Home » 15 experiences in the Northwest Territories of Canada

15 experiences in the Northwest Territories of Canada

15 experiences in the Northwest Territories of Canada

In the Northwest Territories in Canada, adventure and pristine wilderness are waiting to be discovered. Imposing nature, a great animal world and the fascinating culture of the Inuit characterize the region in the far North of Canada! 

Many visitors learn them Northwest Territories get to know them traditionally as part of the well-known tourist offers and, above all, unique road trips – and experience a lot of fun! However, if you want to share the region (like a local) and become a part of it, you should not miss out on specific experiences! By the way, many of them are available for free! Here are 15 ways to fully enjoy Canada’s Northwest Territories:

The big four encounter

One of the »Big Four« of the North Muskoxen, caribou, moose and wood bison. All of these animal species make their home in the Northwest Territories, one of Canada’s largest pristine wilderness areas – a paradise for four-legged friends! Excellent wildlife viewing opportunities are available almost everywhere: on the North’s unique highways, from bush planes and boats, on winter ice roads, and guided tours with local outfitters. Let’s go to the polar safari!

Watch the Northern Lights dance.

The Northwest Territories are Aurora Mecca of the world. Here the Aurora Borealis dance an average of 200 nights a year. Why are the Northern Lights so standard here? Because Canada’s subarctic is blessed with crystal clear nights, extremely low humidity and a perfect location just below the band of maximum aurora activity on Earth – the »Aurora Oval«.

In the NWT, there are two seasons when you can view the aurora: late summer, when the land and lakes are still warm, and winter when the lakes are frozen over. Licensed tour operators offer all types of aurora experiences, from rugged outdoor adventures chasing the aurora borealis to pampering programs at luxurious lodges. But no matter how you choose to experience the mysterious, magical, and life-affirming cosmic dance, everyone is guaranteed a front-row seat!

Aurora Borealis over the Hay River in the Northwest Territories of Canada
15 experiences in the Northwest Territories of Canada

Drive to the end of the street

The roads of the Northwest Territories wind through scenic, untouched wilderness, yet all significant highways have campgrounds, picnic areas, gas stations, and visitor information centres. Three southern roads connect to fabled northern routes. After a ride on the Alaska Highway through the Yukon, one reaches the legendary Dempster Highway, which leads to Inuvik in the centre of the western Arctic. From there, continue on the relatively new year-round road to the Arctic Ocean, ending in the friendly Inuvialuit community of Tuktoyaktuk.

In Alberta, this is followed by Albert Highway 35 north through lush boreal forests and meets NWT Highway 1 and the “Waterfall Route” south of Hay River. Many impressive waterfalls line the route here and invite you to make excellent stops. From British Columbia, Highway 77 joins the landmark Liard Highway, which runs parallel to the Mackenzie Mountains in the lush Dehcho region of the NWT and ends at Fort Simpson. However, the crowning glory of any road trip is going beyond the end of the road—on foot, canoe, or snowmobile.

Wide landscapes around the Dempster Highway
15 experiences in the Northwest Territories of Canada

Pulling ashore a 40-pounder

Because any smaller fish is referred to here as a »bait«. Whether you’re fly fishing for grayling or pike, trolling for trout, trying your hand at ice fishing or simply casting a lure from shore, every angler in the Northwest Territories is bound to end up hooking a fish sooner or later. The vast rivers, tranquil streams and hundreds of lakes (named and unnamed) are notorious for their abundance of gigantic fish eager to stalk the bait.

Woman holding huge fish that she caught

Fly in a co-pilot’s seat

The Northwest Territories are a true Flightseeing paradise. The scenic flights take off from many different locations in all directions, promising breathtaking bird’s-eye views of rugged landscapes and wildlife. How about a flight over the beautiful East Arm of the Great Slave Lake about galloping bison herds in Wood Buffalo National Park, over the imposing peaks of the Mackenzie Range or the uninhabited Barrens, where vast herds of caribou roam the country? 

Flying a small plane is excellent. Land on the water? Even cooler! For those who have never been in a seaplane, the Northwest Territories are the best place to experience seaplane transportation for the first time. There are bonus points for everyone who travels by ski plane in winter!

The Northwest Territories in Canada are a real flightseeing paradise
15 experiences in the Northwest Territories of Canada

Drive a dog sled

Dog sledding was once the most popular form of winter transport in the Northwest Territories. This tradition is continued today with dog sled racing as a spectator sport. Driving a team of eager huskies is fun, and the rules are pretty simple. You can also leave the driving to experienced mushers and let yourself be pulled through the landscape as a passenger on the sled. But that doesn’t count…!

