The Northwest Territories of Canada, raw and unadulterated, promise to remind the traveller of what it feels like to discover something new and wondrous. Expansive and sublime terrains are dotted with majestic wildlife and these natural wonders are made all the more magnificent by the fascinating tales told by Aboriginal and First Nation communities. Contemporary culture delights too. Lively festivals are sure to capture the imagination, whilst activities such as snowmobiling, dog-sledding and Kayaking along the rivers will keep thrill-seekers entertained. There’s a lot to see here, and even more to do; let us point you in the right direction.
Veteran travellers and first-timers alike are connected by that single desire that motivates their movement – the desire to see and experience new, wondrous, and different things. For many, the Northern Lights are certainly a new experience, they are certainly a wondrous experience, and they are certainly different. The dancing greens and yellows of the aurora borealis are magnificently clear over Yellowknife and the surrounding territories and any explorer traversing these parts simply has to dedicate a few hours to experiencing the majesty of this natural phenomenon. This can be done on your own, perched on a hill overlooking Yellowknife, or we can arrange for guides and accommodation to make your aurora-chasing all the more enjoyable.
As its name would suggest, the Aurora Village is a great place to view the Northern Lights. There is a lot more on offer here, however. Those looking to get the blood pumping amidst awe-inspiring nature will not be disappointed by the snowmobiling tours here. Expert guides will take you along some of the most scenic trails on offer, but you’ll have ample opportunity to speed across the snowy valleys deep in the heart of the Northwest Territories.Read more
Nahanni National Park Reserve Canada
Recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Nahanni National Park Reserve is the boundless and beautiful Northwest at its best. Mountains, Flora, Fauna and unique geological formations millions of years in the making are all contained within this 11,000 square mile reserve. These spacious lands play host to a variety of natural wonders; our pick of the bunch has to be the Tufa mounds and the enormous Virginia Falls – a waterfall formation that is twice as high as Niagara.
Wood Buffalo National Park
The largest National Park in Canada and the second largest National Park in the world; Wood Buffalo covers an astonishing 17,300 square miles. This massive and diverse landscape features some of the rarest and most impressive wildlife on the American continent, including the majestic American Black Bear, roaming herds of Bison and the only natural nesting site for the endangered Whooping Crane; a bird with a seven foot wingspan that can grow to an impressive five-foot in height. Spend a day, a night, or a whole week exploring the beauty that is on offer here; it’s up to you.
Experience Local Aboriginal Culture
It is not only the expansive landscapes and fascinating natural phenomena that make the Northwest Territories of Canada such an amazing destination; the unique Aboriginal and First Nations cultures and traditions breathe life into these territories. Embark on a community tour headed by guides from various communities across the territories. Learn first-hand about the flora, fauna, and traditional medicines used by these communities, or watch as local artisans use tans, hides and natural materials to create winter clothing and equipment. For a real glimpse into these cultures, meet with elder Dene and hear age-old stories that have been handed down generation after generation.
Drive a Northern Dog Team
One of the best ways to traverse the snowy terrain of the Northwest Territories (in the winter anyway) is by dog-sledding. Travellers have the opportunity to experience a dog-sled tour of the wilderness areas surrounding Yellowknife, but this is a tour with a difference; after a run down and some handy tips from your guide, you’ll be handed the reigns. This is a truly unique thrill that both groups and lone wolves can enjoy (excuse the pun).
Golf under the Midnight Sun
Whether you eagle, birdie, or bogey your way round a course, or even if you have no idea what those terms mean, golfing under the midnight sun is certainly an experience that will surprise you, as well as your body clock. Every year people come from across the globe to spectate and participate in the Canadian North Midnight Golf Classic, where you tee-off at night as the bright sun illuminates the pristine fairways and greens of the course.
Hiking in Yellowknife
Yellowknife boasts a variety of hiking and biking trails that are suitable for the accomplished explorer as well as the casual scenic walker. Frame Lake Trail and the Prospector’s trail, our two top picks, offer amazing views in both the summer and winter months; a frozen lake surrounded by stark white powdered snow can be just as striking as the impressive greenery and deep auburns of the summer and fall seasons. These trails invite you to take in the sights, see the wildlife and breathe the crisp and clean air of one of planet earth’s most sublime landscapes.
Pingo Hills Tuktoyatuk
The Pingo Hills in Tutkoyatuk are steeped in natural and human history. These glacial ice mounds are covered in earth, and can reach heights of up to 230 foot. Tuktoyatuk is host to over 1,000 of these unique natural formations, and each has long been used to help First Nation communities in navigating the expansive terrain and in hunting the wildlife that populates it. It’s quite inspiring to walk amongst these huge mounds (which you can do solo, or with expert guides) and it’s fascinating to learn the role these Pingos have played in various communities’ existences.
There are a plethora of back country and out-of-the-way lodges, charming and rustic that can accommodate those looking to see and catch some of the magnificent trophy fish that glide through NWT waters. Resident guides will give you tours of the various lakes (depending on where you stay) that make up the local landscape, whilst first-timers or amateurs will be shown the ropes and given tips and hints on how to properly cast a line and how best to get a bite. Typically, trophy fishing is conducted as ‘catch-and-release’, especially if you’ve snagged a larger Northern Pike or Lake Trout. That being said, traditional ‘shore lunches’ invite guests to cook a few of their catches by lakeside over a hand-built fire; it doesn’t get much fresher than that.