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Welcome to the Northwest Territories

Travelers who make it all the way to the Northwest Territories say the journey is worth it. From witnessing the dazzling aurora borealis to conquering rugged peaks in Canada’s largest national park, the memories forged in this untouched natural wonderland simply can’t be replicated anywhere else in North America.

Large falcon-like bird on a rock

Territorial Bird: Gyrfalcon. Getty Images

Northern Lights Magic

Few places rival Canada’s north when it comes to the aurora borealis. From January until March, visitors are treated to the greatest light show on Earth as the sky erupts in vibrant blues, greens, reds and yellows across the night sky. You can view the lights from the comfort of a lodge or make an activity out of it by going on a dog sledding, cross-country skiing or snowmobiling tour.

Remote Waterways

Fishing rods and paddles are essentials in the Northwest Territories. Make your way to the Nahanni National Park Reserve on the western border with the Yukon to ride swift rapids past four deep canyons and the spectacular Virginia Falls. The 255-mile Keele River to the north is another popular rafting destination, with its sweeping views of alpine tundra and the Mackenzie Mountains. You can also fish for scores of lake trout, pike and arctic grayling in Great Slave Lake, the deepest lake on the continent at an astonishing 2,014 feet.

Canoes resting on lake shore

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Indigenous and Frontier Heritage

Yellowknife may be remote, but it sure doesn’t feel that way. Located on the northern banks of Great Slave Lake, hundreds of miles from the nearest major town, the rollicking city and provincial capital boasts an eccentric personality. Take a stroll downtown and you’ll find dozens of art galleries and restaurants serving up everything from Japanese to Ethiopian fare. You can also learn about Inuit culture at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Center. First Nations history can be explored further at Fort Smith’s Northern Life Museum, where over 17,000 artifacts are on display.