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 national park, officially created in 2014 in collaboration with the Sahtu Dene. Tucked beside the Yukon border and Nahanni National Park Reserve, it comprises nearly 5,000 square kilometres of jagged alps, hushed lakes, rambunctious rivers, and creatures so wild they've never laid eyes on a human being. Skilled whitewater paddlers will delight at the non-stop thrills that the South Nahanni, Natla/Keele and Broken Skull Rivers provide.
Intrepid hikers can explore rugged terrain and help map the routes that will become the park's official trail network. Popular fly-in lakes for hikers include Magaret Lake, Divide Lake and, perhaps best of all, Grizzly Bear Lake, with access to a wonderland of mountain meadows.
And after a long day's paddle or trek, there's nothing better than soaking in one Nááts'ihch'oh's natural hot springs. Grizzly Bear Hot Springs, a 10-kilometre hike from the Broken Skull River, is an alpine oasis, framed by wildflowers and tufa mounds. Broken Skull Hot Spring is a shorter hike from its namesake river, just past Swallow Falls.
Park access is via floatplane charter from nearby Tulita.