- Yellowknife City Tour
- 3 Nights of Aurora Borealis Viewing and Aurora Hunting
- Indigenous Ice Fishing Demonstration with hot lunch and snowmobiling
- Authentic Dene Cultural Indigenous Experience
- Dog sled ride in the snowy wilderness
- 3-Day Full Winter Clothing Package Rental (includes jacket, boots, snow pants, mitts, polar fleece balaclava)
- 4 nights of accommodation
- Day Trips and Aurora Viewing experiences
- Outdoor winter gear
- Meals as detailed in the program.
- Transfers to activities in Yellowknife
- Airfare unless specified as included within the itinerary
- Taxes as applicable
- Travel Insurance and Cancellation Protection (strongly recommended, ask us for a quote!)
- Gratuities for Local Guides, Tour Managers, and/or Bus Drivers
- Meals not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary
- Items (attractions and sightseeing & entrance fees) not listed as included in the itinerary
Welcome to Yellowknife, the capital city of the Northwest Territories and the Diamond capital of North America! Yellowknife is a place where traditional indigenous culture blends together with modern amenities, for a truly remarkable experience while discovering the mystery of the Aurora Borealis. On winter nights the Aurora Borealis is often so vivid it seems close enough to touch. Far from city lights, watch the night sky light up. It’s a marvel that seems to embody the mysteries at the crossroads of Heaven and Earth in all its elegance and raw beauty. Upon arrival, please step outside the airport and look for the free airport shuttle service. Ensure to tell your driver which hotel you are staying at. Depending on the flight arrival time, you may go out and get your winter clothing package this evening and be prepared for your adventures over the following days. Yellowknife is a very walkable city, with the city core being a 5 minute walk from your hotel.
You will begin your 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 Canada. Following the Legislative Building, you will make your 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. In winter many of the displays are covered in snow but you will hear of history from the comfort of our vehicle. Then you will make a quick stop at YKEA and look for local treasures!! Next, you will 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. You will visit the hangar filled with vintage aircraft. These are propeller operated WW2 legendary aircraft. You will return to the downtown core and stop in at the NWT Diamond Centre that showcases diamonds from two of NWT local mines. Next, you will drive to The Old Town / Latham Island and N’dilo. You 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, and the deepest lake in North America at 614 metres, and the tenth-largest lake in the world. You will get a close view of the colourful, local houseboats and visit the Snow Castle. Next is N’dilo, a small Dene community is 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. You will continue the 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 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 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, you will stop at 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. You will 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, you will head out for your first aurora viewing experience in a cozy intimate cabin located 15 minute drive away from Yellowknife in a private dark location. There will be a light midnight lunch 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.
This morning, you will begin your day by learning about Indigenous culture and history with a Dene guide on this personal and educational tour. Listen to stories about being raised in a traditional Dene lifestyle and early life living off of the land. You will go on a walking tour of the Indigenous exhibits at the Prince of Wales Heritage Museum as your guide interprets the exhibits as it relates to their life growing up as an Indigenous person in today's modern world.
Next, you will go Aurora hunting. Yellowknife is the best place in the world to view Aurora! If skies are clear, you have a 98% chance to see Aurora! However, if 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, 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.
This morning you will set out for an Indigenous dogsled tour. Watch as your 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. You then get into the dog sleighs and get ready to hit the trail. You will team up the dogs and head out on the frozen lake for a 30-minute dog ride along a secluded and well-maintained dog trail. The tour ends in a heated teepee or trapper’s camp with hot beverages and Bannock as you listen to stories about how the dog teams played a significant 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 activity is carried out in collaboration with an indigenous family business who want to keep the cultural traditions and teachings that they have learned from their grandparents and have decided to share it with others in an enjoyable way. Through their dog sledding they aim to promote respect for Indigenous culture and share the survival ways of people living in the cold subarctic areas. Tonight, you will 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. You will travel by snowmobile over the frozen lake to a Dene campsite on the shores of the frozen Great Slave Lake near the village of Dettah and spend time in a heated cabin and teepees and comfortable seating for everyone.
Your northern Canadian Yellowknife experience comes to an end this morning. You will take the free airport shuttle service from your hotel to the airport. Please check the shuttle schedule in your hotel lobby.