What to See in the Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories is another of Canada’s territories that you might think, on first glance, doesn’t have much to offer. Well, like Nunavut and Yukon, it really depends on personal taste – if you enjoy exploring Canada’s wilderness, then all three of these destinations would be great, but if you like good hotels, shopping malls and upscale restaurants they just won’t cut it! If I was travelling to the Northwest Territories, here’s what I would want to see and do:

  1. Yellowknife – The hub of life in the Northwest Territories, Yellowknife is both the capital and largest city and it’s home to about 20,000 people. It started out when gold was discovered in 1935, and although the gold has dried up Yellowknife found fortune again more recently when diamonds were discovered north of the city. There are some lovely historic buildings to see in the old town, and the setting on the northern end of Great Slave Lake makes this a scenic place and fabulous for outdoor recreation.
  2. Inuvik – I’ve always wanted to visit Inuvik, but I was never really sure why! This northerly town just seems to appeal, sat at the end of the Dempster Highway; maybe it’s the midnight sun (over 50 days of 24 hour sunshine happen here every year!).
  3. Nahanni National Park Reserve – The spectacular Virginia Falls are what appeal most about this Northwest Territories national park, but it’s also a place of history and culture with rare plant life and endangered wildlife. There are also hot springs and dramatic river canyons to see.
  4. Wood Buffalo National Park – Shared with Alberta, as the name suggests, this national park is home to wood bison, and in fact hosts the largest herd of free roaming wood bison in the world, as well as many other species of wonderful Canadian wildlife.

Article copyright Claire Bolgil. Claire is a freelance travel writer based in Beautiful BC. Find out more about her at www.clairebolgil.com

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