You’re going to want a late checkout time.
An igloo village, cruising cabins and a renewable-energy oasis experience prove that in the Northwest Territories unforgettable adventure begins the moment you step out of bed.
A Campsite That Floats
Where: Yellow Dog Lodge, a 20-minute floatplane ride from Yellowknife
Sleeps: Two to Four
Most Instagramable Feature: Reeling in your whitefish dinner without leaving your bed.
The Story: It’s part diving board, part fishing platform. And all fun. Putter around your own private lake in your pyjamas. Fish off of the deck and grill up your catch in a gas BBQ just feet away. Drift off in your snug bed, in a romantic outfitter’s wall tent, to the gentle rocking of pristine Graham or Duncan Lake. Wake up to morning calls from loons and then watch as they dive below your floating cabin in search for breakfast. With a thin mist clouding the lake, you might wonder if you’re still dreaming.
An Igloo (For Real!)
Where: Tundra North Tours’s Aurora Igloo Village, outside of Inuvik
Sleeps: One to Four
Most Instagramable Feature: Umm, you’re sleeping in an igloo!
The Story: Get a taste of what life has always been like in the North. Sample tuktu (caribou) and pipsi (Arctic char). Beside a crackling fire, sip warm tea as you listen to traditional Gwich’in and Inuvialuit stories. Marvel at a giant ice teepee and inuksuit lit up in the night. Then watch the Northern Lights do their magical cosmic dance back and forth across the sky until they awe you into silence. Retreat into the sheltered confines of your very own igloo and wrap yourself in furs for an inconceivably toasty sleep in a land of snow and ice. Can you think of anything more authentically Arctic than that?
A Tiny Home With A Twist
Where: On the shore of Great Slave Lake in Hay River
Most Instagramable Feature: The time-travelling, space-altering effect from the ornately decorated interior.
The Story: Mongolian-style yurts may feel a tad out-of-steppe plopped down on the Canadian subarctic. But that’s what makes these charming 400-square-foot dwellings such a blessing to relax in after a long day on the water or exploring the abundance of world-class waterfalls nearby. In summer, the yurts are a short walk from the beach. In winter, your woodstove quickly heats up the compact space, giving you a comfortable, carefree night’s sleep in a yurt surrounded by the otherworldly beauty of the South Slave.
Photography by The Expeditioners
An Oasis Of Tranquility
Where: Willow Ridge Retreat, a 45-minute drive up the Ingraham Trail from Yellowknife
Sleeps: One to Ten, (One to Two in the bedroom cabin)
Most Instagramable Feature: Cozying up with a book in a true off-grid, renewable energy-powered guesthouse with the snow falling outside the window.
The Story: This out-of-town hideaway encourages you to slow down, unplug and get back in tune with the rhythms of your natural surroundings. Overlooking the Cameron River, where it flows out of sprawling Prelude Lake, Willow Ridge Retreat allows guests to explore the area at their own pace. Pedal-boat the waters in summer or snowshoe out onto the lake for tea in a canvas outfitter’s tent in winter. Explore backwoods trails with your sketchpad or some watercolours, capturing the wildflowers, birdlife or rocky outcrops you encounter. Return to the cozy lodge, powered by renewable wind and solar energy, and relax. Cook a big meal, share some laughs, and keep thoughts of your busy life far, far away at bay.
Your Very Own Cabin In The Wild
Where: Blachford Lake Lodge, a 30-minute flight from Yellowknife
Sleeps: Two to six
Most Instagramable Feature: The rustic moose or caribou rack décor above the door.
The Story: Beaver Lodge. Raven’s Roost. Eagle’s Nest. These are a few of the private lodging options at Blachford Lake Lodge. The wilderness getaway’s five homely, handcrafted log cabins provide a sense of solitude and seclusion—and a respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life—with scenic lake views, wood- or pellet-stove heating, and a fire pit to gather around outside. You won’t need to sacrifice the comforts of home, as each cabin has its own ensuite toilet and wash basin, electricity, and wireless internet access. Plus, the lodge’s hot tub is only a few steps away. For some NWT history, stay a night or two in Old Trapper’s Cabin, where its original resident, Henry Cadieux, used to rest his head after a long day out on his trapline.