Nature & Wildlife Viewing

Where nature runs wild

The Northwest Territories is one of the largest pristine wilderness areas in Canada. There are opportunities for wildlife viewing almost everywhere - from our northern highways (wood bison, moose, fox, black bear, beaver and muskrat), from aircraft or boats (caribou, grizzly, muskox, whale), from our winter roads (caribou, wolf, marten), and on nature tours with Northwest Territories outfitters.

 

Our Stories

Intriguing tales from Canada's Northwest Territories

Pull off you shoes and socks and stride across the Salt Plains, nature's very own foot-spa...

Welcome to the gateway to the Northwest Passage, with the most exotic ports-of-call on Earth....

Nááts’ihch’oh National Park is a glorious, wild tongue-twister. Here's why to go now.

The Nahanni River is one of the world’s great wilderness destinations. It is the experience of a lifetime to explore this remote, pristine alpine river valley. You will discover a mountainous wonderland with breathtaking canyons, a magnificent waterfall, diverse...

The Mackenzie Delta has the highest concentration of pingos on Earth – approximately 1,350 of them. Eight, including famous Ibyuk PIngo and Split Pingo, are protected by Parks Canada in the 16-square-kilometre Pingo National Landmark outside Tuktoyaktuk. They...

Wood Buffalo National Park Bigger than Switzerland, this is Canada’s largest park – and maybe its most intriguing. Founded to protect the Western Hemisphere’s most hefty land animal, the rare wood bison, the park bestrides the NWT/Alberta...

Nahanni National Park Reserve Nahanni, the best-known Northern park, showcases the South Nahanni River, possibly Canada’s most epic waterway. Framed by four towering canyons, the river spills through the alpine habitat of broad-shouldered...

Located on the south bank of the mighty Mackenzie River where it empties out of Great Slave Lake, just a short way from the Mackenzie River ferry crossing at Fort Providence, this us great spot to take a break before continuing your journey north or south....

This big boreal reserve protects Canada’s northernmost population of wood buffalo, which are almost inevitably seen browsing along Highway 3. Roadside parks in the area – including North Arm and Chan Lake – provide an opportunity to stretch your legs and explore the...

The North's most colourful neighbourhood bobs on the waves of Great Slave Lake, just offshore of Old Town. Rent a kayak or paddleboard to explore this floating community – or bunk down at the houseboat bed-and-breakfast. 

Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Nááts’ihch’oh, meaning “the mountain that’s sharp like a porcupine,” is named for a spine-like peak long sacred to the region’s First Nations. Nááts’ihch’oh is the Northwest Territories’ newest national park,...

Meaning “Land of the Ancestors,” Thaidene Nëné is a park-in-waiting, slated for federal and territorial protection in the next few years. The park will guard the glorious East Arm of Great Slave Lake – 27,000 square kilometres of spectacular...

Enjoy the spectacular shoreline of Campbell Lake, try your luck fishing, hike in search of unique rocks and fossils, or hit the beach for a swim above the Arctic Circle. There are just a few of the options available at Gwich'in Territorial Campground, about 30...

This idyllic park overlooks the confluence of the Mackenzie and Liard rivers, yet is within walking distance of the centre of town. The adjoining Papal Site commemorates the 1987 visit of Pope John Paul ll. This is a great location for bird-watching,...

Between Fort Liard and Fort Simpson on the Liard Trail, Blackstone Territorial Park boasts stunning mountain views and a prime location on the Liard River, downstream from its confluence with the South Nahanni. This is an excellent starting or...

Reid Lake is also an excellent base for fishing, swimming, canoeing, hiking, bird watching, wildlife viewing, power boating, and for extended canoe trips into the surrounding lake systems. From here, canoeists can access the Lower Cameron River...

The largest developed park on the Ingraham Trail, Prelude Lake Territorial Park offers a variety of facilities. There are trails,a sandy beach for swimming, a dock and boat launch, and boat rentals. The island-filled lake, about 16 kilometers long, forms part of...

This park is what we call a "destination park," and with good reason. The sights to be seen are spectacular, the camping facilities excellent, the peace and tranquility are another world. The park has three main areas, located between the Mackenzie Highway...

For a pretty little hike through classic Northern shield-country, drive 45 kilometres east of Yellowknife to the Cameron Falls Trail. The path twists through evergreen forests, across boardwalks and over undulating outcrops until, 20 minutes later, you...

Forming a seven-kilometre loop around the shores of Frame Lake in the heart of Yellowknife, the city's favourite walking trail has a little of everything. The eastern half of the loop is a paved, sedate urban path, leading you past architectural marvels such as...

What in the world? Just west of Fort Smith in Wood Buffalo National Park lies a shimmering, pearly desert, stretching to the far horizon. A quick hike downhill will bring you to the bizarre Salt Plains, where saline minerals leach from an...

There's hiking, and then there's the Canol. Possibly North America's most rigorous backpacking trail, this 355-kilometre trek follows the route of a defunct military road that once transected the Mackenzie Mountains. Tackling it is an exercise in...

Perched on the banks of the Mackenzie, this placid, timber-shrouded campground is an ideal basecamp for fishing the big river and exploring the town of Fort Providence, three kilometres downstream. You’ll find powered campsites, potable water, showers, picnic tables,...

Tuktut Nogait National Park Tuktut Nogait, meaning “young caribou,” is one of Canada’s least visited parks, protecting the calving grounds of the 68,000-strong Bluenose caribou herd near the shores of the Northwest Passage. Most visitors...

Nááts’ihch’oh, named for a sacred mountain in its midst, is our newest park. Tucked against the Yukon border, it guards the headwaters of both the Nahanni and the Natla/Keele river systems. Paddlers can traverse the South Nahanni’s “rock garden,” featuring 50km of...

For most of its length the broad Slave River plods over the boreal plains, sliding listlessly toward Great Slave Lake. But at the point where it hits the Northwest Territories border, it is suddenly stirred by the Canadian Shield and detonates into a maelstrom....

One of the most popular parks in the Northwest Territories, Twin Falls boasts a wealth of attractions. The park, 75 kilometres north of the Alberta border, stretches along the rim of Twin Falls Gorge, encompassing 32-metre-high Alexnadra Falls, where the Hay River...

Pingos at Tuktoyaktuk Some 1350 pingos (ice-cored hills) dot the coastline near Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories. The largest, Ibyuk Pingo, is 16 stories high - a real landmark on the flat coastal plain. For centuries pingos have been used by Inuvialuit for...

The Ramparts on the Mackenzie Hire a guide in Fort Good Hope, Northwest Territories, to take you upriver to see the Ramparts, called Fee Yee, the towering, crestellated limestone cliffs that squeeze the huge volume of the Mackenzie River into a swirling chute....

Enjoy a break from driving at this roadside park, offering washrooms, a kitchen shelter and a boat launch. Stop and rest on the picturesque shores of Great Slave Lake to take photos or simply to relax with a picnic. Be sure to look around you – the scenery...

The Dempster Highway serves as a boundary for this 8,800-hectare park, which includes two campgrounds (Vadzaih Van Tshik Campground and Gwich’in Territorial Campground), two day-use areas (Ehjuu NJik and Nihtak) and Tithegeh Chii Vitaii...

This seven-kilometre loop around Frame Lake is the recreation trail for activity in the heart of the capital. While the eastern half is paved and passes by residential neighbourhoods, the western half consists of boardwalks over muskeg and wayfinding over...

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