Yellowknife’s most popular lookout rises high above Old Town, providing a stupendous view over Great Slave Lake, Back Bay and the northern reaches of the city. The monument rests atop “The Rock”—a six-storey hill where the town’s original water tower once stood—and is accessed via a winding wooden staircase.
Back when Yellowknife was still young, travel between communities and camps was long and dangerous. Bush planes were a vital resource for transporting supplies, food, medicine and people. This monument is dedicated to those pilots and engineers whose lives were lost as they flew the wild skies of the Northwest Territories. But it also serves a practical purpose: When the light atop the tower is flashing, residents and visitors are warned that floatplanes or skiplanes are active on nearby Yellowknife Bay.
Reaching the base of Pilot’s Monument is easy. Just head down Franklin Avenue towards Old Town and you’ll see it rising up above the houses. Getting to the top is a little trickier. The climb is steep and unfortunately not wheelchair accessible. There are two resting areas on the staircase for those that need them. At the peak are two viewing platforms where many travellers take photos and gaze out on the beautiful scenery of Yellowknife.