Did you know that the Northwest Territories is teeming with waterfalls? Well, now you do. There are iconic and breathtaking cascades like Virginia Falls in Nahanni National Park Reserve, the isolated La Roncière Falls in Tuktut Nogait National Park, Carcajou Falls on an epic Canol Trail adventure... But you don’t need to float plane your way into a remote national park to access all our wonderous waterfalls – some of these beauties are accessible right off a highway. Read on to discover them for yourself.
Alexandra Falls stands 32 metres (106 feet) above the Hay River and is located within Twin Falls Gorge Territorial Park. It’s about a stone’s throw from the highway just outside the town of Hay River.
This is the waterfall that gives Alexandra Falls her twin in Twin Falls Gorge. Louise Falls stands about half as high and spills across three tiers, making these falls a little more gentle but no less spectacular. Alexandra Falls was named in 1872 for Queen Alexandra while she was Princess of Wales, before being crowned Queen. Louise Falls is named for her eldest daughter.
Outside the small village of Kakisa, just off Highway 1, you’ll find Lady Evelyn Falls. This waterfall comes in the form of a 17-metre crescent-shaped curtain, and while not the biggest cascade in the Northwest Territories, it is among the prettiest. Stay at the campground named for this natural wonder and be lulled off to sleep by the sound of the falling water. And if you’ve brought along your fishing rod, there is excellent Grayling to be had at the base of the falls.
About a half hour outside Fort Smith, you’ll come across the tiny campground (just 6 sites) of Little Buffalo River Falls. Its namesake waterfall is very picturesque - the narrow channel set into the gently curved cliffs makes for an impressive and idyllic scene. This is an ideal spot to relax, or launch a canoe or kayak in the gorge below the falls.
Sambaa Deh Falls is one of the most impressive, easily accessible set of waterfalls in the NWT. Feel the rocks vibrate under your feet as you stand beside the thundering waterfall. There are excellent hiking trails in the territorial park named for the waterfall, and the hike to Coral Falls is especially pretty. Coral Falls gets its name from the numerous coral fossils washed down the river each year.
No summertime trip to Yellowknife would be complete without a trip to Cameron Falls. This pretty waterfall is your reward for hiking 25 minutes or so along a well-marked trail. You'll traverse rocky outcrops and in and out of valleys on your way to the falls. Make sure to pack a sandwich or some snacks as you’ll want to sit on the benches overlooking the falls and enjoy the view.