Northwest Territories tourist information with details about travel to
and around Northwest Territories.
Where to stay and what to see is made easier with
insider tips and hand-selected Northwest Territories links, by dedicated editors and
visitors to TravelNotes.org - The Online Guide to Travel.
The capital of Northwest Territories is
Northwest Territories Background Information
Located in northern Canada, Northwest Territories borders Canada's two
other territories, Yukon to the west and Nunavut to the east, and three provinces: British Columbia to the south-west, Alberta to the south, and Saskatchewan to the south-east.
Territorial islands in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago include Banks
Island, Borden Island, Prince Patrick Island, and parts of Victoria Island and Melville
The highest point in the Northwest Territories is referred to as Mount Nirvana (2,773m),
near the border with Yukon.
Northwest Territories Government:
This is the land where the world's best northern lights dance during the dark winter
months and where the sun never sets during the summer.
Where to Stay in Northwest Territories
Northwest Territories hotels online to save yourself time and
Accommodation in Northwest Territories
Hotels in Yellowknife:
Find hotels in Yellowknife with special online rates.
What to See in Northwest Territories
Natural features in the Northwest Territories include the Great Bear
and Great Slave Lakes, as well as the immense Mackenzie
River and the canyons of the Nahanni National Park Reserve;
a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Great Bear Lake, in central Northwest Territories, is the largest
lake that lies entirely within Canada. Compared to the other lakes, only Lakes Superior,
Huron and Michigan are bigger than the Great Bear Lake.
Yellowknife is located on the northern shore of Great Slave Lake. For
a panoramic view of the city, climb up the stairs to the top of 'The Rock' in the Old
Town; where the Pilot's Monument pays tribute to the flying pioneers.
A log-cabin built in 1937, Yellowknife's Wildcat Cafe has been
lovingly restored and operates as a restaurant serving traditional Northern fare of
caribou and fish.
Located 20 minutes east of Yellowknife, the tepee village is located directly under the
Aurora Oval, which is one of the best places to see the Aurora Borealis in the world. Open
from November 20th to April 15th in winter, and August 15th to September 30th in summer;
the prime viewing times for the Lights.
of Wales Northern Heritage Centre:
Located at 4750 - 48th Street, in Yellowknife.
There are a number of historic sites and other attractions to
visit in Northwest Territories.
The Park, on a bluff with a magnificent view of the Papal Flats and the conjunction of the
Liard and Mackenzie rivers, consists of two residential lots; in part of the large area
claimed by the Hudson's Bay Company, in 1822.
The Fort Simpson Visitor Centre, the first building on the left as you
enter the town, has a small museum displaying the history of the Fort Simpson area. The
staff also arrange guided walking-tours of town.
Smith Mission Historic Park:
Between 1876 and the early 1980's, the Roman Catholic Church operated its mission to the
entire western arctic from here.
Timeline of The Northwest Territories:
Learn about the Territory's history through 100 major historical events. Attached to each
event are resources that bring history to life through photographs, documents, video
clips, audio tracks and an array of objects from archives and museum collections.
A traditional route of the Dogrib people that stretches from Great Slave Lake to Great
For at least the past 700 years, the homeland of the Inuvialuit has been in the
northwestern most part of Canada in the Beaufort Sea - Mackenzie Delta area. This virtual
journey follows a route that goes along the Mackenzie River to the Beaufort Sea, and then
east along the coast before heading south to Husky Lakes (Imaryuk).
In 1853, the men of a British Navy enterprise, under the command of Captain Henry Kellett,
constructed a storehouse on Dealy Island (off the south coast of Melville Island, in the
Western Arctic Archipelago) to provide a cache of provisions for expeditions in dire
Northwest Territories is known for its extensive system of parks; ranging in size from
wayside rest stops at the edge of a highway, to vast wilderness preserves where the
wildlife outnumbers the visitors.
