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5 mind-blowing wonders of the Nahanni

Nahanni National Park Reserve is a landscape like no other. Tucked into the territory’s southwest flank, it is a wilderness paradise sliced by great waters and prickling with peaks. It’s a place of great beauty and great intrigue. It’s nature on its grandest scale. Here are five places that you won’t believe are real.

Virginia Falls. Take Niagara, then double it.

Canada’s greatest wilderness waterfall is an easy flightseeing trip from Fort Simpson. At Virginia Falls, the South Nahanni River leaps off a 96-metre cliff, bisected by the great mid-river spire of Mason’s Rock, creating a gusting spray, and a shuddering Earth.

Nahanni River. The holy waters.

Canyons and hotsprings. Wildlife and rapids. Mountains and waterfalls. From its start at the Yukon border to when it joins the Liard River 500 kilometres later, this wild river takes the greatest, most scenic path in the country.

Cirque of the Unclimbables. Try not to strain your neck.

It’s a landscape that seems like a dream: peaks like daggers, impaling the sky, thumbing their noses at the law of gravity. This is an alpinist’s Shangri-La, with classic climbs like Lotus Flower Tower, Mount Proboscis and Middle Huey Spire. Verdant Fairy Meadow, near the base of the great granite towers, is an ideal place to set up a camera or pitch a tent.

Ram Plateau. Not a bad little place for a stroll.

Rarely seen and almost never trekked, this is a great grassy mesa suspended above a scenic wonderland. Around the edges of the plateau, river gorges plunge 1,800 metres, Dall’s sheep frolic, hoodoos stand on guard.

Perfect lakes.

At lakes like Glacier, Rabbitkettle, Hole-in-the-Wall and Little Doctor, the fishing is good and the scenery is even better. Potential catches include Pickerel, Pike, Trout and Grayling.

For more on the Northwest Territories’ most legendary park, check out Nahanni National Park Reserve.

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