Due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) the NWT borders are closed to all non-essential travel. For more information, see border information from the Government of the Northwest Territories at:
https://www.gov.nt.ca/covid-19/en/services/travel-moving-around/nwt-border-information.

The Canol Trail, one of Canada's wildest realms

The rugged and untamed wilderness on the Canol Trail, in Canada's Northwest Territories

The Canol Trail, one of Canada's wildest realms

The Canol Trail is the longest, toughest hiking trail in North America, cutting a path through the world's last great mountain range. It follows the footsteps of history, where hardened men performed an even harder mission.

Here are five things that make the Canol Trail so remarkable.

A string of historic WWII relics awaits on the Canol Trail in Canada's Northwest Territories.

Historic Structures

Starting at the Northwest Territories border, the Canol strikes out through the Mackenzie Mountains, carrying backpackers 355 foot-wearying, eye-popping, soul-stirring kilometres. The trail follows the defunct Canol Road and Pipeline – a wildly ambitious effort during the Second World War to pump gas from Norman Wells to the allied forces on the Pacific Front. Today the pipe is long gone and the "road" is an overgrown path. But all along the way, there are relics from the war like Quonset huts such as those above ...

Old military barracks along the Canol Trail, a legendary hike through Canada's Northwest Territories.

... and old military barracks like this one.

Carcajou Falls along the Canol Trail in Canada's Northwest Territories.

Waterfalls

Carcajou Falls is a jewel of the Canol, splashing over a stony escarpment and sending spray into the mountain air. It's considered one of the most idyllic waterfalls in the Northland...

Carcajou Falls along the Canol Trail in Canada's Northwest Territories.

... and certainly one of the most remote.

The Canol Trail is sprinkled with canyons carved into the land.

Canyons

Then there's famous Dodo Canyon. Like a bit of the Desert Southwest transported to the Arctic Circle, it's a red-rock badlands – a deep, scenic gulch carved out by a meandering river ...

Ancient hoodoos carved by the elements along the Canol Trail in Canada's Northwest Territories

... with walls featuring spires and hoodoos that would make Arizona proud.

Old trucks from the 1940s line the Canol Trail, relics from the era the road went in.

Old vehicles

Army trucks and tractors from the 1940s line the Canol route.

Old trucks from the 1940s line the Canol Trail, in Canada's Northwest Territories, relics from the era the road went in.

It's like a trail that winds through an outdoor museum, memorializing the monumental efforts of the war.

Old trucks from the 1940s line the Canol Trail, relics from the era the road went in.

The machines bear messages from a bygone era.

Dall's Sheep along the Canol Trail in Canada's Northwest Territories.

Wildlife

These Dall's Sheep have likely never seen a human being living in such remote and pristine lands ...
 

Caribou along the Canol Trail, an epic hike in Canada's Northwest Territories

... nor have these Alpine Caribou. The fact is, wildlife still rules the roost along the Canol Trail. This is nature at its most unperturbed, thriving much like it did 500 or 5,000 years ago. 

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