Fort Simpson

Fort Simpson

Łíídlıı Kųę – “Place where rivers come together”

Population: 1,244

The Dehcho’s friendly regional centre perches at the confluence of the big Liard River and the even-more-massive Mackenzie. Many visitors come en route to Nahanni National Park Reserve or surrounding mountains, but those who remain in town will stay plenty busy – at riverfront heritage sites, the nine-hole golf course, or among intriguing exhibits at the visitor centre. Access is via air or Highway 1 (except when breakup and freeze-up halt ferry and ice-road service across the Liard).

Location: 61º51’ N, 121º 22’ W
Population: 1,216
Traditional Name: Liidli Kue (the place where the rivers come together)
Former Name: Fort of the Forks                   
Founded In: 1803
Historic Highlight: Pope John Paul II visits in 1987
Historic Lowlight: Three North West Company traders starve in 1811             
Notable Locals: Albert Faille (Nahanni pioneer), Jim Antoine (former NWT premier), Nick Sibbeston (federal senator), Ted Grant (bush pilot)
Visit For: Open Sky Festival (Canada Day weekend)
Gateway To: Nahanni National Park
Best Daytrip: Flightseeing to Virginia Falls
 

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Our Stories

Intriguing tales from Canada's Northwest Territories

For eons, Fort Simpson has been a gathering place – for Dene, Métis, traders and more. ...

A century after two gold-seeking siblings were found beheaded, a Northern mystery endures....

From gurgling pourovers to thundering plumes, these waterfalls are a marvel to behold.

Experience a once in a lifetime northern Canada adventure! Drive the Mackenzie Highway, boat the Mackenzie River and fly into the Nahanni National Park Reserve. The highlights of this tour include experiencing genuine Aboriginal culture, the 300km drive from...

Extend your trip to Fort Simpson with a visit to our Dene Camp, K'iyeli. We have options available for an afternoon, or overnight experience. You will learn about the people who have lived in the territory for thousands of years, staying near the old Fork of the...

Join us for an unforgettable experience on the mighty Mackenzie River. Day trips are available for a full or half day. Exceptional nature and wildlife viewing, fishing, hiking and historical tours are available. We will stop at Green Island and Ghost Island to hear...

On the floodplain where the Liard River flows into the great Mackenzie, Pope John Paul II held mass for the Indigenous people of Canada nearly three decades ago. Thousands gathered as the world turned its eyes toward the Northwest Territories. Today the scenic...

This idyllic park overlooks the confluence of the Mackenzie and Liard rivers, yet is within walking distance of the centre of town. The adjoining Papal Site commemorates the 1987 visit of Pope John Paul ll. This is a great location for bird-watching,...

Within easy walking distance of downtown Fort Simpson, the Seven Spruce Golf Course in features rolling, grassy fairways and a laid-back vibe. Rent clubs and tackle the sun-soaked nine-hole course or put up your feet in the clubhouse for a relaxing afternoon.

Built in 1936, this one-and-a-half storey squared-log dwelling overlooks the Papal Flats in Fort Simpson. An excellent example of Metis architecture, it is located at the southern edge of the original Hudson’s Bay Company compound and is an...

On the flats at the southwestern end of Fort Simpson Island, for centuries Dene gathered at this site during their seasonal rounds to allocate land use, arrange marriages, resolve disputes, hold puberty rites, undertake ceremonies of healing and thanksgiving...

​The Lafferty House is a one-and-a-half storey squared-log dwelling built circa 1929,  located at the north end of the village of Fort Simpson, close to the waterfront. It was built by the Laffertys, a proud Metis family who have been in the Fort Simpson...

Legendary prospector Albert Faille spent his life hutning for gold in the Nahanni Mountains. Each spring from the 1950s until his death in 1973 he journeyed up the Liard and Nahanni rivers from his home in Fort Simpson, portaging around the...

On September 20, 1987, on the flats where the Mackenzie and Liard Rivers flow together above Fort Simpson, as many as 4,000 people – mostly Dene – gathered to welcome Pope John Paul II. It was the first time any pope had ever visited an Aboriginal community. His...