The people who live in the Northwest Territories have a deep love for the stunning landscape that surrounds them. It’s what makes them such great hosts. They live to share their passion for the North with every visitor who makes a trip to their part of the world. And that’s why you’ll never find a warmer place to stay and play than the Northwest Territories.
The Northwest Territories’ capital, Yellowknife, is the world’s best place for viewing the glories of the Aurora Borealis, so it is no surprise that some of the region’s numerous lodges specialize in Aurora viewing. At Blachford Lake Lodge, watch nature’s greatest light show from the comfort of an outdoor hot tub or indoors from a room with a panoramic view. The lodge made international headlines in the summer of 2011 when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent a memorable day at Blachford on their Honeymoon tour of Canada. Another option is Enodah Wilderness Travel, where the lodge is perched on a rocky archipelago in the heart of the North Arm of Great Slave Lake and where transportation can include a trip on a Hagglund, the famous amphibious Swedish army vehicle. In the summer Enodah is one of the top spots for fishing for pike.
On the south shore of Great Slave Lake, 2 Seasons Adventures in Hay River lets you experience the Aurora from inside a traditional yurt or a cozy cabin. In the summer you can camp and fish directly from the sandy shores of Great Slave Lake.
If winter adventure is more your speed, head above the Arctic Circle and experience dogsledding. Book into the Arctic Chalet in Inuvik and spend time with owners Olav and Judi Falsnes – Olav is a retired aeronautical engineer and pilot who has flown tourists to the North Pole and Judi trains pure white huskies for Arctic dogsledding adventures.
For an up close and personal experience with the Northwest Territories’ most inspiring scenery, we recommend the many options in the Dehcho Region. Ted Grant is a local legend in the North. The former RCMP officer is also a pilot who owns Simpson Air, which specializes in flights and day trips into the spectacular Nahanni National Park Reserve. (Famous guests have ranged from Prince Andrew to the former Chairman of Mercedes Benz.) Ted also owns Nahanni Mountain Lodge on Little Doctor Lake, which is only accessible by floatplane and sports some of the best fishing in the region. At the North Nahanni Naturalist Lodge, which is nestled in the Nahanni Range of the Mackenzie Mountains on Cli Lake, hosts Loyal and Ria Letcher give guests a chance to sample traditional Dene culture in a modern lodge setting.
Further south at the Whooping Crane Guest House in Fort Smith, owners Christine and Don Aubrey make visitors feel right at home in their octagonal log house. It is close to Wood Buffalo National Park, which is easily accessible by car and along the Deh Cho Connection driving route that circles the corners of the NWT, Alberta and BC.
For fishermen, this territory is the Holy Grail. The size and abundance of fish is unmatched anywhere around the globe. Aylmer Lake was the last undeveloped Canadian fishery above the tree line and the lodge that bears its name, which opened in 2000, can only be reached by floatplane. In 2008, one of the guests caught a 58 lb. Lake Trout out of Rocknest Bay, right in front of the lodge.
Speaking of iconic fish stories, the Plummer family have been pioneers in the fishing business for over 60 years and own and operate numerous lodges, including spots on Great Bear Lake and Great Slave Lake. At Plummer’s Arctic Lodges, their proud fishing heritage speaks for itself, with world record catches for Lake Trout, Arctic Char and Arctic Grayling.
The wonders of the Northwest Territories have never been more accessible. If you decide to fly, there are plenty of flights from major cities into Yellowknife and if you drive, there are good highway connections from Alberta, British Columbia and the Yukon. Once in the NWT you will find a variety of flying options to transport you to your final destination. For more information on planning a trip to Northwest Territories visit www.spectacularnwt.com/onehop.