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Things to see and do in Northwest Territories

Attractions in Northwest Territories

Enjoy the simple life in a rural lodge

In a wooden wilderness lodge alongside a lake, accessible only by air, you may have only wildlife for company. For a real getaway experience, the Nahanni Mountain Lodge ( sits alongside Little Doctor Lake, near Nahanni National Park Reserve.

Fall in love under the midnight sun

The landscape takes on a surreal quality during the midsummer when light lasts all night.

Glittering waterfalls

The Waterfalls Route, a 325km (203-mile) driving route, goes through several parks and past impressive waterfalls. Twin Falls Territorial Park, near Enterprise, has two waterfalls. Louise Falls and Alexandra Falls are linked by a 3km (1.9-mile) hiking trail along the spectacular Hay River Canyon.

Go fishing

Thousands of clear, unpolluted lakes are perfect for fishing. Chief catches are trout, great northern pike and grayling.

Historic waterways

You can hire a boat to take a trip on the Mackenzie River and the Great Slave and Great Bear Lakes. These tours often follow old trapping and fur-trading routes. An experienced guide is essential.

Meet caribou and moose

See thousands of caribou migrating across the territories and calving by the Beaufort Sea. Moose inhabit boreal forests, grizzly bears roam freely, Dall's sheep graze the mountains, and you might spot beluga whales and polar bears along the coastline.

Nahanni National Park Reserve

Nahanni National Park Reserve is a wonderful UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Mackenzie Mountains. Access is mainly by air from a number of locations, including Fort Simpson (NWT), Fort Liard (NWT), Fort Nelson (BC) or Watson Lake (Yukon). Boat and raft tours visit the magnificent 100m- (312ft-) high Virginia Falls, twice the height of Niagara.

National parks

One of Canada's biggest herds of free-roaming bison lives in Wood Buffalo National Park, one of the largest parks on earth. It lies on the border between Alberta and the Northwest Territories. Meanwhile, the cliffs and valleys of Tuktut Nogait, the territories' newest national park, harbour birds of prey and offer lush habitat for caribou and musk oxen.

Shoot in the wild

Visitors who take a camera with a macro lens may get beautiful photographs of the hosts of tiny wild flowers that cover the tundra area during its brief spring.

Take a dip in Canada's watersports scene

A favourite destination for canoeing and white-water rafting is the Nahanni River in the southern Mackenzie Mountains, featuring falls, rapids and torrents in a highland wilderness. Popular routes along its length take seven to 20 days to paddle. The Mackenzie River also offers good canoeing.

Visit the city of Yellowknife

The territories' capital, Yellowknife, is situated on the north shore of Great Slave Lake. The Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre details the area's aboriginal history. Nearby are the still largely traditional First Nations of Dettah, Behchokò, N'dilo and Wekweètì.

Walk the Northwest's hiking trails

Four national parks provide trails for hiking and other facilities. Sandy hills known as eskers offer easy hiking with good viewpoints. There's more challenging hiking on the Canol Heritage Trail, through mountains and valleys to the Yukon.

Wonder at the Arctic coastline

The Arctic coastline boasts spectacular landscapes and fascinating history. Inuvik, on the majestic Mackenzie River Delta, is accessible in season by road. Delta cruises and Dene (aboriginal) settlements such as Aklavik are prime attractions. Aulavik National Park, on Banks Island, has 3,500-year-old archaeological sites.

Tourist offices

Northwest Territories Tourism

Address: PO Box 610, Yellowknife, X1A 2N5
Telephone: +1 867 873 7200
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