fishing under the midnight sun

June 21, the Summer Solstice, is the longest day of the year. What time will the sun finally go down in your favourite Northwest Territories community (if it even sets at all)? 

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church in fort smith

Fort Smith is our southernmost town, hugging the Alberta border. Way down there in the tropics, dusk comes early – like, before 11 p.m. By one in the morning you might actually have to squint to read. 

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Hay River is approximately an hour's drive north of the Alberta border. At that latitude, the town enjoys 19 hours and 11 minutes of sunlight today. 

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yellowknife bay at sunset

In Yellowknife, north of Great Slave Lake, the sun will only be down tonight for four hours and one minute. People will literally be golfing at midnight. 

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canoeing in fort simpson on mackenzie river

Fort Simpson isn't quite as far north as Yellowknife, but it's farther west, so the sun sets later. If you're there, your day will be 18 hours and 57 minutes long today. Hope you brought a sleep mask. 

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Gamètı̀ is halfway between Great Slave and Great Bear Lakes. The sun sets tonight at a half past midnight and rises again at 3 a.m. In between, the lake will basically look like the picture above. 

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Wrigley is several hours' drive north of Fort Simpson. The sun will only be down tonight for about three and a half hours. Dusk will slide seemlessly into dawn and kids will be out playing until the wee hours. 

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The Mackenzie River community of Tulita is smack-dab on the 65th Parallel. On the solstice, the sun slips below the horizon for about two hours before creeping back into the sky. 

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hiking in norman wells

Norman Wells is pretty darn close to the Arctic Circle. Winters are shrouded in darkness – but summers are brilliantly bright. Tonight, sunset and sunrise will only be 94 minutes apart. It'll be like the sun ducked below the horizon, took a quick power nap, and then popped back up. 

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Inuvik is the hub of the Western Arctic, with perpetual daylight for months each summer. That's why they'll be holding a community fun-run starting at midnight tomorrow night. 

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Sachs Harbour, our northernmost community, hasn't seen true night for the past couple months – and it'll be August before night returns. Until then, the sun will always be up, spinning around in circles in the sky. 

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How late do you have to stay up to watch the sun set in the Northwest Territories? 12 68b1dca2-5382-41be-a037-b8c597195827

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