Reviewed on Nov. 15, 2021
Reviewed on Oct. 30, 2021
Reviewed on Oct. 11, 2021
Explore a vast landscape inhabited by polar bears, view powerful Arctic waterfalls and witness the stunning northern lights in this Canadian province.
Canada’s Northwest Territories is often described as the “last corner of North America to be tamed.” Even the capital city, Yellowknife, only has about 20,000 residents, and the rest of this territory mostly comprises remote, wide-open spaces of forest, tundra and mountains. Hike through dramatic nature parks, climb steep peaks and challenge yourself to fully discover this beautiful undeveloped wilderness.
In Yellowknife, sailboats float lazily through Great Slave Lake and houseboats bob up and down on the water, while on land, skyscrapers sit next door to log cabins. Head to the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre to learn about the history of this rugged region and take a daytrip to the thundering waterfall of Cameron Falls.
Journey to Dehcho, an area at the foothills of the Mackenzie Mountains, which is well-connected by scenic highways. Walk the canyon paths along the Sambaa Deh Falls and trek to Virgina Falls, which sits at the center of Nahanni National Park Reserve. In Fort Liard, find the Acho Dene Native Crafts Store, a charming shop filled with birchbark artwork and moosehide décor.
Head to the remote Western Arctic to spot polar bears frolicking on the ice and reindeer making their way across the frozen landscape. Along the way, encounter the local Gwich’in and Inuvialuit communities, who live along the Mackenzie River. Two national parks, Aulavik and Tuktut Nogait, have steep gorges, historic archeological sites and plenty of camping spots. Book a guided tour to see the best of the northern lights, the stunning natural wonder that shines brightly in the dark Northwest Territories skies in autumn and winter.
Fly into the regional airport at Yellowknife from surrounding Canadian regions. From there, take small planes throughout the territory to the more established towns and villages. Rent a car to reach more remote destinations in the Northwest Territories. All-weather roads link the major settlements allowing travelers to enjoy the region year round.
Prepare to be awed by Mother Nature as you traverse the rugged terrain of the Northwest Territories.