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Fort Chipewyan[dead link] is a hamlet on the western shores of Lake Athabasca 250 km north of Fort McMurray, Alberta. It had a population of 852 in 2016.


Aerial view of Fort Chipewyan

Fort Chipewyan is one of the oldest European settlements in Alberta. It was established in 1788 as a Northwest Company trading post. Most locals are native Cree or Chipewyan.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

By car[edit]

Travel overland to Fort Chipewyan 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 McMurray and Fort Chipewyan (a Petro-Canada in Fort McKay's industrial park) and virtually no services.

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 Chipewyan from Fort McKay in summer by boating the Athabasca River; the Slave River leads from Fort Chipewyan to Wood Buffalo National Park and Fort Smith, NWT.

Get around[edit]


  • [dead link] Fort Chipewyan Bicentennial Museum, 109 Mackenzie Ave, +1 780-697-3844. A replica of the Hudson's Bay Store created by the Fort Chipewyan Historical Society to commemorate the post's 1988 bicentennial. By donation.
  • Egg Island Ecological Reserve (Northeast of Fort Chipewyan), +1 780-743-7437. Small ecological reserve established on Lake Athabasca to protect a major breeding colony of Caspian terns, a "vulnerable species".
  • Old Fort Point. The site of the first Fort Chipewyan established in 1788 by Roderick Mackenzie, southeast of Fort Chipewyan. It is designated a National Historic Site of Canada. Historic places in the community include the site of the third Fort Chipewyan established in 1803, the Anglican Church built in 1880 and Day School built in 1874, and the Roman Catholic Mission Church built in 1909.


  • Visit Wood Buffalo National Park, the largest national park of Canada, which is about the size of Denmark. It is home to the world's largest herd of free roaming wood bison, estimated at more than 5,000. It is one of two known nesting sites of whooping cranes. Access to the park from Fort Chip is via the winter road, or by motorboat or canoe in summer.



  • Northern Store, +1 780-697-3687. Come and marvel at the prices in this grocery store -- $10 for four tomatoes, seedless grapes for $13 -- and see why high food prices are an issue in northern communities.



  • Athabasca Cafe & Dining Lounge. Pub & bar.


Go next[edit]

This city travel guide to Fort Chipewyan is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.