Excavations in 1987 has led to a fuller understanding of the role played by the native
people of Great Bear Lake, during Sir John Franklin's Second Arctic Land Expedition
Providence Historic Site:
Located near Wool Bay, outside the City of Yellowknife, are the remains of Old Fort
Providence; a North West Company, and later a Hudson's Bay Company, trading post.
Reliance Historic Site:
On the East Arm of Great Slave Lake is one of the best preserved sites of early
exploration in the western Subarctic.
For centuries, the pingos (unique ice-cored hills in the Arctic landscape) have acted as
navigational aides for Inuvialuit travelling by land and water and as a convenient height
of land for spotting caribou on the tundra or whales offshore. Located 5km west of
Official Northwest Territories Tourist Information
The ten largest municipalities in the Northwest Territories are Yellowknife, Hay River, Inuvik,
Fort Smith, Behchoko, Fort Simpson, Tuktoyaktuk,
Fort McPherson, Norman Wells and Fort
To make planning your trip easier, the Northwest Territories is
divided into eight distinct travel destinations, each with its own Aboriginal heritage and
role in Canadian history:
Arctic Coast -
where the Dempster Highway ends and the Mackenzie River meets the Arctic Ocean.
Big Lake Country
- stretching from the north shore of Great Slave Lake, east to the Barrenlands and
north-west to Great Bear Lake.
- share the exuberant spirit of Yellowknife, 'Diamond Capital of North America'.
Gateway - one of the biggest, deepest freshwater lakes on the planet, and the second
largest lake within Canada.
- the kilometre-wide Mackenzie River is the heart of this Northwest Territories
destination, accessible only by air.
- legends of lost gold, and of a magnificent, remote waterfall thats twice as high
- accessible by road, the Waterfalls Route extends 400km along the Mackenzie Highway, with
scenic viewpoints and excellent camping facilities.
Country - Wood Buffalo National Park is a northern world all its own, a driveable
wilderness at one end of the Mackenzie Highway.
The NWT's treasures include several of Canada's greatest rivers, biggest lakes and most
important National Parks. Aboriginal tradition thrives in communities built on a rich
fur-trade, exploration and mining heritage. Small and widely scattered, they're linked by
roads, rivers or bush airlines.
Tourist Office Website
What to Do in Northwest Territories
Great Slave Tours:
An active member of the Great Slave Lake Advisory Committee, Shawn Buckley can provide you
with scientific research support, winter and summer sport fishing, boat and bombardier
tours, or a night-time viewing of the aurora borealis.
Getting To and Around Northwest Territories
Northwest Territories by Air
The GNWT Department of Transportation operates 27 airports in the NWT:
Lake (EB3), Deline
Good Hope (YGH), Fort Liard
McPherson (ZFM), Fort
Providence (YJP), Fort
Resolution (YFR), Fort Simpson
Smith (YSM), Gameti (YRA), Hay River
Marie River (ET9), Lutsel K'e
Butte (BD6), Norman Wells
Harbour (YSY), Trout Lake
(YWY) and Yellowknife
(YZF) - the busiest airport in northern Canada.
A number of airlines connect the Northwest Territories
Air North: (4N)
Yukon's airline flies to Inuvik from Dawson City and Old Crow (Yukon), with seasonal scheduling to Fairbanks (Alaska). Through Whitehorse,
Air North continues on down to Vancouver (British
Columbia), or Calgary and Edmonton (Alberta).
Based in Yellowknife, the company offers scheduled and charter air service throughout the Yukon, North West Territories and Nunavut in the Canadian Arctic; with aircraft on floats,
wheels and skis.
Aklak Air: (6L)
Based in Inuvik, Aklak serves the western Arctic with scheduled flights between Inuvik and
Aklavik, Fort Good Hope, Norman Wells, Paulatuk, Sachs Harbour, Tuktoyaktuk, Ulukhaktok,
and seasonally to Fort McPherson.
