Skip to main content
Home Story Bet you didn’t expect to find this in the North…

BET YOU DIDN’T EXPECT TO FIND THIS IN THE NORTH ....

You already know about the polar bears, the gold mines, the Northern Lights, the endless evergreen forests. But the Northwest Territories remains full of surprises. Here are a few things you’ll see in the North that you never would have guessed.

A floating community on Great Slave Lake

The floating homes of Yellowknife Bay are the most-photographed real estate in the North. They’re also Earth’s highest-latitude houseboats. Here you’ll discover dozens of offbeat, candy-coloured dwellings – everything from buoyant shacks to sea-worthy multi-unit apartments, plus a B&B where the gentle waves will bob you off to sleep.

 

Yes, 11 official languages

Our population is a mere 44,000, but we make up for it in linguistic diversity. Here, nine different Indigenous languages, plus English and French, enjoy official status. You’ll get by just fine in English, but throw in the occasional “mahsi” or “quyanainni” and you’ll earn big grins from the locals.

 

Hotsprings to soothe your soul

Even in the dead of winter, we’ll get you steamy. Thermal pools are common in the Mackenzie Mountains of the Northwest Territories. Best known is Kraus Hot Springs, a popular stop for paddlers right on the shore of the South Nahanni River. Others include Rabbitkettle Hot Springs, flanked by large calcium carbonate “tufa” mounds, and the Roche qui trempe a l’eau sulphur springs on the Mackenzie River near the Dene community of Wrigley.

 

Herds and herds of bison

Think bison died out with the Wild West? Think again. Herds of the horned beasts still roam the landscapes of the NWT, kicking up dust, blocking traffic, browsing in people’s gardens, and doing whatever else they darn well please. This is still their kingdom – one of the last places on Earth where you can watch them run wild.

 

Golf. Seriously, golf. 

Even here in the great white North, golfers love their greens. Several of our towns feature manicured courses, complete with lush fairways – even clubhouses. We also have golf courses that are, well, in the rough. So if you want to hit the links beneath the midnight sun, and you don’t mind if the occasional raven steals your ball, this is the wildest place you’ll ever tee off.

 

The best fish and chips in Canada

So declared Reader’s Digest, citing a beloved Yellowknife eatery as Canada’s batter-dipped paradise. Of course, with lakes everywhere you look, plenty of restaurants in the Northwest Territories serve up delectable fresh fish – Whitefish, Trout, Pike, Pickerel, Lingcod and more. Grab a beer, place an order and dig in.

 

Sailboats on an inland sea

When you think of the Arctic frontier, sailboats aren’t the first thing that comes to mind. But thanks to our wealth of water, sloops and schooners and catamarans are commonplace up here. Almost every summer evening, graceful vessels can be seen hitching a ride with the breeze of Great Slave Lake.

 

The rarest bear in the world

Only two have ever been spotted, both in the Northwest Territories. They’re called “pizzlies” – half polar bear, half grizzly. They’re one of the rarest creatures on Earth, and elusive to boot. Seeing one is unlikely. But, you never know.

 

Diamonds are a visitor's best friend

In the Northwest Territories, all that glitters isn’t gold. These days, it’s our diamonds that gleam brightest. With three active mines unearthing more than a million dollars in diamonds each day, we’ve added a unique sparkle to the Canadian economy. The diamond-harvesting process is showcased at a Yellowknife diamond centre – and if you really take a shine to our gemstones, you can buy a bit of “bling” for yourself.

 

The deepest lakes with the biggest fish

What lies beneath? That’s the deep secret of Great Slave Lake, whose mysterious, watery oblivion is unrivalled in North America. If you sail offshore from the community of Łutselk’e, on the lake’s fabled East Arm, you’ll find yourself bobbing in water at least two-thirds of a kilometre deep – making this the deepest lake on the continent and the sixth deepest on Earth. How deep, exactly? Weirdly, we don’t know. For a long time, the official figure was 614 metres – enough to sink the CN tower. But recently, researchers discovered even deeper spots down there, plunging another 30 metres or more. Here’s what you can be sure of: This cold, wet abyss is heaven for supersized trout. Fifty-pounders are commonplace in Great Slave. And far-larger fish – perhaps of world-record size – are likely lurking in the depths, just waiting to be caught.

