Sunday Special – Great Slave Lake, Northwest Territories

In addition to the Canada’s 10 provinces there are 3 territories, with the Northwest Territories nestled between the Yukon and Nunavut in the north of the country. It is here in the NWT that you find the largest lakes found entirely in Canada: Great Bear Lake and Great Slave Lake. Today we will look at the incredible Great Slave Lake.

The remains of a glacial lake, Great Slave Lake is found in the south of the NWT with it’s capital city of Yellowknife looking out to it from the northern shore. The name of the lake comes from the First Nations’ Slavey people (an Athabaskan tribe). First Nation’s have a long history in the area that goes back over a thousand years. In more recent history the area was part of the fur trade and later the gold rush.

For those wanting to truly experience the outdoors then Great Slave Lake has plenty to offer. In the long sunlight days of the summer months the region is popular for fishing. Being the deepest lake in North America it has a seeming never-ending supply of Lake Trout, Northern Pike, Walleye, and Lingcod – you may very well catch the “big one”. After fishing to your heart’s content you can change it up with kayaking and canoeing. Or perhaps a boat tour or opt to see the area from the sky in a float plane. You can also visit the area’s newest national park – Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve which has ample cultural heritage along with a stunning natural beauty.

In the chill of the winter you can test your stamina for the cold (though do dress appropriately) to view nature’s best light show – the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). The NWT and Great Slave Lake area are prime spots for this incredible show of light in the fall and winter. A significant lack of light pollution and an arid climate ensures a good chance of seeing the lights. Add some snowmobiling or fat-tire winter cycling and you can really have a trip like no other. And don’t forget you may even see some moose!

This area of Canada sounds remote, historic, and incredible. A place to unplug and get back to nature.

Northern Lights, NWT (near Yellowknife and Great Slave Lake area) – Photo credit: Roland BoisvertYellowknife River Territorial Park 3CC BY-SA 4.0

NOTE: Due to Covid-19 the NWT borders are currently closed to all non-essential travel at this time.

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