Northwest Territories Tours

Multi-Day Tours to the Unexplored Province in Canada’s North

Lose yourself in vast wilderness on our tours of the Northwest Territories. One of Canada’s largest provinces, the Northwest Territories is where you’ll rediscover the joy of travel.

Venture to Nahanni National Park and take a life-changing canoeing trip on Nahanni River, which flows through the majestic Mackenzie Mountains. Go fishing or kayaking on Great Slave Lake, the continent’s deepest lake.

An additional bonus? The territory is perhaps the greatest place on the planet to see the Northern Lights. Go after new and unfamiliar adventures on our active journeys with lodging, meals, and charter flights.

Below explore our Northwest Territories vacation packages grouped by activity.

Canoeing tours in Northwest Territories

Fishing Tours in Northwest Territories

Kayaking Tours in Northwest Territories

Northern lights tours in Northwest Territories

Rafting Tours in Northwest Territories

Wilderness lodges in Northwest Territories

Wildlife watching tours in Northwest Territories

Travel photos from Northwest Territories

About Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories are a land of immense size, diverse landscapes, and remote wilderness. Thanks to the abundance of lakes, it’s a dream destination for fishing. There you’ll find far-flung yet world-famous lodges that offer unparalleled angling. Fish species to catch include trophy-sized lake trout, northern pike, arctic grayling, and arctic char. Already hooked?

Yellowknife City

Next on the list is canoeing and rafting trips on some of the planet’s wildest rivers. Conquering Nahanni River is on every paddler’s wish list. In winter, enjoy dog sledging, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and more. Tours are available from fly-in wilderness lodges or the city of Yellowknife, so there is an adventure for every personality and taste.

Tours are available from fly-in wilderness lodges or the city of Yellowknife, so there is an adventure for every personality and taste.

Yellowknife is the capital of the Northern Territories and often referred to as a small city with big-city amenities. Located on the shores of Great Slave Lake, Yellowknife offers a variety of accommodations, dining experiences, outdoor adventures, galleries, and shops.

Northwest Territories Map

The Northwest Territories are located in northern Canada and border Yukon to the west and Nunavut to the east. To the south lie the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. It's home to Great Bear Lake, the largest body of water in Canada, and Great Slave Lake, the deepest lake in North America.

Northwest Territories Facts

  • Capital: Yellowknife
  • Area: 1,346,106 sq km (519,734 sq mi)
  • Population: 41,786
  • The province is five times the size of the United Kingdom but its population is the size of a small town. 
  • It’s home to two of the world’s largest lakes, Great Slave Lake and Great Bear Lake. 
  • Wood Buffalo National Park holds the largest free-roaming Bison herd in the world. 
  • The province boasts Virginia Falls, one of the most impressive waterfalls on Earth.

Getting There & Around

Air Canada Airplane taking off

The fastest way to reach the Northwest Territories is to catch a flight from Edmonton, Alberta. The province capital of Yellowknife is a 1.5-hour flight from Edmonton, 2-hour flight from Calgary, 2.5-hour flight from Vancouver, and 4-hour flight from Ottawa. Airlines with direct flights to Yellowknife are Air Canada, WestJet, First Air, Air North, and Northwestern Air Lease.

What about traveling inside the province? Major towns and some smaller communities in the territory can be reached by highway in summer and ice roads in winter. However, many of the NWT’s communities can be accessed only by scheduled or charter flights from four major airports in Northwest Territories:

  • Yellowknife Airport
  • Norman Wells Airport
  • Inuvik Airport
  • Fort Smith Airport.

With us, you don’t need to worry about charter flights. Our Northwest Territories vacation packages include float plane and ski plane transfers.

Weather of Northwest Territories, Canada

Cameron Falls in Canada

The weather in the province is much warmer than you might imagine, especially during summertime. Temperatures peak in July and August when average temperatures range from 15°C (59°F) to 25°C (77°F). The provincial capital of Yellowknife is one of Canada's sunniest cities with occasional temperature jumps to 32°C (90°F). 

From May to July, you'll enjoy the Midnight Sun, a striking natural phenomenon when the sun doesn't set at midnight. Witnessing these never-ending sunsets is something that features on many travelers’ bucket lists. 

Witnessing these never-ending sunsets is something that features on many travelers’ bucket lists

In fall, the weather still manages to be friendly with temperatures looming around 5°C (41°F). However, evenings can be cool so make sure to bring enough warm layers.

During wintertime, the weather can bite with average temperatures ranging from -10°C (14°F) to -20°C (-4°F). Luckily, the region is sunny and dry, making the cold surprisingly refreshing.

Northern Lights in Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories are one of the world’s best places to watch the Northern Lights. Scientists say that’s because the area sits directly beneath the aurora oval, a massive band of energy that encircles the north magnetic pole. If you add super clear skies and low humidity, you get an ideal location for aurora gazing.

