After you’ve fished, hiked and waterfall-watched to your heart’s content at Sambaa Deh, it’s time to head even deeper into the Dehcho. After detouring to tiny Jean Marie River, perched on the banks of the Mackenzie, continue westbound past the Checkpoint junction and across the broad Liard River via the MV Lafferty car ferry. Approximately 150 kilometres later you’ll arrive at one of the most diverse, historic, relaxing little towns in the Northwest Territories, Fort Simpson.
Lying at the great confluence of the Liard and Mackenzie Rivers, Fort Simpson is an epicentre of culture, history and adventure – and the ideally situated Fort Simpson Territorial Park is a perfect basecamp from which to explore it.
The park is near the entrance to town, within easy walking distance of the excellent visitors centre. Better yet, the park overlooks the junction of the two big rivers as well as the Edhaa National Historic Site – the grassy meadow where Pope John Paul II famously blessed the Indigenous people of Canada back in 1987, and where community games and festivals are still held. Trails from the campground lead along the riverbank to a plethora of other local attractions, including the historic Albert Faile Cabin, McPherson House, and the lush Seven Spruces golf course.
The campground itself is an oasis of peace and quite. Tall, leafy trees shelter the campsites, 21 of which offer electrical power. There are showers, washrooms and fresh water here, along with firewood, picnic sites, kitchen shelters and friendly staff.