Some places charge extra for a waterfront view, but in the Northwest Territories you’d be hard pressed to find a campground that doesn’t offer riverside campsites, breathtaking lake views or the soothing, steady rumble of a waterfall.
No need to bring the white noise machine on this camping trip. At Lady Evelyn Falls, Twin Falls Gorge and Sambaa Deh Falls Territorial Parks, the comforting sounds of cascading water will help you drift off to sleep. Many of the campgrounds in the NWT offer excellent hiking opportunities. Make sure you wander down to the viewing platform at Lady Evelyn Falls to really appreciate their beauty. An easy hiking trail at Twin Falls Gorge will take you from the dramatic 32-metre Alexandra Falls to the gentler but still impressive Louise Falls. Be sure to descend the impressive spiral staircase to the base of Louise Falls. Picnic tables and kitchen shelters are available at both waterfalls. The hiking trail at Sambaa Deh Falls takes you on the same portage route that early fur traders followed as they made their way down the Trout River (Sambaa Deh).
If you’re looking for a park with great swimming and beach access, look no further than Hay River and Fred Henne Territorial Parks. Hay River Park sits on the south shore of Great Slave Lake and boasts a long stretch of soft, sandy beach. A constant supply of driftwood washes up on the shore, providing you with a place to hang your towel after you’ve gone for a dip in one of the largest lakes in the world. Fred Henne is located on the shores of Long Lake in Yellowknife. Book a campsite on a high rocky outcrop that provides a stellar view of the lake, then wander down to the beach to play volleyball or bob around on your favourite floatie. Fred Henne is the first of the Ingraham Trail parks, and two minutes from Yellowknife. As you follow the highway, you’ll find beautiful campgrounds, boat launches and swimming access at Prelude Lake and Reid Lake parks as well as day use swimming and boating areas at Madeline Lake, Prosperous Lake and Pontoon Lake Territorial Parks.
If riverside views are what you’re after, Blackstone Territorial Park is situated on the banks of the Liard River, just down from the South Nahanni River. This campground serves as an excellent starting or end point on a Nahanni trip, as well as an essential stop on a Dehcho region roadtrip. And just outside Yellowknife, another stop on the Ingraham Trail is Cameron Falls. A short hiking trail in Hidden Lake Territorial Park guides you across boardwalks and over Canadian Shield outcrops until you reach the Cameron River ramparts and impressive waterfall. Stop for a snack and take in the scenery, then continue alongside the Cameron River where a bridge brings you to the other side of the river.