 

World-class whitewater

What do the White Nile, Zambezi and Slave have in common? They’re the three greatest whitewater kayaking rivers on Earth. But in the Slave, it’s not the crocodiles that’ll chew you up. Flowing past the town of Fort Smith, the Slave River Rapids attract pro paddlers from around the globe, who test their mettle in raging features like Rollercoaster, Maelstrom, Rockem Sockem and, yes, Molly’s Nipple.

 

A highway to the Arctic Ocean

Motorists are revving their engines for the most exotic roadtrip in the world. The route? North America’s first all-season highway to the Arctic Ocean, which opened in November 2017. Our “road to Tuktoyaktuk” takes you to the polar sea – a realm of beluga whales, white bears, and rich Arctic culture.

 

The elusive, giant Whooping Crane

They’re among the world’s rarest, biggest birds – and they summer right here in the Northwest Territories. Numbering fewer than 500 in the wild, the five-foot-tall whooping crane is a victim of habitat loss, but it has found a sanctuary in Wood Buffalo National Park. Here, the lanky fowl is slowly recovering from the brink of extinction. In recent years, sightings have become more common.

 

Free boat rides (sort of)

Q: Why did the truck cross the river?

A: To take a ride on our awesome ferries. Yep, that’s right. Ferries are one of the charms of the North, where few of the rivers are bridged. During summer, ferries cross the Mackenzie, Liard and Peel – providing highway travellers not just with free transport but a quick, easy way to see these mighty waterways. Winter crossings are equally novel: You can drive right over the ice.

 

A splash at the beach

Contrary to popular assumption, the Northwest Territories is a hot spot, with temperatures that skyrocket in the glare of the unsetting sun. The record here is a torrid 39.4°C – hotter than the all-time high in Hawaii. On sweltering summer days, Northerners and visitors head to the beach. Sandy waterfronts – perfect for sunbathing – can be found in numerous Northern towns.

 

A commercial fishing fleet

Commercial fishing isn’t just a coastal thing – it nets big profits in the North. Each year, the Great Slave Lake fishing fleet supplies about a million pounds of whitefish and other species to markets as far away as Brooklyn and Moscow. In summer it’s done the normal way, with boats and nets. In winter, it’s tougher: Fishermen set nets beneath the four-foot-thick ice.

 

Skyscrapers

Northern architecture is about more than log cabins. Several of our towns bristle with highrise office and apartment towers. In Yellowknife, lofty penthouses provide stellar views of Great Slave Lake, while civil servants labour far above Franklin Avenue. The territory’s highpoint, however, is in Hay River, where the 17-storey Mackenzie Place tower rears up from the boreal plains.

 

Really relaxed residents

Northerners have the lowest rate of high blood pressure in Canada. Just 12.3 percent of Northwest Territories citizens suffer from hypertension, compared to 18 percent of Canadians as a whole. How come? We believe it’s our low-stress, high-fun lifestyle. The North really is a great place to relax.

Commercial air charter service providing air support for hikers on Canol Road, sightseeing in the beautiful Mackenzie Mountains, and fly-in fishing......

With over 30 years of living in Yellowknife, we offer a variety of tourism experiences for our guests. We are......

Simpson Air (and its predecessor) is the oldest continuously-operated flying service in the Mackenzie Valley, established in the early 1960s.......

At Nahanni River Adventures we outfit and guide canoe and raft trips on Canada’s renowned South Nahanni River and a select......

Book an adventure with us at Trail Blazer Tours for an unforgettable experience! Your adventure with us will create lasting......

