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5 Northern Experiences For Every Type Of Adventurer


Photo: Destination Canada

Northwest Territories is undoubtedly one of Canada’s premier wilderness destinations. Thing is, it’s a massive and largely uncharted territory. We caught up with Steve Ruskay, a lead wilderness guide with Black Feather Wilderness Adventure Company to get his picks for the top outdoor adventures in NWT for any experience level.


The Bucketlister – Nahanni River

“I’ve done trips all across the North. The Nahanni River is the best overall wilderness trip there is anywhere. There’s beautiful camping, great weather, great hiking, fun paddling, rock climbing. All of it. The standard trip is 21 days, but every so often we do a 28-day trip. The first 7 days are spent in the white water section of the headwaters. Then we stash canoes in the woods — hike for a week into The Cirque of the Unclimbables, hike 7 days back to your canoe, then 2 more weeks to get to the bottom of the Nahanni.”

Duration: 14-21 Days
Experience Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Cost: $5000-$8000


The Adrenaline Junkie – The Natla River

“The Natla River is epic and really fun too. You stage at Norman Wells, which is along the Mackenzie River. The whole trip is like being on a water slide on your canoe for nine days through rapids. There is a gravel beach which makes for a great spot for a break. There are mountains everywhere and who knows when the last time someone was there? It’s amazing.”

Duration: 11-19 Days
Experience Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Cost: $6650


The Weekend Warrior – The Mountain River

“I’ve yet to paddle the mountain river north of Mackenzie Mountains, but it’s the guide’s choice for the best river in NWT. It’s remote with fast water and canyons. Good for intermediate or advanced canoeists.”

Duration: 14 Days
Experience Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Cost: $6050

The Veteran – Nááts’ihch’oh Triple Header



Nááts’ihch’oh NP is a new National Park, and in a lot of ways, it’s an extension of Nahanni. It’s called the triple header because you do three different white water sections and it takes three weeks.”

Duration: 24 Days
Experience Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Cost: $12,125.00


The Newcomer – Yellowknife Trails

“Yellowknife has a bunch of awesome day trips. There are great day fishing trips, short paddling trips, you can go in the winter and snowshoe or visit the Long John Jamboree. The Prospectors Trail is 4km and crosses some beautiful landscape near the Northern Frontier Visitor’s Centre.”

Duration: 2 hours
Experience Level: Beginner
Cost: Free



Like this post? Check out Bucket List: Climb The Cirque Of The Unclimbables and The Best Hikes In The World Are Right Here In Canada, too!

Trip Details

For details on anything mentioned in this post check out these links

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