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.
We will drive out to one of the many frozen lakes outside of Yellowknife, hear the ice crack as we drive on the lake and try and catch our own northern Canada freshwater fish!! Our local guides know the best spots and having been ice fishing on these frozen lakes for years. When they find a suitable spot, they will help us drill some holes into the ice and get everything set up for ice fishing! While you are fishing, the guides will cook for you so you can enjoy a genuine Canadian ice fishing cookout meal. Later today, following dinner, we will head out of town to spend time in a genuine indigenous tepee and hope to see the dancing Aurora in a personal, private setting. We stay warm around a crackling fire while sitting comfortably in the teepees and listening to stories from our Indigenous guides about their ancestors. The guides can take professional photos of you in the teepees, hopefully under awesome, amazing Aurora lit skies. They will also be happy to help you set up your own DSLR camera with the appropriate settings so you can also take amazing photos of the Aurora. You can request one of the tripods for your use or just sit out in the middle of our Aurora teepee camp and enjoy the view of our wonderfully lit teepees in the wilderness of northern Canada!
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today we explore Yellowknife on an informative city tour. On the tour we will learn about the rich history of Yellowknife starting with a visit to the Oldtown district where Yellowknife originally started almost 90 years ago. Hear stories of growing up in Yellowknife and stop from time to time to chat with locals during the tour. In Oldtown we will visit the Indigenous village of N’Dilo (dee-lo) and learn about local Dene Indigenous culture.
From Oldtown we continue to the downtown area of Yellowknife and briefly see the restaurants and souvenir stores, then to the modern southside to see how Yellowknife has grown. 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. We will then experience driving on an actual Ice Road and see the construction of the famous Snow Castle.
Following our city tour, we have the afternoon at our leisure, with time to explore more of Yellowknife or relax before tonight's dinner. Depending upon weather conditions, we may choose to substitute our second or our last night’s Aurora viewing outing and do the activity on this evening.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
After breakfast, we set out for our Indigenous dogsled tour. Watch as our guides take the excited dogs one by one from the dog kennels and harness them up to the sled. Get to know and pet the dogs, learn their names and get a photograph with them. Every dog is friendly and likes to meet new people. We then get into the dog sleighs and get ready to hit the trail. Over the frozen lakes and through the frozen wilderness of northern Canada being pulled by a 10-14 strong, team of dedicated and excited dogs – this will be an unforgettable experience. Enjoy the views and experience the quietness of the forest during the dogsled ride as we swoosh through the snow covered landscape. At the end of the experience, we watch as the guides take the dogs back home to their kennels. Then we head in to a cozy wood stove heated cabin to enjoy delicious traditional bannock bread and hot chocolate. Listen to stories about how the dog teams played an important role in the daily lives of both the Indigenous peoples and western settlers in the old days, and how they helped people survive. The dogs were like family and are still treated that same way today. This afternoon, we try our hand at snowmobiling. Before heading out, we will learn of the safety guidelines and the basic operating instructions. We have planned our exciting snowmobile ride through the wilderness and on the frozen lakes of northern Canada with one of Yellowknife’s best snowmobile tour experiences. Once on the frozen lakes, shut off your snowmobile and listen to the quietness of Mother Nature, while breathing in the cool, clean fresh air! There will be some great photo opportunities along the way as well. Tonight we join for a farewell dinner, where we have the opportunity to share our favourite moments of our time in Yellowknife, before departing on our last night of Aurora viewing.
Meals: Breakfast, 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.