Fort Chipewyan

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Fort Chipewyan is a hamlet on the western shores of Lake Athabasca 250 km north of Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Understand[edit]

The oldest settlement in Alberta, Fort Chipewyan (pop 1,260) was established in 1788 as a Northwest Company trading post. Most locals are native Cree or Chipewyan.

Get in[edit]

Caution NOTE: All non-emergency traffic through or to Fort McMurray has been suspended or severed due to a May 3, 2016 wildfire which has forced that city's full evacuation. One possible alternative is to enter from Fort Smith (NWT).

By plane[edit]

By car[edit]

Travel overland to Fort Chip is only possibly via seasonal ice roads which cross a pair of frozen rivers in winter. A Fort Chipewyan Winter Road hotline at +1-866-743-6111 provides road information.

There is one fuel station between Fort Mac and Fort Chip (a Petro-Canada in Fort MacKay's industrial park) and virtually no services.

A word of caution: When crossing ice bridges (river crossings). GO THE SPEED LIMIT!!! If you go too fast, you may create an underwater wave which can travel ahead of you and break the ice once it reaches the other shore.

By boat[edit]

It is possible to reach Fort Chip from Fort MacKay in summer by boating the Athabasca River; the Slave River leads from Fort Chip to Wood Buffalo National Park and Fort Smith, NWT.

Get around[edit]

See[edit]

  • Egg Island Ecological Reserve +1 780-743-7437. Small ecological reserve established on Lake Athabasca to protect a major breeding colony of Caspian terns, a "vulnerable species".

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