- Yellowknife city tour
- Great Slave Lake boat tour
- 3 nights of private Aurora Borealis viewing
- Indigenous culture tour
- Wood Bison viewing tour
- 4 nights of accommodation (3.5 - 4 star)
- Professional Tour Leader
- Transfers to activities in Yellowknife
- Meals: 4 Breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners
- 5% provincial tax on top of tour base rate
- Gratuities to driver (Recommend $3-$4 per person per day)
- Gratuities to guide (Recommend $5-$7 per person per day)
- Meals not listed
- Attractions not listed
- Credit card payment fees, where applicable
- Airfare — domestic and international (Unless Specified)
- Travel insurance (Strongly recommended, ask us for a quote!)
- Items of a personal nature
Tue, 12 Sep 2023
Sat, 16 Sep 2023
Yellowknife is one of the best places to view one of Earth's greatest natural wonders, the Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights. This is possible because the area experiences more clear nights than other northern locations - amazing Aurora displays are possible on over 240 nights each year. After arrival and transfer to the hotel, there will be time to relax and explore your immediate neighbourhood before an evening briefing session and welcome dinner. (Dinner provided if arriving before 7:00 pm)
We begin our time in Yellowknife with a guided tour of the NWT Legislative Assembly Building, where you will learn about our consensus-style, non-partisan government, one of only a few in left Canada.
Following the Legislative Building, we will make our way to the site of Giant Mine. Rich in the history of Yellowknife’s gold mining days. There is an outdoor museum available to view. Then we make a quick stop at YKEA and look for local treasures! Next, we drive to Buffalo Airway’s home of the popular TV series, Ice Pilots with the Star of the show being Buffalo Joe McBryan, owner of the largest DC 3 ‘s and DC 4’s in North America. We will visit the hangar filled with vintage aircraft. These are propeller-operated WW2 legendary aircraft.
We return to the downtown core and stop in at the NWT Diamond Centre which showcases diamonds from two of NWT local mines. Next, we drive to The Old Town / Latham Island and N’dilo. We will first visit Ragged Ass Road, the street immortalized by Tom Cochrane on his third album by the same name and then a drive on the frozen Great Slave Lake. The Great Slave Lake is the second largest lake outside of the Great Lakes in Canada, the deepest lake in North America at 614 metres, and the tenth-largest lake in the world. We will get a close view of the colourful, local houseboats. Next is N’dilo, a small Dene community located on tip of Latham Island, which is an isthmus extending from Yellowknife into Great Slave Lake. The land was set aside for use by “status Indians” by the Government of Canada in 1947. The name was officially changed to N’dilo in 1991, which means “end of the island” in the local Dene dialect.
We continue our tour with a stop at Yellowknife’s first bank (Bank of Toronto) a privately owned, historic log cabin. Next is a photo stop at the Bush Pilot’s monument, Yellowknife’s most popular lookout that rises above Old Town, providing a stupendous view over Great Slave Lake, Back Bay and the northern reaches of the city. The monument is high up on “The Rock,” and is accessed via a winding staircase that will take you to the top. It is dedicated to the bush pilots and engineers whose lives were lost as they flew the wilderness skies of the Northwest Territories. Finally, we stop at Weaver and Devore, Yellowknife’s first Trading Store and a local carver’s shop. Local artists will be invited to showcase their artwork.
The tour ends at the Visitor Centre where you can get your Yellowknife pin and your North of 60 Certificate. We visit the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, a museum that chronicles Aboriginal and European history in the North and features environmental exhibits.
After dinner, we will head out for our first aurora viewing experience in a cozy intimate cabin located 15 minutes drive away from Yellowknife in a private dark location. There will be a light midnight snack of fresh local fish chowder, fresh bannock, tea, coffee, and hot chocolate. There are a limited number of camera tripods which are available to share and there is a generator, so power is available to charge batteries. There is an outhouse for the washroom, which is heated.
Return to your hotel around 1:00 am.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
An easy morning and then on today’s trip we will drive the highways of northern Canada and look for North America’s biggest buffalo (Wood Bison) and other wildlife! Our Indigenous guides will talk about the animals, and the birds, and share stories about their culture. We will stop at other spots along the tour and take many cool photos.
Back in Yellowknife, we have some time at leisure to explore more of Yellowknife or relax before tonight's dinner. After dinner, we will go Aurora hunting, as Yellowknife is the best place in the world to view Aurora! If the skies are clear, you have a 98% chance to see Aurora! However, if the skies are cloudy, the chances are low. We aim to increase our chances to see the aurora and go out and “hunt” for the aurora! When we reach a suitable viewing place, we park, and view and talk all about aurora, identify some stars in the Milky Way and maybe even see wildlife while driving from location to location!
Each night we don’t exactly know where we are going, as it depends on the weather and the aurora, and where we go there is nothing but wilderness, wildlife, and Aurora. Depending upon weather conditions, we may choose to substitute our second or our last night’s Aurora viewing outings.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
We have an easy morning after our previous late-night aurora hunting excursion and drive out to a lakeside camp that belongs to a local Dene Indigenous family. Here we will hear stories about how the dog teams have played an important role in the daily lives of both the Indigenous peoples and western settlers in the old days, and how they have helped people survive. The dogs were like family and are still treated the same way today. This excursion to interact with the dogs and the family is carried out in collaboration with an indigenous family business that wants to keep the cultural traditions and teachings that they have learned from their grandparents and has decided to share them with others in an enjoyable way. Through their winter dog sledding, they aim to promote respect for Indigenous culture and share the survival ways of people living in the cold subarctic areas.
We return to Yellowknife for some free time and dinner before we head out to experience an authentic Indigenous aurora experience and spend an evening among the Dene people, with northern lights, storytelling, Dene history, and legends, traditional drumming, hand games demonstration, and samples of traditional foods such as local Great Slave Lake fish, and freshly made bannock. We travel by minivan (followed by a short 10-minute walk) to a Dene campsite on the shores of the Great Slave Lake near the village of Dettah and spend time in a cabin and teepees and comfortable seating for everyone.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Our northern Canadian Yellowknife experience comes to an end this morning. Following breakfast, we will transfer to the airport for our return journey home.