Experience

Long Summer Days in the Northwest Territories

The decision to step foot into the Northwest Territories of Canada is a decision to experience pure, unadulterated nature; it’s a decision to watch wood bison roam the plains of some of the largest national parks in the world; it’s a decision to encounter a majestic bear in expansive and breath-taking terrain; it’s a decision to learn about these natural landscapes and the people and animals that populate them, whilst being astounded day after day and night after night under the midnight sun or the glowing aurora.

STRETCH THE LEGS AND MEET THE LOCALS

After arriving in Yellowknife and soaking up the quaint bars and shops of this Northwest hub, prepare to bid farewell to this concentrated form of civilisation and head out into the wondrous wild. Stepping out of the car after a short drive along the Ingraham trail, we’ve arranged for you to stretch your legs by partaking in a pleasant hike to Cameron Falls. Your gentle strolling will be rewarded by views of stunning lakes, verdant forests on the verge of changing colour and prehistoric Precambrian rock.

Next, you’ll be heading to Fort Providence where you’ll find wandering bison and more. Getting there will prove to be one of the most scenic car journeys of your life. Stop as often as you like as you wind along the roads, witnessing the dramatic change in landscape from rocky hills, to luscious woodlands, to enormous flatlands.

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Arriving with jaws agape and a camera full of fantastic photos it’s time to immerse yourself in the Fort Providence community, a community perched on the banks of the mighty Mackenzie River. There are some fine examples of art and craftwork on display in the Snowshoe Inn and be sure to keep an eye out for the majestic Wood Bison that are known to frequent these parts.

FROM FORT TO FORT

Heading west away from Fort Providence and towards Fort Simpson will take you past the Sambaa Deh Falls. Take the opportunity to observe the full glory of these waters from the bridge and if you fancy a longer break, then hike to the gorge for the chance to stumble across the hundreds of fossils that are scattered throughout the area.

After hopping back into the car, you’ll shortly arrive at historical Fort Simpson, the gateway to Nahanni National Reserve Park. Enjoy a private, guided walking tour of Heritage Park and famed prospector Albert Faille’s cabin. Don’t forget to take a look at the high-quality Dene crafts that are on offer – from ornate decorative pieces, to quillwork and moosehair tufting.

SCENIC NAHANNI AND INSIDER GUIDES

Enjoy a hearty breakfast this morning, because you’ll be spending the majority of today exploring the vast and varied natural wonders of Nahanni National Reserve Park. Flying in will be the perfect way to gain a birds-eye perspective of the natural majesty on offer and we’re sure you’ll spot some Caribou before you land by the South Nahanni River. After letting your guides explain the lay of the land to you, it’s only a short walk to the first natural wonder you’ll encounter; the Virginia falls. Twice as high as Niagara, these falls descend for nearly 100 metres into the canyon below.

Let the expert park staff continue to guide you on a hike around the falls and regale you with the legends and stories of the Dene people as you observe the massive rock formation (situated in the middle of the falls) that is of particular significance to the Dene.

Sufficiently amazed, your next destination is the Mackenzie River for a tour that operates a little faster than most, to say the least. Your jet boat tour will be conducted by a local aboriginal expert, who will point out the numerous sights and sounds along and around this huge river and entertain you with yet more fascinating folklore and legend.

WONDERS ON THE WATER

You’ll now be heading towards the Hay River; a drive that would normally take only a few hours, but we’ve organised some magnificent pit-stops and scenic detours for your enjoyment. Just past the small village of Kaiska, McNallie Creek Falls awaits in all its glory. A short hike, less than half a kilometre, will lead you to this gorgeous, 17-metre waterfall. Stick to the cliffs and, if you’ve got any more space for beautiful snapshots, be sure to take a photo or two.

Gateway to the southern shore of the Great Slave Lake, a bustling fishing community has been formed around Hay River, so you’ll be stepping foot into an energetic and exciting landscape. Once you’ve had your fill, we’ve laid on a canoe for you so that you’ll be able to leisurely drift down the Hay River and witness the beautiful nature that surrounds you.

After spending the night by the river, it’s time to move on to the roaring falls of Alexandra and Louise. These waterfalls are impressive to view from afar, but we’d suggest climbing the 138-step spiral staircase; you’ll be rewarded with extraordinary views of these amazing formations.

It’s now time to go from appreciating the flowing waters from afar, to floating in the heart of them. Today you’ll be boating on the 5th largest lake in North America – Great Slave Lake. Have a go at fishing for local Northern Pike and whitefish or just enjoy floating through Canada’s unique and grand landscape. Heading ashore, you’ll be given the chance to get an inside look at how the local fisheries operate. Top off this tour with a fresh and satisfying meal on northern shores and prepare yourself to say goodbye to this awe-inspiring landscape.

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