City of Yellowknife

Yellowknife, the best of both worlds

This is the North’s capital of cool. Here you’ll find it all: Skyscrapers rearing up from the outcrops, casting long shadows over Great Slave Lake. Sailboats tacking through the gleaming waves and floatplanes looping in the cloudless sky. A festival in an ice-palace, and a music concert on a sandy lakeshore. A clutch of houseboats, bright and offbeat and rocking gently on the swells. A smorgasbord of flavors: Ethiopian restaurants, sushi joints, and wine bars that serve muskox burgers. Log cabins beside mansions beside houses shaped like teepees. Visitors from Japan, Toronto, Tuktoyaktuk. And a whole bunch of friendly, off-beat locals, making their home and having a heckuva time in the biggest little city in Canada.

Location: 62.46° N, 114.37° W
Elevation: 206 metres
Population: 19,569
Indigenous name: Sǫ̀mbak'è (“where the money is”)
Record high/low: 32.5°C/-51.2°C
Getting here: By direct flights from Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Vancouver; by road 16 hours from Edmonton
Setting: On thinly forested rolling outcrops and sand-flats beside Great Slave Lake
Languages: English and many Indigenous and international languages
Founded In: 1934, when Johnny Baker discovered gold on the east side of Yellowknife Bay
Claim to fame: Northern Lights capital of the world
Best daytrip: To see Cameron Falls on the Ingraham Trail
Best expedition: Sailing, motorboating or paddling on the East Arm of Great Slave Lake
Historic highlight: In 1967, when the city becomes the capital of the Northwest Territories
Historic lowlight: In 1992, when nine gold miners are murdered by a bomb planted during a strike at Giant Mine
Notable locals: Alex Debogorski (reality TV star), Margot Kidder (actress), Shane Koyczan (poet), Max Ward (aviator)

 

Our Stories

Intriguing tales from Canada's Northwest Territories

Mute the volume. Cover junior's ears. 'Cause that's one big !!#$%&!! ...

Why the best way to see the Arctic is from just above water ....

Why September and October are the North's coolest season.

Yellowknife is the best place to see Aurora. For our famous Aurora Hunting tour, we will drive to different locations to look for the best places to view the Northern Lights. Our Guides will take free professional photographs of you and tell you all about the...

Yellowknife is the best place to see Aurora! On our world famous Aurora Hunting tour, we drive to different locations to look for the best places to see Aurora. Our guides will take free professional photographs of you, tell you about Aurora, the night sky and why...

Rent  warm clothing so you can enjoy your time outdoors - view the aurora and participate in winter activities in comfort. Our winter clothing rentals provide you with the best defense against the cold. We have you covered from head to toe!  We...

Our all-inclusive fly-out trips will capture your sense of adventure whether you’re catching monster-sized Lake Trout or fly-fishing for Arctic Grayling. Enjoy the camaraderie of small groups and personalized service. Through the months of July and August, mother...

Fly North by chartered float plane from Yellowknife. This flight takes approximately one hour and 20 minutes and provides breathtaking views as you fly over the treeline to the edge of the barrens. Land on Point Lake, one of the largest lakes of the legendary...

Explore, experience and enjoy Indigenous culture and the scenic East Arm of the Great Slave Lake, one of the largest lakes in the world! This tour offers you a truly genuine Indigenous culture experience while enjoying the wonderful, breathtaking landscape of northern...

Yellowknife is the Aurora capital of the world! Photographers from around the globe come to Yellowknife to capture their award winning Aurora photographs. The isolated northern city of Yellowknife is a interesting place to photograph, so we are...

Swim at Long Lake’s sandy beach. Camp, picnic, canoe or enjoy the amenities and attractions of nearby Yellowknife. Hike the four-kilometre Prospector’s Trail, highlighting the gold-bearing geology of the area. Or follow the Jackfish and Frame Lake trail system, leading...

Cloudworks provides both short and long term, turn-key apartment suites located in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Our suites are large and comfortable, within walking distance of many city amenities and include a fully stocked kitchen and in-suite laundry...

Swim at Long Lake’s sandy beach. Camp, picnic, canoe or enjoy the amenities and attractions of nearby Yellowknife. Hike the four-kilometre Prospector’s Trail, highlighting the gold-bearing geology of the area. Or follow the Jackfish and Frame Lake trail system, leading...

Experience Yellowknife’s rural wilderness beauty in comfort at Country Cabins. Boating, fishing, swimming, hiking, picnicking and Aurora viewing are all readily accessible from our location at Prelude Lake. Prelude Lake is also a great starting point for those wishing...

A bustling little restaurant in Old Town, Bullock's Bistro is known for serving fish fresh from Great Slave Lake. We offer "Yesterday's news and Today's Fish and Chips." Enjoy our informal atmosphere in a Heritage Building from 1936.

Located on Madeline Lake, this park is a perfect place to enjoy a meal at one of its several picnic sites equipped with tables and firepits. Use the boat launch and dock area to access the lake for powerboating and watersports. Madeline Lake is usually calm due to...

The North's most colourful neighbourhood bobs on the waves of Great Slave Lake, just offshore of Old Town. Rent a kayak or paddleboard to explore this floating community – or bunk down at the houseboat bed-and-breakfast. 

The North's iconic eatery, the log-cabin Wildcat is where the world comes to dine. You'll find that the ambience is rustic, the food is divine, the deck is bathed in sunshine, the beer is crisp and your fellow patrons are a wild array: Northerners and visitors...