Participate in a canoe race

In the small towns of the north, old-fashioned paddle races are a staple of local summer festivals. There is only one thing to do: get into the canoe and join in! But even without competition, the Northwest Territories, with their many wild glasses of water, are a paradise for canoeists! Beginner paddlers will appreciate the Lakes of the North Slave Shield at ease. In contrast, experienced paddlers come to the region to paddle legendary rivers such as the Nahanni, Broken Skull, Mountain, Thomsen, Mackenzie, Yellowknife, Coppermine, Thelon and Hornaday.

Canoeists on the Nahanni River

Spend a night in a tipi

Anyone camping in Canada’s Northwest Territories will get their best night’s sleep, that’s for sure. The call of the wild is unmistakable! Being lulled to sleep by the sound of a waterfall, taking a refreshing swim in a pristine river instead of a morning shower, swapping that boring canteen lunch for a freshly caught shore lunch, what more could you ask for? 

More than a dozen in the Northwest Territories Territorial Campgrounds and even more territorial parks sprawling across a land of endless tundra, dramatic peaks, thundering waterfalls, raging rivers and lakes as big as seas

Camping tent in the Nahanni National Park Reserve

Fill up the bottle at the foot of a waterfall.

They are wild, alive, majestic. There is something incredibly fascinating about waterfalls, just looking at their acts as a cleansing cure for the soul. The enormous masses of water that plunge over cliffs, the mighty roar that fills the air and the fine spray that rises in glittering rainbow colours – while you feel tiny compared to the flowing water. 

Better not to think about swimming here! The Northwest Territories are a Waterfall Wonderland. Whether it’s foaming roadside cascades in the South Slave Region, a deafening tsunami in the Mackenzie Mountains, or an idyllic spring in the Barrenlands, the region has vast water resources and endless ledges from which rivers tumble.

Like a refreshing summer shower, the spray of the Virginia Falls right in the face – the roaring masses of water in the Nahanni National Park plunge almost 100 meters into the depths and create a rainbow under the sunny sky that is second to none!

Virginia Falls in the Northwest Territories of Canada

Watching the sun not going down

It’s funny: the sun is sinking lower and lower, and wait a minute, then it’s rising again. No night Just an endless dance of the radiant glow in the sky. The Northwest Territories are the land of the midnight sun, where summer is perpetually light. It looks almost the same as in broad daylight at two o’clock in the morning. All night long, the birds sing, the children play, the fishermen fish, and the golfers putt. Campers turn their days upside down, eating lunch at midnight and curling up in their sleeping bags in the morning – because when the day is endless, you can do whatever you want. That’s why the midnight sun is so fantastic and wild.

Dress warmly at -40°C

In the Northwest Territories of Canada, parkas are not a fad. They’re like space suits, designed to cope well in the intense interstellar cold. Winters are cold here, of course – but it is a dry cold. The sunny, windless days make the brutal fascinating, even pleasant.

Two people in winter jackets are lying on a frozen road

Stroll along Ragged Ass Road

The most famous street in Yellowknife’s Old Town is as wild as its name suggests. Its name originated in 1970 as a joke by resident Lou Rocher, who owned much of the land along this street. At that time, the street was known as “Privy Road” because of the many outhouses. When a problematic gold-mining season brought in little revenue, and residents became convinced they were ragged ass broke, they decided to name their street that. Although the name was widely used, it was somewhat controversial. It wasn’t until the mid-2010s, after Rocher’s death, the City of Yellowknife officially honoured her with signs. It is said to be one of Canada’s most famous roads.

Ragged Ass Road in Yellowknife Old Town

Take a spin in an amphibious vehicle.

Strange vehicles traverse the Land of the North, rolling through landscapes no car could negotiate. Some remote fishing lodges can only be reached by amphibious vehicle.

Make a picnic stop in the Arctic Circle.

The legendary Dempster Highway is Canada’s only road that crosses the Arctic Circle. Here adventure seekers enter the actual polar zone, a mythical region where only a fraction of travellers on earth has ever set foot. The Arctic Circle is undoubtedly a good place for a picnic – nowhere else does lunch taste better than at »Top of the World«!Truck takes a picnic break at the Arctic Circle

Wake up with a dreamlike view

Do we need to say more about this? For more information about Canada’s Northwest Territories, read other articles.

Recent Posts

15 experiences in the Northwest Territories of Canada

Culinary delights in the Czech Republic 2022

Milan Travel Tips – EXCLUSIVE in 2022

Safety: What dangers are threatening when traveling in 2022

Hiking in Rhineland -Palatinate: The most beautiful ways

15 experiences in the Northwest Territories of Canada

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.