backcountry.

The Town is fully equipped to be your Adventure Headquarters, whether you need to plan, stock up on supplies or both.

Talk to the Parks Canada staff at the Visitor Information Centre on 149 MacDougal Road or call 867-872-3065 to plan and register your trip.

Winter Road to Fort McMurray

The 499-kilometre winter road from Fort McMurray to Fort Smith winds through Wood Buffalo National Park and stops in Fort Chipewyan, 228 kilometres from Fort Smith. The winter road is open from mid-December to mid-March and will give you the full Northern winter experience. It can be very cold, with temperatures as low as -40C, so it’s important to be prepared for unexpected stops. As well as your regular safety kit, pack warm outdoor clothes, matches, candles, and a very warm sleeping bag.

The Deh Cho Connection

Fort Smith connects to the Deh Cho Travel Connection, a 2,200-kilometre driving route through northern Alberta, British Columbia, and southern NWT. The route includes portions of the Mackenzie, Liard, and Alaska highways and stops in a multitude of Northern Canadian cities.You'll follow the path of goldseekers, trappers and explorers, seeing a world barely changed since centuries past. Check out the following itineraries: Adventure Itinerary or a History Itinerary