In the sunny autumn months, intrepid travellers from across the globe are drawn to Canada’s Northwest Territories. Vibrant foliage is a magnificent backdrop to outdoor adventures and overhead the Aurora Borealis becomes visible as darkness returns to the land for a few hours each night. In the rivers, on land and in the air, here are three exhilarating ways to explore one of Canada’s most spectacular and remote wildernesses.
1Camp in the wild
Camp on the shores of Pine Lake in Wood Buffalo National Park for the outdoor adventure of a lifetime. Lose yourself in Canada’s largest national park, home to the largest wood bison herd in the world. Get to know more than 227 types of birds, including the endangered whooping crane.
When the sun sets, experience the magic of the world’s largest Dark Sky Preserve. When you’re finished exploring the boreal forest at ground level, take to the skies for a flightseeing tour of this UNESCO World Heritage site.
2Challenge the wild northern rivers
From mild to wild, the Northwest Territories has freshwater adventures for all ability levels. Paddle in world-famous rivers and pristine, secluded lakes. Pick up the pace in a kayak in some of the most accessible rapids in North America, including the breathtaking Cassette Rapids on the Slave River near Fort Smith.
Canoe, raft or kayak the four heritage rivers along historical travel routes, such as the Keele River in Sahtu, a Canada Signature Experience. The Keele flows 360km from the mouth of the Natla River to the Mackenzie River, south of Tulita. It winds through mountain ranges with spectacular scenery.
3Discover mysterious wildlife and hidden waterfalls
Hike the Canol Trail in the Mackenzie Mountains. Although this is one of the toughest treks in North America there are plenty of other groomed trails in the region suitable for the whole family.
Discover hidden waterfalls and have the camera ready as you explore peaceful river valleys, raging rivers, quiet streams and mountains, where wild sheep, goats, bison, caribou and muskoxen roam untamed. Spot songbirds, geese and ducks by the thousands, nesting on the tundra and beside lakes.
In some of the larger Northwest Territories communities, walking trails are often marked and signed. Local trails lead to sunny picnic spots with spectacular views of the vast landscape.
Pip Macken is Director – media relations, Destination Canada GSA in Australia and media representative for Northwest Territories.
Discover Northwest Territories
Air Canada Jazz, Air North, First Air, Westjet and Canadian North have daily flights to Yellowknife from Edmonton and Calgary in Alberta and from Ottawa in Ontario. To reach Fort Smith, fly Northwestern Air from Edmonton.
See Northwest Territories for more ideas when visiting the Northwest Territories.