Proceed with caution. Because, while the Northwest Territories is basically the best place on Earth, there are certain mistakes you don't want to make. Do you homework by reviewing these 19 warnings.

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Tired of bland, beige personalities? People in the Northwest Territories are brimming with frontier character. It spills out from their beards, big grins, twinkling eyes and mighty handshakes. C'mon up and put some colour in your life.

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Virginia Falls, in Nahanni National Park, is Canada's greatest wilderness cascade. It's a furious wall of whitewater, four acres in size and 300 feet high. It'll blow your mind – but don't let it sweep you off your feet.


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We've got rivers of every description, from mild to wild. The Slave River Rapids, pictured here, boasts house-high waves, luring skilled kayakers from all over the world. Other of our famous rivers – like the Thomsen, the northernmost navigable watercourse on Earth – are flat and placid, perfect for gawking at wildlife and scenery as you drift along. 

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Also, don't challenge him to a race. Because he'll leave you in his dust. Huskies are everywhere up here, tugging at their towlines, raring to go. Sign up for a dog-sled adventure and you'll have a wild time with the huskies as they tour you around the North, travelling the old-fashioned way.

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Inuvialuit drummers. Metis jiggers. Dene tea-dancers. Northerners love to get their groove on. At community festivals and events you'll get a chance to check out their moves. And you'll probably be invited to join in on the dance floor. But be sure to limber up, 'cause whoo-boy, these folks can bust a move.

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Imagine a linebacker with four-wheel-drive traction and titanium horns. That's your basic muskox. When these remarkable Northern ungulates feel threatened, they form a circle, lower their battering-ram of a head, and basically say "Bring it on!" Concussions are no fun, so don't take them up on the offer. Just stay back and take all the photos you want. 

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Our frozen highways are basically the world's longest Popsicle. But trust us, you do not want to find your mouth-parts glued to a busy road. Also, please don't drill a hole in the highway to go ice-fishing.  

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A 60-pound Lake Trout is a hernia waiting to happen. Remember, lift with your legs. Better yet, bring a friend to share the load.

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The Northwest Territories is many things, but hot it's not. If you come in winter, you'll want to bundle up. Luckily, many of our guides and outfitters can supply you with Arctic-grade outdoor gear. Or pay a visit to one of our local craftshops, where beautiful and cozy sealskin mitts, beaver hats and moosehide parkas are available for sale.

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Look, the fact is, when you visit the Northwest Territories, you're going to lose sleep. While the Northern Lights are shimmying in the sky, bed is not an option. You can sleep when you go back home.

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So like we were saying, sleep is not a priority here. In summer, the sun shines for weeks on end, with no night to get in the way of the fun. Fancy a round of golf at midnight? A paddle at 3 a.m.? Heck, do both, and then go fishing before breakfast.

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Our all-season highways and winter ice-roads will take you to the ends of the Earth. Be sure you have a plan for getting home.

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Ah yes, grizzlies on the Dempster Highway. You're definitely in bear country up here, but truth be told, they're not too much of a hazard. Keep a clean camp, don't slather yourself in fish-guts, and you'll almost certainly be just fine.

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The Cirque of the Unclimables is legendary for having some of the greatest climbing routes in the world. If you're the kind of alpinist who likes this sort of thing, good for you. For those of us who are afraid of heights, though, the view is just fine from the ground.

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The great thing about the East Arm of Great Slave Lake is that it's totally isolated. No roads, no crowds – just you and the fish and the shore-cliffs. The downside is that you won't find a camping shop within about 200 miles. Pack accordingly.  

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Our ice roads are a great place to take a spin. Literally. So drive with caution. As long as you respect the speed limits, you'll go far.

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Swimming in the Arctic Ocean is like a full-body ice cream headache. It'll make you feel alive. Just be sure to get out once your lips turn blue.

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Don't bother spit-polishing your automobile before driving to the Northwest Territories. What with our dusty, lonesome highways, we're pretty relaxed about cleanliness up here. Heck, most of us only wash our vehicle once a year – whether it needs it or not.

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Pack plenty of camera batteries too. Because the Northwest Territories is the prettiest darn place on Earth.

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19 things you definitely do *NOT* want to do in Canada's Northwest Territories 12 595bd252-00d7-45c7-a88e-5a23e1100be3

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