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Home Story Pick your park: A Guide to the NWT’s National Parks

Pick your park: A Guide to the NWT's National Parks

The Northwest Territories is home to six national parks. Here, rivers run glassy-clear, peaks leap to the heavens, waterfalls plummet and wild beasts abound – muskoxen, caribou, grizzlies, bison, you name it. Some of the NWT’s parks, like Nahanni, are legends, on the bucket-list of every adventurer worth their salt. Others are unsung gems – the most untrampled places on the planet. No matter whether you’re waiting for bison to make way for your car in Wood Buffalo National Park, or ascending an unnamed, unclimbed peak in Nááts’ihch’oh, you’ll be experiencing Earth in its perfect form: glorious, wild and free.

Here’s everything you need to know to pick the National Park that fits your sense of adventure:

Thaidene Nëné National Park

The Park: Canada’s Newest National Park is Thaidene Nëné, and while the New York Times recently highlighted it as a shining example of spectacular landscape and conservation, Northerners have known the beauty of this area out on the East Arm of Great Slave Lake for centuries. Meaning “Land of the Ancestors,” in Chipewyan, Thaidene Nëné is 27,000 square kilometres of spectacular and pristine waterways, forests and Canadian Shield. If you’re looking for a world-class trout-fishing experience or a paddling trip through somewhere that reverberates with history and importance, Thaidene Nëné National Park Reserve is like no other

Getting to the Park: Thaidene Nëné National Park Reserve can be accessed through Yellowknife (charter a plane to the park), or Luselk’e (depart by boat).

Interested? Immerse yourself and learn more about Thaidene Nëné.

Aulavik National Park

The Park: Home to what is widely considered the world’s northernmost navigable river – the Thomsen River – Aulavik National Park is a polar paradise and a hidden gem among the NWT’s collection of National Parks. Visiting Aulavik National Park is like going on a muskox safari; between the romping muskox, breeding flocks of birds, ancient artifacts, and the scenic lush lowlands of northern Banks Island, Aulavik National Park is rich with spectacular offerings to pique the interest of any wildlife enthusiast or amateur anthropologist.

Getting to the Park: Take your pick of any of the scenic routes to Inuvik – including the fabled Dempster Highway. From here, you can charter a plane out to the park.

Get the full story on Aulavik National Park.

Nahanni National Park Reserve

The Park: Nahanni National Park Reserve is a landscape like no other. Tucked into the territory’s southwest flank, it is a wilderness paradise sliced by great waters and prickling with peaks. It’s a place of great beauty and great intrigue. It’s nature on its grandest scale. Take a flightseeing tour of the roaring Virginia Falls, sleep among the Cirque of the Unclimbables, or take the paddling adventure of a lifetime down the Nahanni River. Canyons and hot springs. Wildlife and rapids. Mountains and waterfalls. Nahanni National Park Reserve is unparalleled in its grandeur.

Starting Your Adventure: Make your way to Fort Simpson, and you’ll find it easy to charter a quick plane into the park from there.

If Nahanni National Park Reserve has caught your imagination, you can read more about what awaits you here.

Nààts'ihch'oh National Park Reserve

The Park: Meaning “the mountain that’s sharp like a porcupine”, Naats’ihch’oh National Park Reserve is named for a spine-like mountain peak, long sacred to the region’s First Nations. Naats’ihch’oh is a whitewater paddler’s dream – the upper Nahanni’s “Rock Garden” is 50 kilometres of whitewater suited for the most adventurous of paddlers – you better be prepared to get a little wet. Here, you can immerse yourself in 5,000 square kilometres of jagged alps, hushed lakes, rambunctious rivers, and creatures so wild they’ve never laid eyes on a human being. The alpine environment is a test, but you’ll undoubtedly find it rewarding

Starting Your Adventure: If adventure is in your heart, speak to a local outfitter to paddle the rivers or charter a  floatplane from Fort Simpson or Norman Wells and experience Naats’ihch’oh National Park Reserve.

Get the full story on Naats’ihch’oh National Park Reserve.

Tuktut Nogait National Park

The Park: If your heart yearns for the opposite of a crowded or touristy experience, Tuktut Nogait National Park is here to answer that call. Tuktut Nogait National Park is an unsung Eden, with fewer visitors per decade than Banff sees in a day. It boasts waterfalls, wildlife, canyons and ancient cultural sites, all hugging the shores of the Northwest Passage. The park is remote but in that quiet, there are more than 300 known archeological sites – some thousands of years old. It’s by far the path less traveled, making it all the more enticing to those who are willing to spend the effort to experience it.

Starting Your Adventure: Visiting Tuktut Nogait National Park can start with an adventure all its own – make your way to Inuvik by Dempster Highway or plane, and then charter your flight to the park itself.

Get the full story on Tuktut Nogait National Park.

