Wood Buffalo National Park
Though most of the park is in Alberta, there is a fair size chunk in the Northwest Territories. The total size of the park (on both sides of the border) is 44,807 km2 which makes it the largest national park in Canada and the second largest in the world (after Northeast Greenland National Park). It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you are driving to Fort Smith from Hay River, you will be driving through this park. Some of the things you can visit in the NWT portion of the park are the Wetlands Pull Off and Trail, Nyarling Pull Off, and the Angus Sinkhole which is 100 metres across and 60 metres deep. The visitor's information centre is in Fort Smith. Be aware that this area is a bit more remote so make sure you vehicle is in good working condition, lots of fuel and some extra supplies just in case.Add to your Trip Planner
Fort Smith is a town in southern Northwest Territories that is along the border with Alberta just being a short drive from Fitzgerald. It's around 272 km from Hay River along highway 5. Fort Smith was a last minute decision so I didn't get to spend much time but from what I saw, it was quite nice. The homes I saw were well kept and the streets were clean. One of the main reasons to visit here is that it is the gateway to Wood Buffalo National Park. I found the visitor information centre to be very informative about the area in general. A short walk to the north of town and you are at Slave River where you can walk down and see the pelicans that come here to feed. You can also check out St Joseph's Cathedral and Mission Park while you are here as well.Add to your Trip Planner
Hay River is the main town in southern NWT with a population of around 3,700 people. Driving up from Alberta on highway 35, this is the first place of any real size. There are several hotels here and a campground also located within the town. Hay River has a variety of activities but most seem to be focus on the outdoors. Fishing and hiking would seem to be the main ones to me but all sorts of other activities can be done here. It also hosts several festivals throughout the year such as Lobster Fest, Hay Days Music Festival, Fall Wine Tasting Gala and more. Some of the things you can check out is Vale Island, the heritage centre and if you are a fan of Ice Pilots, Buffalo Airways. Entering the town you come in from the south where most of your amenities will be on your right. As you carry on to Vale Island, you pass the airport and the road carries on to loop around the island.Add to your Trip Planner
Fred Henne Territorial Park
Fred Henne Territorial Park is literally located just outside the Yellowknife Airport. There is a trail that takes you by some of the oldest rock formations in the world. I've been told that during summertime, the lake here is the only reasonable swimming lake in the Northwest Territories. Other beach activities are also available here. Camping is possible here and there is a wide range of services in the park. The park is opened between May 15th to September 15th. You can still go inside the park outside those dates (as shown by my second picture) but trails and services are not maintained.Add to your Trip Planner
Ragged Ass Road
Probably the most famous named road in all the Northwest Territories, Ragged Ass Road is located in Yellowknife. It was named by a group of friends after a season of hard work without any profit. Ragged ass meant dirt poor, so they jokingly put the sign up. In time, Yellowknife officially adopted it. Ragged Ass Road is located in Old Town and not far South of 50th Avenue, close to Brock and Bryson Drive.Add to your Trip Planner
Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories (also known as the Diamond Capital of North America) is very boom or bust town. Mining of one sort usually keeps workers coming here. First it was gold, now diamonds and soon, it will probably be rare earth metals. It's also a government town. It's a pricey place but if you are with the government up here, you get a good allowance to compensate. That allowance brings a few single moms up here because they can fair quite well here compared to other places in the country.
Yellowknife isn't that old of a city where it first really got settled in the 1930s because of gold. It has a population close to 20,000 and is located in the Southern part of the NWT and North of Great Slave Lake. It is well serviced by air as a few airlines fly into here. You can drive here as well. During the summer there is ferry service and winter it's ice road. You may want to check a head of time to make sure the ice road is frozen during the freezing and melting season.
It's a nice place to visit. I just love the area that surrounds Yellowknife, I find it scenic with the lakes, rock and trees. Culture is really starting to develop here, especially in the Old Town. Some nice restaurants are coming up and this seems to be the hub of Arctic art. But I think the real reason to visit is the outdoors. There is so many outdoor activities in the region and this is the jumping off point. Plenty of outfitters up here to help you on your adventure. Fishing, hiking, camping, canoeing, hunting, Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) viewing and so much more is available to do here.Add to your Trip Planner
Inuvik was a place that I had moved to briefly when I was young on my own. I remember that because of my working and sleeping hours that I did not see the sun for a month. I would see a bit of twilight but the sun would have set or wasn't even breaking the horizon. Inuvik is the main town in the north of the Northwest Territories. It's population fluctuates widely but to say that there is around 3,000 people is acurate. It is a relatively new town on the MacKenzie River. It came around in the 1950s because the nearby town of Aklavik was prone to flooding. Inuvik actually becomes isolated for about a month of the year from when the Dempster Highway closes and the ice road is not thick enough for travel. This is a time when prices skyrocket. Speaking of the Dempster Highway, Inuvik is the finally of the highway. One of the main attractions is the Igloo Church or by it's proper name Our Lady of Victories Church.Add to your Trip Planner
meet nice people in unexpected places
Meeting nice people is fun, especially when it is unexpected.
One day I was working at a remote northern location when out of the blue Jergen B.
Jergen was from a community on the Arctic Ocean and arrived at our camp from a hunting lodge. He had a skidoo with a rifle and several wolf pelts.
He was a very nice man. I later met him later in Yellowknife and got along roaringly.Related to:
- Work Abroad
- Study Abroad
- School Holidays
Northwest Territories Hotels
The Explorer Hotel was clean, at a great location at the edge of downtown. Within walking distance...more
An average comfortable establishment. For convenience, it is situated almost in the middle of the...more
5303 52 Street, Yellowknife, NT, X1A1V1, CA
Good for: Families
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