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Somba K’e Park

Somba K’e park in Yellowknife NWT

On the shores of Frame Lake and in the shadow of City Hall, this grassy park is Yellowknife’s favourite gathering place. The plaza is a hub of activity all year-round, hosting free events like the Yellowknife Farmers’ Market in the summer and an amazing display of holiday lights come winter. 

Musical performances are common at the waterfront amphitheatre, and it’s here you can take part in the grand Canada Day and Indigenous People’s Day celebrations. Stop off for a picnic, or just take in the awe inspiring drum-dance sculpture , “‘United in Celebration” by renowned Artist Francois Thibault. The Prince of Wales museum and NWT Legislature are a short stroll across the water along the Frame Lake Trail.

Whatever the event, Somba K’e offers a beautiful backdrop to life in Yellowknife.

Saoyú-ʔehdacho National Historic Site

Great Bear Lake in the Northwest territories in the SAOYÚ-ʔEHDACHO National Historic Site

In one of the most isolated parts of North America stands one of the most sacred and significant sites in the Northwest Territories. Saoyú-ʔehdacho is the largest National Historic Site in Canada. It’s made up of two peninsulas on Great Bear Lake: Saoyú (saw-you-eh or “grizzly bear mountain”) and ʔehdacho (aa-daa-cho or “scented grass hills”). Both feature flat summits several hundred metres above sea level, along with raised beaches containing evidence of human use from over 5,000 years ago.

The park itself is the first of its kind in Canada to be designed in consultation with Indigenous groups and jointly administered by Parks Canada and the Délı̨nę Got’ine Government’.  This sacred land of healing and teaching is very important to the Sahtugot’ine (“the people of the Sahtu”). It’s through this land and the stories that surround it that Elders in Délı̨nę pass on the history, laws, values and skills critical to their way of life. 

North Arm Territorial Park Day Use Area

North Arm Territorial Park day use area in the Northwest Territories

Stop and rest on the picturesque shores of Great Slave Lake at this roadside park, a favorite stop for locals and visitors travelling the highway. Take some photos or simply relax with a picnic. But be sure to look around you – the scenery abruptly changes here from rolling, well-treed Mackenzie lowlands to the granite of the Canadian shield. This is also a prime waterfowl nesting area.

The park, located off of Highway 3 near Behchokǫ̀, offers washrooms, a kitchen shelter and a boat launch. 

Chan Lake Territorial Park Day Use Area

Chan Lake Territorial Park

Approximately halfway between Fort Providence and Behchokǫ̀, this is the perfect spot for a picturesque picnic in the heart of bison country. 

The Chan Lake Territorial Park Day Use Area is located at the northern end of the Mackenzie Bison Sanctuary. Stop for a visit while travelling the Yellowknife Highway and watch for bison and sandhill cranes right from the roadside. 

This day-use park offers picnic tables, a kitchen shelter and washroom facilities. Open during the summer from May to September.

Yellowknife River Territorial Park Day Use Area

Yellowknife River Territorial Park Day Use Area

Located on the Yellowknife River, the park is a perfect place to enjoy a picnic or fishing. There are washrooms here, a picnic area and playground, trails and a boat launch. For the more adventurous, boat up the river and into the string of lakes it connects to; or head into Back Bay and Yellowknife Bay on Great Slave Lake.

Madeline Lake Territorial Park Day Use Area

a youth sits at a fire pit at Madeline Lake Park Day use area in the N.W.T.

Located on Madeline Lake, about 25 kilometres east of Yellowknife off the Ingraham Trail, this day-use area is the perfect place to enjoy some great scenery, take in a hike, or relax and have a meal at one of its several picnic sites.

Better yet, hit the water. Madeline Lake is usually calm due to its sheltered location and warm because of its smaller size. Use the boat launch and dock area to access both Madeline and Prosperous Lake (with the latter being the most popular for fishing). Visitors can also reach the hidden treasure of Big Hill Lake Trail from the Madeline Lake Territorial Park. This six-kilometre round-trip hiking trail is well marked in the summer months but can be very wet in spring.

The Madeline Lake Territorial Park Day Use area features on-site parking, washrooms and a playground. Picnic sites are equipped with tables and firepits.

Prosperous Lake Territorial Park Day Use Area

Don’t be deceived by the apparent size of Prosperous Lake as seen from the shore – the main body of the lake is out of sight! This boat launch provides access to Prosperous Lake, which stretches approximately 16 kilometres north.

Cameron River Crossing Territorial Park Day Use Area

Less-travelled than Hidden Lake Territorial Park, which lies further downstream on the Cameron River, the Cameron River Crossing Territorial Park is nonetheless a fantastic getaway off the Ingraham Trail.

The park offers paddlers access to the Lower Cameron River Canoe Route, and is only a short distance to the marvelous Cameron River Rampart Falls. 

This day-use area features washrooms, a picnic area, a lookout, trails and amazing fishing.

Tetlit Gwinjik Territorial Park Day Use Area

Tetlit Gwinjik Territorial Park Day Use Area look out point in the NWT

Stop at this scenic pullout just south of Fort McPherson, off the Dempster Highway, and gaze out at all the beauty of the Mackenzie Delta – including the transcendent Peel River and the megalithic Richardson Mountains.

The Richardson Mountains parallel the northernmost part of the Yukon/NWT border. The mountain range, which rises to an elevation of 1.2 kilometres, was named in 1825 by Sir John Franklin after his surgeon, naturalist and co-Arctic explorer friend, Sir John Richardson.

It’s a great berry picking area, and is home to Dall’s sheep, moose, Arctic wolves and the occasional grizzly bear. One of the largest herds of barren-ground caribou, the Porcupine herd, migrates into the northeastern Richardson Mountains in early July.

The day-use area here features several interpretive panels detailing the region’s history and ecology, along with a boardwalk that leads to a must-see lookout.


Mcnallie Creek Territorial Park Day Use Area

McNallie Creek falls in the McNallie Creek Territorial Park in the NWT

Are you ready for adventure? This small but mighty territorial park has got it all. Hike the short trail to the blissful McNallie Creek Falls, whose waters cascade over a 17-metre drop. Or sit down at the small picnic area to take in the breathtaking scenery. Look up, way up, and you’ll see the bountiful cliff face where swallows nest in cragged ravine walls. This is what being outdoors in the NWT is all about.