If you are flying into Yellowknife it would be a good idea to rent a car if you want to explore around a lot.
Warning it is a little expensive though compared to your main centers. I paid $58 per day, 25 total free kilometers and $0.35 per kilomter after that and these can rack up!
You determine if its within your budget but certainly helpful! Learning to drive around Yellowknife is very easy.
Northwest Territories in summer time you will see lots of constuction going on everywhere this is because it's the only time they can work on things because in winter the ground is hard and covered with ice and snow with the temperature really low it makes working in winter alot harder so in summertime expect some constuction delays in some area's
This is the ferry on the way to Yellowknife, Northwest territories and doesn't cost anything it's completely free but the only thing is it stops running certain times of the year when the river starts to freeze it makes it hard for the ferry to get thur the ice and you will need to wait till the ice is thick enough to drive over. it's only a few minute ride across the river.
Note:when the ferry is not in service the only way in or out of yellowknife is by airplane and also some roads are only useable in winter time.
Travelling north from Alberta along the MacKenzie Highway brings you to the town of Hay River on the southern shore of Great Slave Lake. This is Louise Falls on the Hay River. Continuing west along the MacKenzie Highway brings you to the ferry crossing of the mighty MacKenzie River at Fort Providence just downstream from where it leaves Great Slave Lake. The river here is more than 2km wide at this point. During the coldest part of the winter there is an ice bridge here.
The road distance from Edmonton to Yellowknife is about 1520 km
The second photo shows what can happen in winter when the ice is not thick enough to support the weight of a big transport truck. Here, a large tanker truck has broken through the ice bridge across Great Slave Lake. At least 3-4 feet of ice would be necessary.
We rented an auto from Budget Rent-A-Car. In the photo, I am (in the red shirt) posing with the Budget Rent-A-Car Manager and Apprentice Supervisor. Watch out for the rental manager (far left in the photo with black and white fur) as he is under a lot of stress training the apprentice supervisor (guy in the Green shirt).
If you are staying downtown (or even near downtown like at the Explorer) and not planning on going out of town, using your own two feet for transportation (i.e. walking) is just as easy.
Air Tindi offers scheduled flights from Yellowknife to the remaining communities in the North West Territories.
The company also offers flights in smaller planes from the float plane dock. I recall it was $175 for three people to take a scenic tour of the area. You could also get a caravan seating 7 for a small amount more.
First Air is probably the main carrier into Yellowknife.
I have to say I enjoyed my short hour and 20 minute flight from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
We were also given a meal that was good by airplane standards.
Airfield Data: 2 Runways, Fire Category 6
Runway 1: Heading 15/33, 2,286m (7,500ft), PLR 12
Runway 2: Heading 09/27, 1,524m (5,000ft), PLR 12
Passenger Facilities: 15 check-in desks, 3 gates, 1 baggage claim belt, Post Office, Restaurants, Cafeterias, Bars, Gift Shop, Car Rental, Taxi Service/Rank, First Aid, Baby/Parent Room, Disabled Access/Facilities
If you are hoping to sleep in the airport as a budget traveller, I found this comment online and I have to agree.
(Contributed by Olivia) "The airport terminal building is small and does not lend itself to undisturbed sleep. The seating is scientifically designed for discomfort through its particular lack of attention to lumbar support. Best bet for loitering between flights would be to try out the airport restaurant with booth seating and home made goodies. Chatting it up with the nice folk who staff the car rental booths is a good time waster too."
Getting there, well I guess you can drive, but it's best to fly. We took Canadian Airlines from Vancouver to Yellowknife (connection in Edmonton), the flight was not too long and landing in Yellowknife airport was cool. I love going into small airports that only have a few gates...no frills!!!
From late April to late May, flying is the only option. Well sort of. The 1.5 mile long ice bridge will be out at the MacKenzie river and the ferry not in yet. If your vehicle is under 3500 pounds you can have it (and you) slung across under a helicopter. Otherwise, park in Hay River and take a flight from there (and take a bus back (8 hours) after the ferry is in to collect your wheels). By DC-3 is the most fun.
Pretty much anywhere in town is within a 1 hour walk. A mountain bike is better though. A city bus is available from the airport to town for $2