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The NWT is open to leisure travel. See information on COVID-19 travel guidelines

A world of waterways to paddle

Paddle Your Way Across Arctic Waters by Canoe, Kayak, or Raft.

Canoe your way to the Arctic Ocean. Raft the whitewater rapids of the Nahanni River. Kayak out to a hidden camping spot along the cliffs of Great Slave Lake. Paddleboard through Yellowknife’s houseboat community. The Northwest Territories is a world of racing rivers, placid lakes, and all-around spectacular waters. Whether you embark on the multi-day canoe journey of a lifetime, or simply enjoy the calm waves of Great Slave Lake rocking your kayak, you’ll find your ideal canoeing, kayaking, or rafting adventure on the waters of the NWT.

People have travelled the North by canoe since time immemorial. Before there were roads, the network of lakes and rivers made up the highways of the NWT, reaching from the Barrenland tundra in the east to the Mackenzie Mountains in the west and the open Arctic Ocean at the top of the world. Today, these historic waterways draw intrepid canoeists, daring kayakers, whitewater rafters, and paddleboarding pros from around the world. When they come to the storied waters of the Northwest Territories, they find a magnificent world waiting to lead them on a life-changing adventure through the pristine Northern wilderness.

Your trip across the waters of the North can take many forms - tackle whitewater kayaking just outside of Fort Smith, or canoe past the Pingos on the shores of the Arctic Ocean inTuktoyaktuk. Rent equipment from a canoe and kayak outfitter for a day trip out on the waters around Yellowknife, or charter a flight and immerse yourself in the timeless landscapes of Thaidene Nëné National Park Reserve on Great Slave Lake’s East Arm. 

Each trip across the legendary lakes and renowned rivers of the North is an unforgettable experience, and there’s no better place to find a life-long love for exhilarating kayak courses and serene canoe trips.

Best place to see the Northern Lights

launching a canoe from shore

Leisurely days on the water admiring pristine landscapes

rafting on the Nahanni

Guided tours down iconic NWT waterways

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