The NWT is open to leisure travel. See information on COVID-19 travel guidelines
Travel Safely in the Northwest Territories
Covid-19 Information for Travellers
To keep up on the latest travel information for the NWT, follow this link: https://www.hss.gov.nt.ca/en/services/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/information-travellers
In an emergency, 911 service is available. Callers must be able to share their exact location when accessing the service.
Cell Phone Coverage
Cellular coverage along highways is limited or non-existent. In communities cell phone coverage can be sporadic.Check that your cell carrier provides service in the Northwest Territories.
When traveling by vehicle on NWT highways and roads in any season, it is important to consider the following:
- Safe parking when viewing the Aurora:
- Do not stop on the highway to view wildlife or Aurora.
- Please ensure your vehicle is off the road in a designated parking area.
- Do not attempt to view the Aurora while driving.
Safe Aurora viewing and parking locations around Yellowknife
Here is a map produced by the Government of the Northwest Territories to indicate the safe Aurora viewing and parking locations for independent travellers
English Safe Aurora Viewing Map
- French - Safe Aurora Viewing Map
- Japan - Safe Aurora Viewing Map
- Korea - Safe Aurora Viewing Map
- Simplified Chinese - Safe Aurora Viewing Map
Traditional Chinese - Safe Aurora Viewing Map
- Use headlights and wear a seatbelt at all times:
- It is the law in the Northwest Territories to have your headlights turned on at all times and to wear a seatbelt.
- Other vehicles on the road:
- NWT highways and roads can be narrow – especially during the winter months when the territory's ice roads are open and travelled by large commercial vehicles.
- Do not stop on the highway and ensure you are giving commercial vehicles lots of room.
- International licenses:
- When renting a vehicle, only passengers with a valid international driver's license can operate the vehicle.
As you explore, you may see NWT wildlife such as birds, foxes, bison, moose, wolves and bears. Always be respectful of wildlife and use common sense. Keep a safe distance when viewing wildlife, and never feed or entice them. Wild animals are unpredictable and can be dangerous.
Ensure you are prepared for NWT's weather conditions. In the winter it is very cold, and in the summer it can be very hot. Wear layers during all seasons. Carry sunscreen and bug repellant in summer. In winter note that several tourism operators rent winter clothing that is suitable for temperatures in the NWT. On dark winter nights, it is recommended that you wear or add reflective materials to your clothing.
Thin Ice On Lakes and Waterways
During freeze-up and break-up, the ice on NWT lakes and waterways can be thin and unable to support vehicles or people. Obey signs and if you're not sure, ask.
Arriving with Confirmed Accommodations
Accommodations can be limited during peak visitation times. Please ensure you have confirmed accommodations when visiting.
Time To Be At Airport Before Departure
Ensure you arrive at the airport 90 minutes before your boarding time to allow for security and possible delays. Check with your airline to ensure you arrive at the appropriate time. Visit the government of the Northwest Territories' Yellowknife Airport Arrivals and Departures listing, to check arrival and departure times.