In Nahanni National Park Reserve, there’s no spot so celebrated as Virginia Falls, home to a historic portage trail, 300-million-year-old fossils, the Sluicebox Rapids, and of course the stunning waterfall. Twice as high as Niagara, Virginia Falls are the must see destination in Canada's Northwest Territories.
The NWT's Great Slave is a big lake with a deep secret:
The most northern commercial and community greenhouse in North America, and the largest of its kind in the world with over 16,000 square feet of space in an old hockey arena. Scheduled tours available June-September. Contact the greenhouse for tours and gift shop purchases outside of the regular times.
The closest thing to whitewater on the mighty Mackenzie River, this fast-flowing section occurs a few kilometres upstream from Fort Good Hope where the river is choked between 40-metre-high limestone cliffs.
On the shores of Frame Lake in front of City Hall, this grassy park is Yellowknife's favourite gathering place. In summer, musical performances are common at the waterfront ampitheatre, and various attractions – the museum, the visitor centre, Firewood Studio, a towering drum-dance sculpture, etc. – are close by.
One of the most diverse, historic, offbeat neighborhoods in Canada, Old Town is the beating heart of Yellowknife. Here, where the Precambrian Shield blends into the Great Slave Lake. Gold seekers approximately 80 years ago pioneered what was to become the North's greatest settlement. Today the area is an intriguing mash-up of log cabins, mansions, houseboats, float planes, art galleries, famous restaurants, monuments and more. Guides to Old Town's historic sites are available from the Northern Frontier Visitor Center.
Yellowknife's most popular lookout rises above Old Town, providing a stupendous view over Great Slave Lake, Back Bay and the northern reaches of the city. The monument is high up on "The Rock," and is accessed via a winding staircase to the top. It is dedicated to the bush pilots and engineers whose lives were lost as they flew the wilderness skies of the Northwest Territories. The monument also serves a practical purpose: When the light atop the tower is flashing, residents and visitors are warned that floatplanes or skiplanes are active on nearby Yellowknife Bay.
Perched on a pillar near the entrance to town, the yellow and blue Bristol Freighter airplane greets visitors to Yellowknife, reminding them of the region's vital aviation history. Bush planes such as this one fed the development of the town, bringing people and supplies before Yellowknife was connected to the outside world by road. The Bristol Freighter itself was the first wheeled plane to touch down at the North Pole before being retired in 1968. Around the freighter you'll find trails, picnic tables and interpretive signage.
Built with sawn drift logs covered with sod clumps for insulation, this popular visitor attraction is a recreation of a traditional Inuvialuit dwelling.
Donated on behalf of Pope Pius XI in the 1930s, the schooner Our Lady of Lourdes sailed the Beaufort Sea for decades, delivering supplies to far-flung Catholic missions and carrying Inuvialuit children to Cathloic residential schools. Since 1982 the vessel has sat on display near Tuktoyaktuk's Catholic mission.