Skip to main content

Find out more about the current wildfire and wildfire-related concerns in the NWT.

Home Story Here’s how hot it gets in Canada’s Northwest Territories





Here's how hot it gets in Canada's Northwest Territories





Wanna put some sizzle in your summer? Then grab your swimsuit and head for the midnight sun. Yeah, that’s right. This time of the year the Northwest Territories can get sweltering hot, with round-the-clock light and day after day of cloudless, bluebird skies.  

Don’t believe us? Then check out these record high temperatures set in communities across the Northland.

Fort Smith

With an all-time high of 39.4°C (that’s 103°F), the Northwest Territories has gotten hotter than Hawaii (37°C). It’s also warmer than the all-time high in any of Canada’s Maritime provinces. It happened at Fort Smith, the gateway to Wood Buffalo National Park, where you can tan on the famous sun-baked salt flats or take a dip in balmy Pine Lake.

Hay River

Hay River boasts the North’s biggest beach: a vast strand of sand stretching along the south shore of Great Slave Lake. It’s the perfect place to play on warm, sunny days. And when temperatures get really toasty (Hay River’s high, 98°F, is as warm as the record for far-more-southerly PEI) you can always go jump in the lake.

Fort Simpson

Fort Simpson’s prime summer celebration is called the Open Sky Festival – which makes sense, what with all the sunlight here. The town bakes in the summer, with a maximum high of 98°F. Too hot? Charter a plane into nearby Nahanni National Park, where the mountain air and the cool waters of the Nahanni River will refresh your heart and soul. 

Fort Providence

Situated where the big Mackenzie River pours out of Great Slave Lake, you’d think Fort Providence would be naturally water-cooled. Nope. When the mercury skyrockets toward the record high of 97°F, you can watch heatwaves rise from the Dehcho Bridge and wild bison lounge in the shade.

Fort Liard

Just north of the B.C. border, Fort Liard is the territory’s banana belt, famous for big trees and luxurious gardens. Summers can get flaming hot – up to 95°F. To cool off, make your way down to banks of the Liard River, or better yet, hire a local to take you up into the nearby Mackenzie Mountains.


Tulita looks out over the Mackenzie Range, home to famous paddling rivers like the Mountain, Natla, Keele and Broken Skull. For a town practically touching the Arctic Circle, it can feel down-right tropical. The all-time high here is a blistering 95°F.

Norman Wells

When the mercury climbs in Norman Wells (record: 95°F), head to the lush Ptarmigan Ridge Golf Course, where you can play a round (or two, or three) beneath the perpetual midnight sun. 

Fort McPherson

With ideal access to the Richardson Mountains, Peel River and Mackenzie Delta, Fort McPherson is a glorious destination. The weather is famously changeable – crisp alpine conditions one day, then sultry the next. The all-time high here is 92°F, not bad for near-Arctic.


From May to mid-August, the capital of the Northwest Territories is bathed in brilliant sun. On days that approach the record-high of 91°F, every pond, lake, creek and bay and will be filled with boaters and swimmers.


It’s hard to believe that scorching-hot weather can happen beside Great Bear Lake – the biggest, freshest, chilliest body of water in Canada. But sure enough, in Délįne, the only community on Great Bear, the thermometer has been known to climb to 90°F. When that happens, it’s time to take a swim.


If you make it to Tuk, on the shores of the Arctic Ocean, you’d better take a dip in the waves. Normally it’ll be pretty brisk, but even up here on the tundra the weather can get warm. The record? A blissful 85°F.