Yellow Dog Lodge is a comfortable lodge with 3 private cabins for our guests. The lodge is a short (15 minute) floatplane ride from Yellowknife. Located on Duncan and Graham Lakes, the lodge is your hub for adventure. Choose from an additional 5 lakes for guided day trip excursions. Each lake is unique and offers unspoiled first class fishing. We are the only lodge that operates guided trips on each of these remote lakes located in the NWT taiga wilderness. Packaged trips feature superb sport fishing and safe outdoor adventure. The lakes and streams offer the finest Lake Trout, Northern Pike, Walleye and Arctic Grayling in the region. As an added bonus, our guests will enjoy the midnight sun and may even catch the northern lights later in the fall or early spring....

Peterson’s Point Lake Lodge provides you access to known waters teeming with monster lake trout. Their current record is a......

Etching popular northern designs on unique 100% recycled glass, since 1994. Visit our gift shop in Old Town or come......

Aurora Village – A Class of Its Own Aurora Village is a unique Aurora-viewing facility situated 25 minutes from downtown......

Kasba Lake Lodge is famous for providing guests access to incredible triple trophy fishing. Huge Lake Trout, ferocious Northern Pike......

Our goal is to provide unique customized services for high-end customers. We excel at making personalized tours. You can see......

Book this entire cabin in the remote wilderness of the stunningly breath-taking, Mackenzie Mountains. This cabin is hands down the......

With us, you will find a unique Northern fishing experience with no distractions. Our amenities include Starlink Wi-Fi, standard queen-sized......

DISCOVER A MOMENT THAT LASTS A LIFETIME. Aylmer Lake Lodge is located in Rocknest Bay, which is on the Barren......

We cover your every helicopter need in and around South Nahanni National Park in the Mackenzie Mountains of Canada’s NWT.......

Our company is a tour management and booking services company. We are located at Yellowknife, NT Canada. Our clients come......

Create your own story. We offer a variety of services to make your Sahtu adventure a reality! We offer everything from......

Join us for an unforgettable experience on the mighty Mackenzie River. Day trips are available for a full or half......

Comfortable lodge a 20 minute by floatplane ride from Yellowknife. Guided fishing for Lake Trout (to 34 lb), Arctic Grayling (to......

With Bluefish Outfitting you’ll get an unforgettable trip of a lifetime. Bluefish Outfitting offers personalized, guided fishing trips and boat tours on......

Hearne Lake Lodge is a remote fly-in fishing lodge only 20-minute floatplane ride east of Yellowknife. To serve you better,......

Remote private wilderness paradise on Little Doctor Lake, 100 km west of Fort Simpson. Accommodates 20 in cabins. Fishing, swimming,......

Creating Memories for a Lifetime Nonacho Lake Fishing Adventures offers trophy lake trout and northern pike fishing. Wildlife abounds at......

Canoe North, located in Hay River, Northwest Territories offers kayak and canoe rentals and sales. We can set you up for a......

Authentic Arctic Experiences Tundra North Tours is an Inuit company based in Inuvik, Northwest Territories that was established with the dream of being......

100% Indigenous owned!  We are the world’s first Aurora Hunting tour company, we know Aurora. Learn about Aurora, why Yellowknife is the......

We offer winter clothing rentals. Our winter clothing will keep you warm and comfortable for your outdoor fun – ask us......

“Unforgettable remote fishing experience” We are the only lodge located on this fly-in only lake. With only 8 guests per......

Your Dene Connection in Yellowknife. B. Dene Adventures is a Traditional Dene Culture Camp business which teaches the Dene way......

Northern and Remote Wilderness Adventures Ltd. (NARWAL) is a small, friendly, majority Aboriginal owned and operated family business. Our reputation......

Gana River Outfitters is a family owned and operated outfitting business offering remote wilderness hunts in the beautiful Mackenzie Mountains......

Arctic Tours Canada is a Yellowknife based tour operating company that offer Aurora Hunting and Viewing tours, Yellowknife sightseeing tours,......

