Birding

Where nature takes flight

Birders, bring your binoculars! With four North American flyways converging here, the Northwest Territories offers some wonderful birdwatching opportunities through the spring and summer.  About one-fifth of the North American population of ducks, geese and swans nest here, together with songbirds, gulls and terns. Summer or winter you can spot the wily raven – a symbol of the north country. These huge, playful, all-black birds are common in all our communities. Willow ptarmigan change colour with the seasons, and in winter make sudden, almost too late, snow-white dashes for safety. Other year-round residents include chickadees, jays and snowy owls.

Our Stories

Intriguing tales from Canada's Northwest Territories
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    If you are ‘Born to be Wild’, join us for the trip of a lifetime on one of the NWT’s fabled rivers. Trace an untamed river, dine on scrumptious cuisine under the midnight sun and hike to unnamed peaks. Friendly, highly qualified guides and excellent equipment. Trips for every skill level. Awarded NWT Tourism Operator of the Year. 

Pingo Canadian Landmark

The Mackenzie Delta has the highest concentration of pingos on Earth – approximately 1,350 of them. Eight, including famous Ibyuk PIngo and Split Pingo, are protected by Parks Canada in the 16-square-kilometre Pingo National Landmark outside Tuktoyaktuk. They range from five meters to 70...

Aulavik National Park

Aulavik National Park Aulavik is our northernmost park, reaching across the pristine, wide-open lowlands of Banks Island. It’s famous for two things: the Thomsen River and muskoxen. The Thomsen, calm and crystal-clear, slides through this Arctic paradise carrying paddlers on guided...

Nahanni National Park Reserve

Nahanni National Park Reserve Nahanni, the best-known Northern park, showcases the South Nahanni River, possibly Canada’s most epic waterway. Framed by four towering canyons, the river spills through the alpine habitat of broad-shouldered bears, nimble Dall’s sheep and elusive woodland...

DORY POINT TERRITORIAL PARK DAY USE AREA

Located on the south bank of the mighty Mackenzie River where it empties out of Great Slave Lake, just a short way from the Mackenzie River ferry crossing at Fort Providence, this us great spot to take a break before continuing your journey north or south. You'll find washooms, a picnic...

Ja'k Territorial Park

Just outside Inuvik, this park features an observation tower with excellent views of the surrounding scenery and prime bird-watching. Watch for falcons, eagles and ducks, our summer residents. There is an abundance of cranberries, blueberries and cloudberries that give the park its name. The...

Mackenzie Bison Sanctuary

This big boreal reserve protects Canada’s northernmost population of wood buffalo, which are almost inevitably seen browsing along Highway 3. Roadside parks in the area – including North Arm and Chan Lake – provide an opportunity to stretch your legs and explore the area’s flora and landscape.

Houseboat Bay

The North's most colourful neighbourhood bobs on the waves of Great Slave Lake, just offshore of Old Town. Rent a kayak or paddleboard to explore this floating community – or bunk down at the houseboat bed-and-breakfast. 

Nááts’ihch’oh National Park

Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Nááts’ihch’oh, meaning “the mountain that’s sharp like a porcupine,” is named for a spine-like peak long sacred to the region’s First Nations. Nááts’ihch’oh is the Northwest Territories’ newest...

Thaidene Nëné National Park

Meaning “Land of the Ancestors,” Thaidene Nëné is a park-in-waiting, slated for federal and territorial protection in the next few years. The park will guard the glorious East Arm of Great Slave Lake – 27,000 square kilometres of spectacular and pristine waterways, ...

Reid Lake Territorial Park

Reid Lake is also an excellent base for fishing, swimming, canoeing, hiking, bird watching, wildlife viewing, power boating, and for extended canoe trips into the surrounding lake systems. From here, canoeists can access the Lower Cameron River, canoe routes to Jennejohn...

Frame Lake Trail

Forming a seven-kilometre loop around the shores of Frame Lake in the heart of Yellowknife, the city's favourite walking trail has a little of everything. The eastern half of the loop is a paved, sedate urban path, leading you past architectural marvels such as the territorial legislative...

Salt Plains

What in the world? Just west of Fort Smith in Wood Buffalo National Park lies a shimmering, pearly desert, stretching to the far horizon. A quick hike downhill will bring you to the bizarre Salt Plains, where saline minerals leach from an ancient seabed, turning the...

Tuktut Nogait National Park

Tuktut Nogait National Park Tuktut Nogait, meaning “young caribou,” is one of Canada’s least visited parks, protecting the calving grounds of the 68,000-strong Bluenose caribou herd near the shores of the Northwest Passage. Most visitors experience the park while...

NORTH ARM TERRITORIAL PARK DAY USE AREA

Enjoy a break from driving at this roadside park, offering washrooms, a kitchen shelter and a boat launch. Stop and rest on the picturesque shores of Great Slave Lake to take photos or simply to relax with a picnic. Be sure to look around you – the scenery abruptly changes here from...

Gwich'in Territorial Park

The Dempster Highway serves as a boundary for this 8,800-hectare park, which includes two campgrounds (Vadzaih Van Tshik Campground and Gwich’in Territorial Campground), two day-use areas (Ehjuu NJik and Nihtak) and Tithegeh Chii Vitaii Lookout. The park is home to a...

Frame Lake Trail

This seven-kilometre loop around Frame Lake is the recreation trail for activity in the heart of the capital. While the eastern half is paved and passes by residential neighbourhoods, the western half consists of boardwalks over muskeg and wayfinding over rolling, forested-shrouded...

Canoe Arctic Inc.

For more than 40 years, Canoe Arctic Inc. has operated guided canoe trips on the most remote wild rivers left on our planet. With chartered amphibian aircraft based in Fort Smith, we fly our clientele in to the Thelon... Read more

Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge

Arctic Watch is a Nunavut resort, located 500 miles north of the Arctic Circle. A world-class beluga whale observation site, Arctic Watch offers access to hiking, kayaking, Arctic safaris with beluga whales, muskox,... Read more