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It’s better in the Barrenlands

Rocks stacked on the Barrenlands, in Canada's Northwest Territories

It’s better in the Barrenlands

East of Great Slave is a regal, lonesome realm – the treeless zone of the Barrens. Here, rivers flow clear, herds of caribou stretch to the far horizon, and wolves survey their empire from atop ancient outcrops, impervious to human visitors.  

Paddling the Thelon, Coppermine, Dubawnt and other wild rivers of the Barrenlands in Canada's Northwest Territories

Rivers that run God knows where

The Barrenlands give birth to icy rivers that jostle through the rock-ribbed landscape, bound for the far Arctic. These iconic waterways - the Thelon, Coppermine, Burnside, Dubawnt and Back - are rich in history, legend and beauty.

Muskoxen live on the Barrenlands in Canada's Northwest Territories

Creatures with a foot in both worlds

Here, the forest dwindles to sticks and the Subarctic and Arctic collide. The beasts of the Barrens are a strange mash-up of the polar and the boreal: Muskoxen and moose, caribou and grizzlies, beavers and wolverines, ptarmigans and geese. This place is a strange paradise, intriguing to behold.

The Barrenlands explode with colour in the fall in Canada's Northwest Territories

A place that’s like a postcard

Think autumn colours are pretty in New England? The Barrenlands in August and September turn crimson, as a million delicate flowers explode into colour and berries erupt on every bush.

The town of Wekweeti, Northwest Territories, Canada, on the cusp of the treeline.

People on the edge

Thriving at the cusp of the Barrenlands, placid Wekweètì is one of the North’s most scenic communities. The tiny Tłįchǫ settlement huddles among sandy eskers and tiny pines not far from the treeline – our closest community to the caribou country northeast of Great Slave Lake.

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