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When you think about the Northwest Territories/Nunavut, do you imagine waterfalls, moose hair crafts and free-roaming bison? Well, you should, considering that’s where this gas-tank friendly tour takes us. Oh, and did we mention the real Tlicho tipis, world-class fishing, sparkling diamonds, and radiant views of the Aurora Borealis?
Enterprise is the first town you come across as you enter the Northwest Territory on Hwy 1. Shop for supplies and take a short side trip to thundering Alexandra Falls in Twin Falls Gorge Territorial Park. Continue on Hwy 1 north past Kakisa and pick up Hwy 3, Yellowknife Hwy, traveling north and then east. Fort Providence is the place to buy north woods crafts designed with genuine moosehair tufting. Phew, now you can cross that off on your shopping list. Go on a sightseeing or fishing cruise on the Mackenzie River and see a 2,000-strong herd on the range at the bison sanctuary just north of town. On the shores of Great Slave Lake at Behchoko, stop for a bite to eat at the town restaurant, see traditional tipi lodges, and visit the headquarters and largest community of the new Tlicho Self Government.
In the town of Yellowknife, a.k.a., “Diamond Capital of North America” and capital of the Northwest Territories, tour the dome-shaped legislative building. Stroll or ride a bike around Old Town, order a tasty meal at the circa 1930 log-construction Wildcat Café, and play 18 holes at Yellowknife’s sandy course. See an authentic moose hide boat, among other regional artifacts at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre. Let’s hit the water via sightseeing cruise around Yellowknife Bay and watch for ospreys, eagles, and peregrine falcons. You can charter a float plane for transport to terrific fishing and hunting spots, or just explore lakes and rivers on the famed Ingraham Trail. From September through April, Yellowknife is one of the world’s top locales for observing the Aurora Borealis or “Northern Lights.” This is Canada, after all, meaning lots of winter activities including snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and dog-team riding. Remember to watch for caribou while traveling the countryside.