Skip to main content

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

Home Story The Sahtu: Up Close & Comfortable

The Sahtu: Up Close & Comfortable

The Sahtu, “Great Bear Lake”, forms the heartland of the Northwest Territories. Great Bear Lake, the world’s eighth largest lake, comprises its eastern boundary. North America’s second longest river, the Mackenzie, flows through the region. Rugged mountain ranges separate the Sahtu from the Yukon to the west. Sahtu Adventures will package a great introduction for you to Dene and Métis traditions, the amazing wildlife and the untouched scenery of this Sahtu region.

The Land is Our Story

For thousands of years the Dene and Métis of the Sahtu shared stories, legends and history at community feasts and drum dances. Storytelling is a part of every tour, a way for your hosts to share the stories and survival skills that have allowed people to live comfortably in this rugged and beautiful land. Dene hero, Yamoria, lives large in this landscape, a legend Sahtu Adventures is eager to share with you.

Connect With Culture

Let your hosts introduce you to the culture of the Sahtu as you explore the land and the communities of this region. You might see a moosehide boat on the Mackenzie River, a stunning example of Dene innovation, and an ideal subject for photographers. Expert craftspeople in each community fashion traditional tools and clothing, using resources from the land. Visit with Dene and Métis families and see how moccasins are made from locally tanned moosehide, just one of many unique and time-honoured examples of local ingenuity and Sahtu culture.

Wildlife Up Close

Sahtu Adventures offers many opportunities to see and photograph wildlife up close, and safely. Spot a herd of mountain caribou crossing a rock bar in the Keele River. Snap shaggy, shy, muskox, native to the north, but relative newcomers to this region. Eavesdrop on a “conversation” between a pair of lynx in early spring. Many species roam free in Sahtu woods and valleys – foxes, wolves and bears are often seen.

Hike Bear Rock

Whether you want to do a multi-day trek on the Canol Trail or a scenic day-hike outside a community, Sahtu Adventures will provide you with guides or supports. A favourite day-trip is to historic Bear Rock at the confluence of the Bear and Mackenzie rivers, near Tulita. Travel by boat from Norman Wells to Bear Rock to hike the trail with your guides, and learn the stories of Yamoria. Local history tells that Yamoria killed three giant beavers here and draped their vast pelts on the rock, forming three dark circles still visible today. Your hosts have deep roots and deeper knowledge of the region, thanks to knowledge passed on to owner Jennie Vandermeer by her mother and other Sahtu Elders. Stories and traditions are shared from generation to generation, so important skills and knowledge are preserved. It is the way of the people.

See the Sahtu From the Water

If you want to get out on a stand-up paddleboard for a few hours or head out in a canoe for a few days, Sahtu Adventures can make that happen. There’s no limit to what you can do: any adventure can be customized to fit your schedule and skill-level. Take a day-trip on Great Bear Lake or challenge yourself on a two-week journey down the Keele or Mountain rivers. Or go for a leisurely paddle on the Mackenzie River – the region’s super-highway – to get a sense of the Deh Cho’s majesty and its importance to the people of the Sahtu. No adventure is the same, but each provides its own unique scenery and serenity.

Floating Comfort

Sahtu Adventures is the only operator in the Northwest Territories that offers comfy shoal tents for camping on lakes or rivers. A shoal tent is an inflatable raft with a tent on top. Imagine being gently rocked to sleep, anchored beside a beach on Great Bear Lake or a smaller lake or river. Easy to move from place to place, these shoal tents provide ideal accommodation on any Sahtu adventure.

Fishing

Heard about the world-class fishing in the Sahtu and want to give it a try? Sahtu Adventures offers anything from afternoons on the river or a local lake, to remote, multi-day excursions away from it all. Famously massive lake trout, Northern pike, walleye, Arctic grayling and whitefish are some of the species challenging fishers in Sahtu rivers and lakes.

The Complete Sahtu

Custom packages to visit any Sahtu community are available – and a specialty – of Sahtu Adventures. Travel to one or more of the region’s unique communities. The small community of Colville Lake‘s log church is a must-see attraction. Fort Good Hope is home to one of Canada’s most treasured historic sites, a church constructed more than 160 years ago. Tiny Tulita has a rich cultural heritage, and Deline, on Great Bear Lake, combines Sahtu culture and the world’s best lake trout fishing. Your base is Norman Wells, where the visitor centre tells the story of the Canol Trail. Tell Sahtu Adventures what you want to do and they will put together a custom package for you – whether it’s a summer day-trip to a community, magical nights of aurora-viewing in autumn or early spring, or weeks-long journeys on historic Canadian trails and awe-inspiring waters.

Your Hosts

Sahtu Adventures owners James McPherson and Jennie Vandermeer both grew up in the region and they will host your Sahtu experiences. James is from Tulita, across the river from his new home in Norman Wells, and Jennie is from Deline, on the shores of Great Bear Lake. Jennie and James have a wealth of Northern knowledge they want to share with you.

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.

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

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

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......

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

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

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......

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

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

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....

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 […]...

Etching popular northern designs on unique 100% recycled glass, since 1994. Visit our gift shop in Old Town or come......

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

We offer winter clothing rentals. Our winter clothing will keep you warm and comfortable for your outdoor fun – ask us......

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

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

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......

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

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......

We are a small business, owned and operated by a northern Indigenous family, catering largely to visiting families and friends,......

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

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

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......

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

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....

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

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