Fort McMurray, Alberta (also known as Fort Mac) is part of Wood Buffalo Regional Municipality in Northern Alberta. First established as a Hudson's Bay Trading Post, Ft McMurray is now the base for many multi-billion dollar oil sands projects. The Wood Buffalo/Fort Mc community is growing as billions are sunk into extracting the hydrocarbons from the tar sands of Northern Alberta. Fort Mac boasts the highest per capital income in Alberta.
Many people come to Fort Mac for the jobs so the transit population is estimated to number in the 10,000 range. It is a temporary home to a lot of workers who leave families back in the Edmonton area during two week grueling shifts.
Most job seekers coming to Fort Mac arrive via Fort McMurray Airport (IATA Code YMM). The Fort McMurray Airport is located 13 km southeast of Ft McMurray and has seen significant growth in traffic as the town has grown. The airport gets much traffic than a typical town of its size due to the large number of migrant workers and the remote Northern Alberta location of Fort McMurray.
This is how to get to Fort McMurray/Wood Buffalo.
===Get to Fort McMurray by Air===
Contact one of these airlines that service Fort McMurray (YMM) airport:
Jet Service - Major Airlines Serving Fort McMurray
Air Canada 1-888-247-2262 (Option 4) with service to Ft McMurray from Toronto, Ontario (Pearson)
Air Canada Jazz (Book through Air Canada) with service to Ft McMurray from Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta & Vancouver, BC
WestJet 1-800-538-5696 with service to Fort McMurray from Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta and Toronto (Pearson) on a seasonal basis.
Small Planes and Prop Service Serving Fort McMurray
Air Mikisew 1-800-268-7112 with service to Fort McMurray from Edmonton (City Centre), Alberta
Northwestern Air 1-877-872-2216 with service to Fort McMurray from Red Deer, Alberta
Transwest Air 1-800-667-9356 with service to Fort McMurray from Prince Albert, Alberta and Saskatoon, SK
If you are visiting from a place without direct service to Fort McMurray, flying to an Alberta gateway like Edmonton or Calgary is the best choice for catching a connecting flight into Fort McMurray.
Some of the oil companies sponsor charter flights to supplement scheduled air service. Ask your employer about the possibility of charter air service.
===Drive to Fort McMurray===
Some choose to drive to Fort McMurray from Edmonton. There is only one Highway to Fort McMurray- the heavily traveled truck route Provincial Route 63. Prepare for the 456 km drive from Edmonton with few services or towns once leaving the Edmonton suburbs. The road is long, lonely and reports one of the highest accident rates per km in Alberta. Billion dollar plans to expand and improve Highway 63 are a strong government priority.
If you would rather not drive yourself, check sites like Craigslist for potential ride share arrangements.
===Alternative Ways to Get to Fort McMurray==
Grayhound Canada 1-800-661-TRIP (8747) provides scheduled bus service to Fort McMurray. The passenger train to Fort McMurray was discontinued in the late 80's so that is no longer an option.
Fort McMurray is very cold in the winter. Highway 63 sees a lot of heavy truck traffic and is considered by many to be one of the more dangerous roads in Alberta. Plan accordingly.
If you are going North, you will need somewhere to stay. There are some hotels and a couple of extended stay housing options to consider. Remember that the region is very transient and temporary housing options can be limited as a result.
Article copyright 2010 by JadeDragon. Do not copy as that would be stealing.
How to get to Fort McMurray Alberta
Fort McMurray, AB, Canada