Wood Buffalo National Park

The Park: Wood Buffalo National Park offers great year-round access to car-campers, day-hikers, or adventurous whitewater kayakers. You could spend a lifetime exploring Wood Buffalo National Park – boreal barrens that unfurl to the far horizon, the wrinkled Caribou Mountains, caves and craters and great plains of salt that shimmer in the unsetting summer sun. There’s no shortage of hikes here either, ranging from easy loops of under a kilometre to more difficult 14-km treks through field and forest trails. Don’t mistake the park’s accessibility – it is just as spectacular as any of the more remote parks, and it makes a great starting point for anyone intrepid enough to try and visit all six parks.

Starting Your Adventure: Fort Smith provides convenient access to the park for multiple days of adventure. If you’re looking to extend your experience, there are plenty of spectacular things to see in and around the park and Fort Smith as well.

Can’t decide what to see in Wood Buffalo National Park? Here’s a three-day itinerary to get your plans started.

Dreaming of Northern vistas? Explore all the ways to get out and witness the magnificent landscapes and majestic wildlife of the Northwest Territories

If you’re searching for more adventure, look no further than these 15 strange and dangerous places across the NWT. From exhilarating to inspiring, you’ll find a deep appreciation for the North.

DISCOVER A MOMENT THAT LASTS A LIFETIME. Aylmer Lake Lodge is located in Rocknest Bay, which is on the Barren......

Simpson Air (and its predecessor) is the oldest continuously-operated flying service in the Mackenzie Valley, established in the early 1960s.......

Creating Memories for a Lifetime Nonacho Lake Fishing Adventures offers trophy lake trout and northern pike fishing. Wildlife abounds at......

Tundra North Travel is an Inuit company based in Inuvik, Northwest Territories that was established with the dream of being......

Your Dene Connection in Yellowknife. B. Dene Adventures is a Traditional Dene Culture Camp business which teaches the Dene way......

Canoe North, located in Hay River, Northwest Territories offers kayak and canoe rentals and sales. We can set you up for a......

Our company is a tour management and booking services company. We are located at Yellowknife, NT Canada. Our clients come......

Best Northern Road Trip! Now you can drive all the way to the Arctic ocean linking Canada from coast to......

Fly-in fishing lodge located 150 air miles (240 kms) south of Yellowknife. Full American Plan or unguided....

Hearne Lake Lodge is a remote fly-in fishing lodge only 20-minute floatplane ride east of Yellowknife. To serve you better,......

Comfortable lodge a 20 minute by floatplane ride from Yellowknife. Guided fishing for Lake Trout (to 34 lb), Arctic Grayling (to......

Commercial air charter service providing air support for hikers on Canol Road, sightseeing in the beautiful Mackenzie Mountains, and fly-in fishing......

With over 30 years of living in Yellowknife, we offer a variety of tourism experiences for our guests. We are......

At Nahanni River Adventures we outfit and guide canoe and raft trips on Canada’s renowned South Nahanni River and a select......

Book an adventure with us at Trail Blazer Tours for an unforgettable experience! Your adventure with us will create lasting......

If are looking for a spectacular weekend retreat nestled in the serenity of the Mackenzie Mountains at Ten Stone Mountain Lodge. North-Wright......

Charter the bus, travel the North by road Your go-to solution for reliable and convenient ground transportation in the North! Shuttle Services Group Travel Sporting Events Corporate Events Out-of-Territory Trips School Trips Luggage Customized Itineraries Budget Friendly Rates and so much more!  ...

With Bluefish Outfitting you’ll get an unforgettable trip of a lifetime. Bluefish Outfitting offers personalized, guided fishing trips and boat tours on......

100% Indigenous owned!  We are the world’s first Aurora Hunting tour company, we know Aurora. Learn about Aurora, why Yellowknife is the......

Remote private wilderness paradise on Little Doctor Lake, 100 km west of Fort Simpson. Accommodates 20 in cabins. Fishing, swimming,......

We are a small air service with two bush planes based in Fort Simpson. Operating on floats throughout the summer......

World Class Fishing Within Reach Yet Beyond Belief For 3 generations we have been honing the Kasba experience to be like no-other. Our level of hospitality, dedication to the fishery, and a legendary passion for the experience that permeates through our entire team is undeniably contagious. No matter what you’re looking for in your fishing […]...

One of the finest Pike and Lake Trout waters in North America, on the 60th Parallel. Enjoy luxurious private cabins......

Gana River Outfitters is a family owned and operated outfitting business offering remote wilderness hunts in the beautiful Mackenzie Mountains......

Arctic Tours Canada is a Yellowknife based tour operating company that offer Aurora Hunting and Viewing tours, Yellowknife sightseeing tours,......

2 Seasons Adventures is a family-owned company. Our professional guides boast a lifetime of experience enjoying the unique lifestyle of......

“Unforgettable remote fishing experience” We are the only lodge located on this fly-in only lake. With only 8 guests per......

“Like No Other Place On Earth” We are the only fly-in lodge located a 50 minute float plane flight from......

Northern and Remote Wilderness Adventures Ltd. (NARWAL) is a small, friendly, majority Aboriginal owned and operated family business. Our reputation......

