August 1, 2017
Currently sitting at a sunny 23°, summer in Yellowknife is something everyone must experience. With about 18 hours of sunshine per day, there are plenty of opportunities to fit in as many activities as you’d like. So what exactly do people like to do here?
Yellowknife is internationally known for being the best place in the world to view the Aurora Borealis. With over 20 tour companies dedicated to helping you view the unique light display, the opportunity to experience something truly remarkable is made very easy.
Not only is Cameron Falls a great location to view the northern lights, it’s also a fantastic tourist destination on its own. Made of ancient volcanic rocks from four billion years ago and a beautiful cascading waterfall, Cameron Falls gives you the perfect opportunity to experience the natural beauty of the Northwest Territories. Guided tours show you around the area and highlight the wildlife –both flora and fauna – in the area.
A guided tour will take you to Behchoko, a community located approximately 80km northwest of Yellowknife. There, you’ll have the opportunity to see the elusive mountain buffalo, also known as wood bison, as well as other animals that call northern Canada their home.
Great Slave Lake
Already mentioned in some of my previous posts, Great Slave Lake surrounds Yellowknife and is a hub of activity all year round. Summer activities include boating, kayaking, canoeing, and swimming. As I walk around my neighbourhood, most homes have some sort of watercraft parked in the driveway. It’s obvious that Yellowknife residents love to take advantage of the unfrozen lake and explore their beautiful territory on water.
There are many beautiful hiking trails in Yellowknife. On my daily walks on the Niven Lake trail, I’ve run into many familiar faces who love to go for an evening walk with their dogs (this is definitely a pet-friendly city!). Some of the most popular trails include The Prospector’s Trail, Frame Lake Trail (beautiful way to walk to Stanton Territorial Hospital), Niven Lake Trail (my personal favourite), and Tin Can Hill (which includes an off-leash area for dogs).
The market is active on Tuesday evenings from June 6th – September 19th and sits right in front of City Hall (another great attraction to check out!). If you’re interested in locally grown produce, meats, and artisanal crafts (as well as a chance to meet lots of locals), it’s definitely the place to check out.
Representatives from 19 electoral districts within the NWT come together to make decisions on behalf of residents within this architecturally unique building. Free hourly tours are available and allow you to learn about NWT’s unique consensus government structure. There’s also a must-see bear rug!
There are a variety of beautiful art galleries within Yellowknife that provide a great opportunity to support local artists.
My top recommendations are:
Down to Earth Gallery; Specializing in Original Northern Art
Gallery of the Midnight Sun; YK’s Largest Gallery and Gift Shop
Old Town Glassworks; Co-op Space Dedicated to Transforming Bottles into Glass Art
A beautiful craft brewpub and brewery holds the honour of being Yellowknife’s sole destination for local craft beer. It’s also Canada’s northernmost brewery. Yellowknife residents are proud patrons – keep an eye out and you’ll spot the NWT Brewing Company logo on many t-shirts worn in town! This is a great spot for post-work drinks with colleagues and friends.
I’ve been lucky to explore many of these attractions and hope to check all of them off my to-see list by the end of the summer! Although there’s lots of guidance online on YK attractions, I find that speaking to locals is the best way to learn about attractions and activities. I’m sure I’ll discover more attractions as the summer goes on.
– Allie Margaret May, MHI