The best time to spy the lights is fall (mid-August to mid-October) and winter (late January to mid-April). Hop on a private ski plane and fly to a secluded lodge on our exclusive Aurora Borealis Viewing Tour. Completely surrounded by Canadian wilderness, this place guarantees that you leave with epic photos. View the lights through windows in your room, from the dining room, from the lodge decks or a hot tub.

If the weather is favourable, you’ll likely see the magical aurora every night!  

View the lights through windows in your room, from the dining room, from the lodge decks or a hot tub.

Top 5 Northwest Territories Activities

1. Canoeing on the Fabled South Nahanni River

Canoes on the Nahanni River bank

Slip into your canoe and propel yourself through South Nahanni River, one of the world’s greatest wild rivers. Located in Nahanni National Park, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, the river flows more than 500 km (311 mi) through the rugged Mackenzie Mountains. Picture yourself paddling through stunning canyons and mythical valleys, listening to spooky legends around the campfire.

Picture yourself paddling through stunning canyons and mythical valleys, listening to spooky legends around the campfire

The cherry on top of your journey is Virginia Falls, the most striking waterfall in Canada. With a drop of 96 m (315 ft), it’s twice the height of Niagara Falls.

Is wanderlust calling you? Check out our Canoeing or Rafting Adventure in Nahanni National Park that offers options for beginner and experienced paddlers alike.

2. Fishing on Great Slave Lake

Great Slave Lake

If you’re looking for an epic Northwest Territories fishing trip, head to Great Slave Lake, North America’s fifth-largest body of water. The giant lake is more like an ocean and holds some of the world’s best angling waters. In fact, a world-record northern pike was caught from Great Slave in 2017.

Fly-in lodges around the lake offer visitors the chance to catch trout, northern pike, and arctic grayling. After a day spent fishing in the unspoiled wilderness, your peace of mind is guaranteed.

Go for trophy fishing on our unforgettable Lodge-Based Great Slave Lake Fishing Tour.

3. Paddling Along Horton River

Muskoxen in Summer

Horton River may not even be on your travel radar but it’s just as rewarding as more familiar canoeing destinations. One of the most remote waterways of North America, Horton River will make you see the world a little differently. Follow the river through the barren lands of the Canadian tundra all the way to the Arctic Ocean. Along the way, gain up-close views of stunning wildlife such as muskoxen, foxes, and Arctic wolves. Binoculars will certainly come in handy!

One of the most remote waterways of North America, Horton River will make you see the world a little differently.

Explore the coast of the Arctic Ocean on our Horton River Canoe Tour in the Northwest Territories Tour.

4. Spying the Northern Lights

Northern Lights in Canada

Northwest Territories Northern Light tours will amaze even the most experienced aurora seeker. Crossed by the Arctic Circle, the province offers tickets to front row seats to nature’s greatest light show with more than 240 aurora viewing days per year.

Crossed by the Arctic Circle, the province offers tickets to front row seats to nature’s greatest light show with more than 240 aurora viewing days per year

Ready to cross the Northern Lights off your bucket list? Make sure to bring your best camera on our Aurora Borealis Viewing From Wilderness Lodge Adventure. Depending on the season, day activities include canoeing, fishing, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.

5. Dog-Sledding With Huskies

Husky dog sledding in Canada

The Northwest Territories don’t sleep in winter. The Aurora is at its peak and thrilling winter activities lure adventurous spirits. One of the most exciting ventures is a dog sled tour. With experienced mushers, ride in traditional wooden toboggan sleds across some of the most remote landscapes on Earth. If you wish, learn some “mushing” skills yourself. Just don’t forget to put on some extra layers to keep warm!

Experience the magical winter in the Northwest Territories on our Outdoor Pursuits From a Wilderness Lodge Adventure. If dog sledding is not your cup of tea, we also offer cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing.

FAQ

What Travelers Are Asking About the Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories are located in northwestern Canada and cover a large area of boreal forest and Arctic tundra. To the west lies the Yukon territory and to the east lies Nunavut. To the south lie the provinces of Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. In the north the province extends above the Arctic Circle and includes a great number of islands such as Banks Island and Borden Island.

Spanning approximately about 1,144,000  sq km (442,000 sq mi), the Northwest Territories is five times larger than the UK and three times larger than California. 

Late fall and winter offer the best conditions for aurora viewing. The lights start appearing in the sky from late August and continue to glow until mid April. 

The vast wilderness of the Northwest Territories is home to black bears, grizzly bears, polar bears, wolves, muskoxen, wood bison, moose, caribou, foxes, and martens. Back in 2006, an extremely rare grolar bear, a grizzly and polar bear hybrid, was first discovered here.

Is your wanderlust calling? Pick your favorite Northwest Territories Tour and start planning the journey now!