Explore > Northwest Territories > Welcome to Northwest Territories
welcome header

Welcome to the Northwest Territories

There are only a handful of countries in the world larger in area than Canada’s sprawling Northwest Territories — a wildly diverse landscape that combines a rugged frontier wilderness, a remarkably humming and artistic capital city, and some of North America’s great natural wonders — all in a surprisingly accessible package.

Timeless Treasures

Adventurous visitors can begin checking one-of-a-kind destinations off their bucket lists as soon as they arrive in the Territories with Virginia Falls in Nahanni National Park (higher than Niagara Falls), Alexandra Falls along the lower Mackenzie River, Great Slave Lake (the deepest in North America) and Great Bear Lake (the largest entirely in Canada) all within reach.

A series of well-maintained highways also connect the major communities in the southern half of the region, making it possible to pay visits to towns like Hay River and Fort Simpson, or take sight-seeing excursions to see bison and wolves in the Wood Buffalo National Park.

All manner of outdoor adventure is on the menu along the Mackenzie and Yellowknife highways — from dogsledding, to world-class fly fishing and some of the finest displays of northern lights anywhere in the world.

For more intrepid travelers, the word “remote” will take on new meaning above the Arctic circle, where few towns or amenities exist, but untouched wilderness abounds.

In summertime, a journey up the Dempster Highway offers visitors the chance to see polar bears and take a glimpse into indigenous ways of life. The northern outpost of Inuvik during July’s Great Northern Arts Festival boasts native crafts, traditional dance and music, and 10 days of 24-hour midnight sun.

A Sharp Town

A mining city with skyscrapers that cast shadows across Great Slave Lake and an Old Town that evokes the area’s gold-prospecting past, Yellowknife stands out as the surprisingly refreshing cultural capital of Canada’s far north. Galleries and iconic eateries like the WildCat Café infuse the Old Town with a hip sensibility, while day hikes and kayak tours on the aptly named Houseboat Bay ensure the city’s outdoorsy credentials.

Take your pick of festival visits from the 24-hour Summer Solstice to the Folk on the Rocks music fest to the famous wintertime Long John Jamboree, which features dogsled races and art from some of the world’s best ice sculptors.