If you're driving on the Dempster Highway, Fort McPherson is the the first NWT community you'll encounter. This Gwich'in community is home to about 900 people. Its traditional name, Teet'lit Zheh, translates to "Place at the head of the waters" identifying its location on a bluff above the east bank of the Peel River. The hamlet of Fort McPherson was established in 1849 as a Hudson's Bay Company trading post. More than 80% of the community is of Gwich'in decent.
Visit the grave site of the Northwest Mounted Police's Lost Patrol of 1910-11. Corporal Jack Dempster led the search for the doomed patrol and the highway is named for him.
Access Fort McPherson year-round on the Dempster Highway and from Inuvik, just 121 km north of the hamlet, or Dawson City, Yukon. There is also a small airport with seasonal flights to Inuvik when the Peel is closed during spring break-up and fall freeze-up.
And don't go to Fort McPherson without a visit to Fort McPherson Tent and Canvas company whose backpacks and other canvas goods are nearly indestructible.