Located on the Ingraham Trail (Hwy 4), the mine site itself is being cleaned up by the Federal and Territorial governments. Wastes from over 4 decades of gold mining have left a toxic legacy.
Not far from the minesite itself, you can see some of the old mining equipment - sitting outside. Rather pictureque, I think.
The Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights are a must see if you are in the Canadian North. I was surprised how many Japanese tourist where in Yellowknife. Apparently over 10,000 a year come to simply see this natural experience.
During my visit it was mostly overcast but for sure one night the sky was dancing all over the place with this natural lights.
It really is amazing to experience. Living in Labrador, Canada this is also a regular occurance but its still amazing each and every time.
I used the painting picture because my digital camera takes horrible night pictures and they were not coming out properly.
I didn't want to put this tip under tourist trap because it is a singular reason for visiting the north in its own right however you may want to carefully evaluate the value being given by the tour operators.
In the fall and winter the sky will simply be full of these natural lights. I provided the link to own facility that charges for some extra conveniences.
Another company is Aurora World Corp or Raven Tours at 1-867-873-4776.
Go to a true “locals” bar, but be forewarned... I would say that ALL bars in Yellowknife would be considered 'local' by most peoples' standards; but there are some that even the 'locals' considered to be more extreme... In Yellowknife, a true local bar is characterized by the native 'First Nations' Indians that go there to drink (stereotypically on welfare day). We were also 'warned' by the locals we spoken with to “leave these bars early, before the crowd gets rough.” The warning was for outsiders who might be challenged into a bar fight, which was apparently common practice.
Although I can't recall the name, BGK and I found such a true local bar on our second night in Yellowknife. Looking very out of place, we slipped in around 6pm for a few beers. The bar had a few native 'First Nations' Indians hanging out drinking, but it seemed rather tame given our warning. We took a table next to an old Indian woman who seemed to be almost comatose from drinking Budweiser all day long. She just sat there by herself with this thousand-yard stare on her face. A truly sad sight, but this was real life for some of these people.
After finishing our first beer the Country Music started and we noticed that more people were starting to arrive for the night's festivities. We grabbed another round of beers while some dudes with big belt buckles started two-stepping to the bad Country music now blaring throughout the place (author’s note or should I say opinion: I think all Country music is bad).
During our third beer, we noticed that the place was starting to take a turn for the surreal. Heeding the warning for outsiders to leave early, BGK and I decided to high-tailed it out of that section of town. On the way out, we were heckled a little by some “true locals” in the street, but came away unscathed. So, by around 8pm we were headed for another bar where the 'college' crowd supposedly hung out. This when and where we started hitting the Tequila with beer chasers rather hard (see my Nightlife section for more on that) with the very cute 19 year-old bartender: Damien...
The airport. Stop in at Buffalo and see some of the oldest aircraft in commercial passenger/cargo service in North America at 'Joe-rassic Park'! Buffalo Joe has 3 C-46 (only a handfull left in regular service in N.America), something like 11 C-47/DC-3, 6 DC-4 (3 are forestry air tankers (retardant bombers), 4 'Super Scoopers' (CL-215), 4 PBY Catalina/Canso water bombers, a bunch of Bird Dog aircraft, a Canvas skin NOrseman on floats and a Steerman biplane. Occasionally he can even be talked into a flight - especially if you charter for a flightseeing tour - well worth it.
Get out of the city for an afternoon and go hiking through the Boreal Forests of North Canada. The short hike we did (I'll research the name and add it later) went out to a small waterfall.
Along the Mackenzie Highway near Hay River, the spectacular Louise Falls on the Hay River looks like a river of liquid chocolate during a heavy runoff . The river empties into Great Slave Lake.
Along the Ingraham trail, the Cameron River and its series of lakes and falls. Pictured is Prosperous Lake