Arctic Sunwest Charters:
Based in Yellowknife, the company operate aircraft on floats and skis from their Float
Base located on the shores of Great Slave Lake.
Buffalo Airways: (J4)
Operates passenger flights between Yellowknife and Hay River.
From Yellowknife, flights go to Hay River, Inuvik and Norman Wells; and down to Edmonton
and Calgary (Alberta). Flight paths also stretch out
west across Nunavut and down to Ottawa (Ontario) from Iqualuit.
First Air: (7F)
Flights from Yellowstone go to Hay River, Inuvik and through Fort Simpson to Whitehorse (Yukon). There's also a direct flight to Edmonton (Alberta) and numerous routes into Nunavut; connecting through Rankin Inlet to Thompson and
Winnipeg (Manitoba) and Iqaluit to Ottawa (Ontario) and Montreal (Quebec).
Great Slave Helicopters:
Rotary wing charter company headquartered in Yellowknife; with further operational bases
in Fort Liard, Fort Simpson, Inuvik and Norman Wells, as well as Calgary (Alberta), Churchill (Manitoba)
and Dryden (Ontario).
North Cariboo Air: (NCB)
Charter airline headquartered in Fort St. John (British
Columbia), with bases in Calgary and Edmonton (Alberta),
and Fort Liard.
Based in Norman Wells, with satellite bases in Deline and Fort Good Hope. Scheduled
flights serve the communities of Colville Lake, Deline, Fort Good Hope, Inuvik, Norman
Wells, Tulita and Yellowknife.
Northwestern Air Lease: (J3)
Headquartered in Fort Smith, once the capital of the Northwest Territories, the airline
operates a scheduled service to Yellowknife and Alberta
(Calgary and Edmonton), with connections to Fort McMurray, Peace River and Red Deer.
Charter company specialising in flying the Sahtu and Yellowknife area.
Northwest Territories by Road
You can drive to the Northwest Territories from the Yukon, via the Dempster Highway (8); or from Alberta, via the Mackenzie Highway (1).
Territories Highways network from Yellowknife and westward around the Great Slave Lake
are paved, while the Mackenzie and Liard Highways are gravel.
Further north, the Mackenzie Valley Winter Road system runs from
Wrigley to Colville Lake. The Ice Roads
are a unique road system built across tundra, lakes and rivers; providing links to remote,
off-highway communities for a few ice-cold weeks each winter.
In 2008, the History Channel screened an insightful series about the Ice Road Truckers.
Taking The Bus:
comes into Hay River, from Peace River (Alberta); with
Frontier Coachlines operating the service to Yellowknife. Edmonton to Yellowknife is about
1,500km and takes some 22 hours by bus.
Cardinal Coach Lines (107 Kam Lake Rd, Yellowknife) also operate coach
Northwest Territories Ferry Crossings
There are some ferry crossings in the Northwest Territories; when
the ice crossings have melted.
Mackenzie River Crossing at Km
25 on the Yellowknife Hwy (3) near Fort Providence (from mid May to early January).
Liard River Crossing at Km
457 on the Mackenzie Hwy (1) near Fort Simpson (from mid May to the start of
N'Dulee/Camsell Bend Crossing at Km
548 on the Mackenzie Hwy (1) on the way to Wrigley (from the end of May to the end
Peel River Crossing at Km
74 on the Dempster Hwy (8) at Fort McPherson (from June to October).
Mackenzie River Crossing at Km
143 on the Dempster Hwy (8) near Tsiigehtchic (from June to October).
There's a period of about a month either side when the ice is too
thin to carry heavy traffic but too thick for the ferries to run; so make sure you plan to
travel when the ferries are running, or the rivers are frozen solid.
View a graphical weather forecast for the week ahead in Northwest Territories.
7-Day Weather Forecasts For Northwest Territories
Northwest Territories Weather Videos
Weather in Neighbouring Provinces
Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nunavut, Saskatchewan, Yukon Territory.
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