There are few sights that can rival the pristine whiteness of Canada’s landscapes in the winter. The Northwest Territories, vivid and enormous, will wow even the most veteran travellers amongst you. Whether you’re dog-sledding under the Aurora Borealis, traversing a tricky ice road or making camp in a rustic and secluded winter cabin; you’re sure to remember this winter vacation for years to come …
A UNIQUE AURORA EXPERIENCE
You’ll experience warm Northern hospitality when you land in the buzzing NWT hub of Yellowknife. Surrounded by the Great Slave Lake, Yellowknife offers explorers the chance to soak up some last minute creature comforts before branching out into the natural landscape. You’ve got a few hours here to sample the local cuisine and frequent one or two quaint bars before your adventure begins…
We’ve arranged for you to embark on a tour across frozen lakes, powdery plains, and natural trails. This is a tour with a difference however; you’ll be pulled across these inspiring landscapes by a team of purpose-bred sledding dogs, guided by an expert dog musher. Each dog is capable of reaching speeds in excess of 20mph, so this experience doesn’t just rely on majestic scenery; it’s thrilling in its own right.Read more
As this tour winds down you’ll be greeted with hot drinks and snacks laid on in a heated cabin – don’t get too comfortable though; you’ll soon be stepping outside for your first chance to catch an inspiring glimpse of the dancing Northern Lights. Yellowknife and the surrounding area falls under the auroral oval, and low levels of precipitation and light pollution mean that this is positively one of the best (and easiest) places to see this vibrant phenomena.
SHIFTING GEARS AND CULTURAL IMMERSION
After a night spent (hopefully) under the dazzling Northern Lights, you’ll shift gears this morning and experience something a little more up-tempo. The NWT’s vast network of impressive and exciting ice roads are marvellous to look at; their glass-like surface will be unlike any road you’ve ever seen before in your life, let alone driven across. Sweep across the six kilometre road that links Yellowknife to Dettah and enjoy the liberating sensation that comes with skirting across majestic frozen planes.
After arriving in Dettah, you’re in prime position to experience the cultural nuances of the local aboriginal communities. There are some amazing galleries and collections here that showcase the crafts, art, and tradition of Dettah’s aboriginal population, including dream catchers, tuftings, paintings, carvings and jewellery; it’s a veritable feast of wonderful and inspiring culture.
This evening, it’s time to shift gears again – literally. You may have already seen the dancing auroras outside of your delightful heated cabin, but if you didn’t catch them you’ll now have yet another chance to see them shimmering on the horizon as you zip through tracks and trails on a snowmobile. This is an adrenaline rush that is as aesthetically pleasing as it is physically stimulating. After that astounding show, you’ll spend the evening unwinding in Yellowknife before hitting the road again in the morning.
EXPLORE THE WILDERNESS AND LEARN THE LEGENDS
Well rested you may be, but the thrills are set to continue as we’ve organised more blistering activities in the snowy landscapes of the NWT. A trio of winter warming activities waits for you in the wilderness, but don’t worry, we’ll ease you into it. First things first, slip on your snowshoes for a leisurely shuffle across the snows of the NWT outback; you’ll journey deep into the heart of the landscapes making tracks and memories in the unspoilt powder.
Now it’s time to swap the flats of the infinite snow-white landscapes for some downhill snow rapids …After picking up your inflatable raft, you’re cordially invited to slip, slide, snake and shoot down some crisp downhill slopes to really get the heart pumping. Snow-tubing is one of the fastest growing (and most fun) experiences you can have on the snow, so see what all the hype is about first-hand.
It’s time to change perspective from racing downhill, to gazing skyward. The Northern Lights never fail to impress, but your experience of the aurora this time could be markedly different. If the conditions are right, you’ll be viewing the shimmering hues from a rustic and traditional tipi, whilst locals and guides regale the myth and legend surrounding the lights. Science can explain the phenomena, and for some that is satisfying, but these legends really breathe life into the effervescent waves. These tales of wonder and reverence will surely stay on your mind as you drift off to sleep beneath clear, Arctic skies.
CROSS COUNTRY AND A RETURN TO LUXURY
After a short journey to your winter lodge, you’ll be given time to set up base and catch a few hours’ rest before you begin your next inspiring winter experience. Cross country skiing is challenging, yes, but don’t let this put you off; what it demands in terms of footsteps and heart rate, it recompenses in specular views and moments of absolute wonder. Trek across plains, catch glimpses of Arctic wildlife and experience a feeling of utter freedom in the seemingly endless landscapes of the NWT. A proper cross country skiing experience will require a good portion of you day, so you’ll return to your winter lodge with time to freshen up before enjoying a fresh and locally sourced dinner.
The next day, be sure to wrap up again, because there’s still more for you to experience. Today will be spent Kite skiing, an activity that utilises the majestic snow and ice of the NWT and the strong Arctic winds that sweep over the land. You’ve been propelled and transported by dog, car, snowmobile, and snow tube; so why not add one more to the list. Kite-skiing will have you zipping across the icy wilderness at impressive speeds and experts will be on hand to give you all the training and tips you need to make the experience a thoroughly thrilling one.
In the morning you’ll have plenty of time to readjust to civilisation along with all those creature comforts that you’ve been missing. Freshen up and take one last wander through the Yellowknife streets, then indulge with a fancy send-off dinner at Thornton’s, one of the best restaurants in town. After all that winter-warming, a hearty meal and a great night’s sleep will more than prepare you (physically) for your journey home tomorrow; that flight always comes around a little too quickly though, doesn’t it?