Come experience world-class Aurora Borealis viewing in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada. We are the only guides in the Northwest Territories......

Tukto Lodge has been exceeding anglers’ expectations for more than fifty years. As the only fishing and eco-tourism lodge in......

Exceptional fishing on Gordon Lake, 100 km northeast of Yellowknife. Fish for Lake Trout, up to to 56 lbs! Fly in by......

2 Seasons Adventures is a family-owned company. Our professional guides boast a lifetime of experience enjoying the unique lifestyle of......

Great Slave Lake Tours offers winter and summer trips on Great Slave Lake, the ninth biggest lake in the world......

“Like No Other Place On Earth” We are the only fly-in lodge located a 50 minute float plane flight from......

We are a small business, owned and operated by a northern Indigenous family, catering largely to visiting families and friends,......

Ena Lake Lodge is a one-of-a-kind, all-inclusive luxury fishing and outdoors experience in Northern Canada. Come and experience authentic fly-in......

Our vision is to see the Beaufort-Delta Region of Canada’s western arctic become the dream destination for motorcycle adventure enthusiasts from......

Pehdzeh Ki First Nation is located in the community of Wrigley, Northwest Territories, Canada. We are a Designated Authority in......

Best Northern Road Trip! Now you can drive all the way to the Arctic ocean linking Canada from coast to......

Welcoming and friendly with a rustic charm and all modern conveniences, Grey Goose Lodge immediately catches your eye as you......

Aurora photography tours for groups of 25 or less, available in English, Mandarin and Cantonese. Our tours offer specialized knowledge......

Fishing and Barrenlands wildlife photography, including migrating caribou, at the Obstruction Rapids in the central Barrenlands north of Yellowknife....

To truly experience the Northwest Territories, take your camping gear for a highway driving adventure! Long ribbons of road without......

Remote naturalist’s lodge snuggled in the Mackenzie Mountains, in the largest mountain wilderness in North America. Located along the Canol......

Inuvik is located 200km North of the Arctic Circle, on the East Cannel of the incredible ecosystem that is the Mackenzie Delta. We are located within the Taiga Forest just south of the treeline and Arctic Tundra. Inuvik acts as the gateway to the Western Arctic as the Mackenzie River, Dempster Highway and Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway […]...

Fish for Trophy Lake Trout and Arctic Grayling at our all-inclusive lodge located in East Arm, Great Slave Lake. Fly......

Born & raised in Inuvik, Northwest Territories our experienced lead guide Jimmy Kalinek is ready to help you discover the......

Outfitter offering sport hunts for trophy Dall’s sheep, Alaska/Yukon Moose, Mountain Caribou. We ensure that every detail of the hunt......

Specializing in polar bear and muskox hunts for up to four people from traditional camp near Tuktoyaktuk. Also providing scenic......

Join us on a subarctic adventure! Spend five nights viewing the Northern Lights, enjoying outdoor activities, and experiencing the culture......

An Arctic Barrenlands trophy fishing adventure for the serious sportsman. Located on Lynx Lake (420 km east of Yellowknife) Lynx......

Call us about our exciting year-round packages and experience the best of the Dehcho region and Denendeh....

Aurora viewing tours, city tours, and hikes at Cameron Falls. We book all your activities and  accommodation....

Explore the wild splendor of the northern boreal plains, where whooping cranes call and bison roam free. Visitor reception centres......

Providing culturally based tours of Tuktoyaktuk with an opportunity to dip your toes in the Arctic Ocean! Ask us about......

The Deh Cho Travel Connection is a driving route that extends just over 1,800 kilometres from “Mile Zero” of the......

We offer: Nature and wildlife viewing Snowmobile tours Fishing tours Boat tours Polar bear and muskox hunts. Contact us for......

Family owned and operated tour company specializing in Arctic expedition cruising....

Up-to-date information about road conditions, ferry operations and ice bridges, as well as flight information, travel tips and links to......