A mandatory stop on the drive North of Sixty, this booming 10-storey spillover on the Hay River is the centerpiece of Twin Falls Gorge Territorial Park, not far from Enterprise. Shockingly, in 2003, an American daredevil kayaked over the falls – and lived.
This is a dramatically beautiful spot to enjoy a picnic, take a three-kilometre stroll to nearby Louise Falls, or just take in this magnificent waterfall from two viewing platforms. Interpretive displays along the trail provide historical information about the area, including the falls’ spiritual significance to the Dene people who regarded the Twin Falls as the sacred resting place of two spirits – Grandmother and Grandfather. The couple are said to remain here until the falls disappear, protecting the land and ensuring people respect creation.
The day-use area here has picnic facilities, kitchen shelters, tables, drinking water, outhouses and, of course, ready access to the sights and sounds of the waterfalls.
Start your visit off in Fort Smith at the town’s helpful visitor reception centre. Here you’ll find tourism packages and info on local attractions, trails, and wildlife, and Wood Buffalo National Park activities and attractions. Book a historical walking tour of the community, find out the best spots to view the Aurora, or sign up for a guided hike into Wood Buffalo National Park, or down to the Slave River Rapids. You can also register at the reception centre for backcountry camping expeditions, view interpretive videos, talk with the friendly staff, and purchase some memorable NWT road trip souvenirs. Open seven days a week from May to Labour Day, and five days a week during the winter.
Phone: (867) 872-8400
One of the first stops you should make when you arrive in beautiful Hay River is the Visitor Information Centre. Here you will find knowledgeable staff eager to help you. They will have local knowledge about the Town and surrounding region as well as current information on what is happening in the ‘Hub of the North’.
The Hay River Visitor Information Centre is open year-round.
Summer Hours (May to September) – 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 pm Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday to Sunday.
Winter Hours (September to May) – 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, Closed Saturday and Sunday
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The 60th Parallel marks the land boundary between the provinces and territories in Canada. Located on Highway 1 at the Alberta/NWT border, the 60th Parallel Territorial Park is a great place to stop, stretch your legs, and get a first taste of what the North has to offer.
The centre offers brochures, maps, fishing licences, camping permits, a pay phone, drinking water, and washrooms. Fresh coffee is available to travellers, who can check out the local Indigenous arts and crafts on display, or learn from audiovisual presentations that depict the Northern culture of the NWT.
Next to the visitor centre is a small campground with seven sites and a scenic picnic area overlooking the gorgeous Hay River. The centre is open from mid-May to mid-September from 8am to 8pm.
Located on the scenic Little Buffalo River, about 20 kilometres shy of Fort Resolution and minutes away from Great Slave Lake, this placid campground features 20 powered campsites, washrooms, a kitchen shelter, picnic area and firewood. Take advantage of the boat launch to enjoy some watersports and excellent fishing. Dock your boat a few steps from your campsite.
Located on Vale Island in Hay River, (follow the signs; it’s about 10 kilometres past the information centre), this park offers fantastic swimming on the sandy shores of Great Slave Lake, unique views of barges and fishing vessels plying the waters, and great opportunities to fish for Northern Pike. The campground has 35 powered campsites with nearby wilderness and modern amenities.