Nestled on the side of Caribou Creek approxiumately 40 kilometres north of Tsiigehtchic on the Dempster Highway, Vadzaih Van Tshik Campground is well-protected from the elements by the steep cliffs nearby. Birds of prey glide high above, while...
“Mouth of the iron river”
Stationed atop a commanding bluff at the confluence of the Mackenzie and Arctic Red Rivers, this tiny Gwich’in town is steeped in traditional fishing, hunting and trapping. It’s a worthwhile stop for Dempster Highway travellers, who can stroll the riverbanks, stop in at the new visitor centre, and check out the picturesque, 80-year-old church. Access across the river is via ferry in summer and ice road in winter.
Location: 67°26′ N, 133°45′ W
Elevation: 23 metres
Name means: “Mouth of the iron river”
Former name: Arctic Red River (changed 1994)
Setting: On a high, rolling riverbank above the confluence of the Arctic Red River and the Mackenzie
Languages: Gwich’in, English
Ethnicities: Dene (Gwichya Gwich’in)
Getting here: By road from Inuvik (115 kilometres) or Dawson City, Yukon (657 kilometres)
Founded in: This is the ancestral territory of the Gwichya Gwich'in. Permanent settlement here began with the establishment of a Catholic mission in 1868, followed by a Hudson Bay Company trading post in the 1870s
Don’t miss: The Tsiigehtchic Tourist Centre, a visitor facility for tourists
Come for: The Mackenzie River Jamboree, in late April, featuring dogsled races and traditional games, or the Canoe Days celebration in August, with canoe races, a fiddling and jigging contest, and drum dancing
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