Meaning “Land of the Ancestors,” Thaidene Nëné is a park-in-waiting, slated for federal and territorial protection in the next few years. The park will guard the glorious East Arm of Great Slave Lake – 27,000 square kilometres of spectacular...

The granddaddy of Northern museums, Yellowknife’s voluminous Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre has it all – from biplanes to gold-mining memorabilia to Dene mooseskin boats. In addition to all the exhibits there’s an interactive play area for kids (...

Reid Lake is also an excellent base for fishing, swimming, canoeing, hiking, bird watching, wildlife viewing, power boating, and for extended canoe trips into the surrounding lake systems. From here, canoeists can access the Lower Cameron River...

The largest developed park on the Ingraham Trail, Prelude Lake Territorial Park offers a variety of facilities. There are trails,a sandy beach for swimming, a dock and boat launch, and boat rentals. The island-filled lake, about 16 kilometers long, forms part of...

Swim at Long Lake’s sandy beach. Camp, picnic, canoe or enjoy the amenities and attractions of nearby Yellowknife. Hike the four-kilometre Prospector’s Trail, highlighting the gold-bearing geology of the area. Or follow the Jackfish and Frame Lake trail...

For a pretty little hike through classic Northern shield-country, drive 45 kilometres east of Yellowknife to the Cameron Falls Trail. The path twists through evergreen forests, across boardwalks and over undulating outcrops until, 20 minutes later, you...

Forming a seven-kilometre loop around the shores of Frame Lake in the heart of Yellowknife, the city's favourite walking trail has a little of everything. The eastern half of the loop is a paved, sedate urban path, leading you past architectural marvels such as...

About 45 minutes by road east of Yellowknife, a short, scenic trail leads over the undulating outcrops to 17-metre Cameron Falls. Here, the Cameron River takes a tumble en route to Great Slave Lake. A bridge straddles the river, allowing picknickers to access...

Weekends in late summer, Yellowknife’s beach is peachy, with changing rooms, a campground, a kitchen area, volleyball and more water-skiers than you can shake a beer at.

Eighteen holes. Sand fairways. Grassy putting greens. Jackpines, bedrock and ravens. It’s safe to say you’ll never play golf anywhere like the Yellowknife Golf Club – especially if you come for the Midnight Sun Golf Tournament, which tees off on the summer...

East Arm Great Slave Lake's East Arm is a world class scenic and geological wonder. Spectacular cliffs drop 180 metres into the tenth largest lake in the world. The scenery is primeval, the result of glaciation in North America and of a clearly visible fault in the...

Old Town Yellowknife Yellowknife's historic Old Town retains some of its raffish "dirty thirties" excitement, when miners pitched tents and built wooden shacks on Willow Flats, Peace River Flats, Latham Island and every inch of the “Rock”. Hidden among the upscale...

Yellowknife's most popular lookout rises above Old Town, providing a stupendous view over Great Slave Lake, Back Bay and the northern reaches of the city. The monument is high up on "The Rock," and is accessed via a winding staircase to the top. It is...

Powder Point Day Use Area is located within Hidden Lake Territorial Park on the Ingraham Trail, a little more than 45 kilometres east of Yellowknife on the eastern arm of Prelude Lake. Powder Point offers access to both the the Lower Cameron River Canoe Route and...

Back Bay Cemetery, a City of Yellowknife Heritage Site, consists of 35 gravesites from 1936-46. The cemetery is located along the waterfront in Jackfish Draw, adjacent to Back Bay, on Great Slave Lake. It was Yellowknife's first graveyard, ...

Built in the early 1930s as a blacksmith shop, this single-storey log building was originally situated on what is now the Giant Mine property. After being moved to its current location near City Hall it became a tourist information centre...

Built in 1946 on the waterfront in Old Town, this City of Yellowknife Heritage Site was the city's first permanent floatplane base. Many aviation pioneers once worked out of this building, including Stan McMillan and Max Ward. In earlier years, the large...

Located at 7 Otto Drive on Latham Island, this log cabin is one of Yellowknife's oldest surviving buildings. Built in 1938 as a private residence, the city's Bank of Toronto branch opened here six years later. Allan Lambert, former president and...

This seven-kilometre loop around Frame Lake is the recreation trail for activity in the heart of the capital. While the eastern half is paved and passes by residential neighbourhoods, the western half consists of boardwalks over muskeg and wayfinding over...

The Old Log School House was the first school in Yellowknife. It was built in 1937 by prominent Yellowknife pioneers Ray G. 'Red' McPhie and 'Sleepy Jim' McDonald. Originally used as a mining kitchen and bunkhouse, it became a one-room schoolhouse in 1939,...

Perched on a pillar near the entrance to town, the yellow and blue Bristol Freighter airplane greets visitors to Yellowknife, reminding them of the region's vital aviation history. Bush planes such as this one fed the development of the town, bringing...

Direclty across HIghway 3 from the Northern Frontier Visitor Centre, this easy two-kilometre loop explores the shoreline of a small marshy lake in the heart of a Yellowknife residential neighbourhood. Despite its urban location, Niven Lake is rich in...

One of the most diverse, historic, offbeat neighbourhoods in Canada, Old Town is the beating heart of Yellowknife. Here, where the Precambrain Shield juts into Great Slave Lake, goldseekers 80 years ago pioneered what was to become the North's greatest settlement....

On the shores of Frame Lake in front of City Hall, this grassy park is Yellowknife's favourite gathering place. In summer, musical performances are common at the waterfront ampitheatre, and various attractions – the museum, the visitor centre, Firewood Studio, a...