top of page

northwest territories

July-August 2023

Vast, perfect wilderness.

The relatively few people that know about the Northwest Territories will agree on one thing: it's an enormous wilderness, with few people. From the dramatic Mackenzie Mountains in the west to the millions of lakes in the barrenlands to the east, the only constant in this land is hordes of mosquitos under the midnight sun.

We drove up here for a backcountry packraft expedition on the Nahanni River, and then spent about a week exploring Fort Simpson, driving to Yellowknife, and paddling and camping in the endless lakes around Yellowknife. In total, Suhei and I spent three weeks in the Northwest Territories.

Yellowknife is a nice city, and certainly one of the smallest capitals in Canada. But the area around it is the real gem, of magnificent, unnamed lakes with smooth stone landscapes studded with pine trees. In August, mosquitos weren't even an issue, but forest fires raged. The week after we departed from Yellowknife, the entire city was evacuated as forests fires grew close and threatened to trap the residents and potentially burn down the city.

Looking back, we only saw a fraction of this vast, fascinating land. I'd love to return someday for the more jagged peaks of the Mackenzie Mountains, the crystalline waters of Great Bear Lake, and the Arctic islands and communities on the northern edge of the territory. Hopefully someday I will.

bottom of page