Trophy Lodge is a fishing lodge located on the Smith Arm of Great Bear Lake. We are famous for our......

Tukto Lodge has been exceeding anglers’ expectations for more than fifty years. As the only fishing and eco-tourism lodge in......

Yellow Dog Lodge is a comfortable lodge with 3 private cabins for our guests. The lodge is a short (15 minute) floatplane ride from Yellowknife. Located on Duncan and Graham Lakes, the lodge is your hub for adventure. Choose from an additional 5 lakes for guided day trip excursions. Each lake is unique and offers unspoiled first class fishing. We are the only lodge that operates guided trips on each of these remote lakes located in the NWT taiga wilderness. Packaged trips feature superb sport fishing and safe outdoor adventure. The lakes and streams offer the finest Lake Trout, Northern Pike, Walleye and Arctic Grayling in the region. As an added bonus, our guests will enjoy the midnight sun and may even catch the northern lights later in the fall or early spring....

Peterson’s Point Lake Lodge provides you access to known waters teeming with monster lake trout. Their current record is a......

Aurora Village – A Class of Its Own Aurora Village is a unique Aurora-viewing facility situated 25 minutes from downtown......

Come experience world-class Aurora Borealis viewing in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada. We are the only guides in the Northwest Territories......

Join us for an unforgettable experience on the mighty Mackenzie River. Day trips are available for a full or half......

Create your own story. We offer a variety of services to make your Sahtu adventure a reality! We offer everything from......

Book this entire cabin in the remote wilderness of the stunningly breath-taking, Mackenzie Mountains. This cabin is hands down the......

Our goal is to provide unique customized services for high-end customers. We excel at making personalized tours. You can see......

Floatplane charter service using classic DHC-2 Beaver aircraft based in Yellowknife’s historic Old Town. Sightseeing flights over Yellowknife and surrounding......

Exceptional fishing on Gordon Lake, 100 km northeast of Yellowknife. Fish for Lake Trout, up to to 56 lbs! Fly in by......

Air Tindi is an airline company based in Yellowknife offering flights to a number of diverse destinations within Canada’s spectacular Northwest Territories!......

Great Slave Lake Tours offers winter and summer trips on Great Slave Lake, the ninth biggest lake in the world......

Ena Lake Lodge is a one-of-a-kind, all-inclusive luxury fishing and outdoors experience in Northern Canada. Come and experience authentic fly-in......

Pehdzeh Ki First Nation is located in the community of Wrigley, Northwest Territories, Canada. We are a Designated Authority in......

Northstar Resort is a remote fishing lodge located on Thekulthili Lake, 95 miles (152 km) northeast of Fort Smith. Operates from......

Welcoming and friendly with a rustic charm and all modern conveniences, Grey Goose Lodge immediately catches your eye as you......

Aurora photography tours for groups of 25 or less, available in English, Mandarin and Cantonese. Our tours offer specialized knowledge......

Fishing and Barrenlands wildlife photography, including migrating caribou, at the Obstruction Rapids in the central Barrenlands north of Yellowknife....

To truly experience the Northwest Territories, take your camping gear for a highway driving adventure! Long ribbons of road without......

Remote naturalist’s lodge snuggled in the Mackenzie Mountains, in the largest mountain wilderness in North America. Located along the Canol......

Fish for Trophy Lake Trout and Arctic Grayling at our all-inclusive lodge located in East Arm, Great Slave Lake. Fly......

Born & raised in Inuvik, Northwest Territories our experienced lead guide Jimmy Kalinek is ready to help you discover the......

Outfitter offering sport hunts for trophy Dall’s sheep, Alaska/Yukon Moose, Mountain Caribou. We ensure that every detail of the hunt......

Specializing in polar bear and muskox hunts for up to four people from traditional camp near Tuktoyaktuk. Also providing scenic......

Join us on a subarctic adventure! Spend five nights viewing the Northern Lights, enjoying outdoor activities, and experiencing the culture......

An Arctic Barrenlands trophy fishing adventure for the serious sportsman. Located on Lynx Lake (420 km east of Yellowknife) Lynx......

Call us about our exciting year-round packages and experience the best of the Dehcho region and Denendeh....

Boat tours of the Mackenzie River Delta from Inuvik to Aklavik, Red Mountain and Husky Channel. Contact us for more......

Aurora viewing tours, city tours, and hikes at Cameron Falls. We book all your activities and  accommodation....

Explore the wild splendor of the northern boreal plains, where whooping cranes call and bison roam free. Visitor reception centres......

Providing culturally based tours of Tuktoyaktuk with an opportunity to dip your toes in the Arctic Ocean! Ask us about......

Summer and winter packages on the Taltson River. Drive out by snowmobile from Fort Resolution or fly out from Fort......

We offer: Nature and wildlife viewing Snowmobile tours Fishing tours Boat tours Polar bear and muskox hunts. Contact us for......

Family owned and operated tour company specializing in Arctic expedition cruising....