The Best Places to Photograph in the Northwest Territories, Canada

Dempster Highway by Tania Liu / CC BY-ND 2.0

The Northwest Territories are bordered by Nunavut to the east and Yukon to the west. If you want to see a photograph remotes landscapes, this is a perfect location. Northwest Territories offers  rugged landscape, wildlife, and plenty of adventure. There are several national parks, although most of them are remote and access is not easy.

On this page you’ll find information about some of the best places to photograph in Northwest Territories. The interactive map below shows the locations mentioned on this page. If you have suggestions of other places that you think should be included please feel free to leave a comment at the end of the page.

Find great places to photograph in any province or territory! We have similar guides for each province/territory to help you find all of the best places to photograph. See the index page to find each of the guides.

Wood Buffalo National Park

Wood Buffalo National Park is in northern Alberta and southern Northwest Territories. The majority of the park is in Alberta, but this is a massive park, so the area in Northwest Territories is still very large. The town of Fort Smith provides the best access to the park. The Fort Smith Highway (Highway 5) runs through the portion of the park in the Northwest Territories.

The park was originally established to protect bison, and wildlife is still one of the main features of the park. It is also known for its dark sky and is a great place to view and photograph the northern lights (aurora borealis).

The Best Places to Photograph in the Northwest Territories, Canada

Wood Buffalo National Park by Ansgar Walk / CC BY-SA 2.5

Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Reserve

Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Reserve is in southwestern Northwest Territories, near the Yukon border. The land was set aside and protected in 2008. This is an undeveloped area with most visitors arriving by float plane. There are no established trails in the park, but there is plenty of natural beauty in this mountainous area for adventurous and experienced hikers. Due to the remoteness of the location, the lack of trails and facilities, and the newness of the park, very few photographers have already captured this area. That presents a great opportunity for those who are able to experience Nááts’ihch’oh.

The Best Places to Photograph in the Northwest Territories, Canada

Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Reserve by Jo Ohara / CC BY-SA 3.0

Nahanni National Park Reserve

Nahanni National Park Reserve borders Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Reserve to the south. The Nahanni River is the centerpiece of the park. There are four significant canyons along the river. Another noteworthy feature is Virginia Falls. This powerful 90-meter waterfall is quite a spectacular sight. This rugged landscape is not easily accessible, but it is well worth the effort. Most visitors arrive by floatplane. Flights are available from several towns, including Fort Simpson, Yellowknife, Muncho Lake, and Watson Lake. There are no official hiking trails in the park, but some of the more popular routes are visibly noticeable.

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The Best Places to Photograph in the Northwest Territories, Canada

Virginia Falls, Nahanni National Park Reserve by Paul Gierszewski / Public Domain

Tuktut Nogait National Park

Tuktut Nogait National Park is in northeastern Northwest Territories, above the Arctic Circle. This remote destination is seen by very few visitors, but can be accessed by floatplane. All visitors must register at the park office in Inuvik before entering the park. There are no roads leading to the park. Those who do make the trip to Tuktut  Nogait are able to see and experience a beautiful, rugged landscape. There are steep canyons, rivers, waterfalls, lakes, and wildlife.

The Best Places to Photograph in the Northwest Territories, Canada

Hornaday River, Tuktut Nogait National Park by Paul Gierszewski / Public Domain

Aulavik National Park

Aulavik National Park is on Banks Island in northern Canada. This is a very remote park and the best way to access it is to charter a flight from Inuvik, which is 750 km southwest of the park. The park’s landscape includes river valleys and polar desert. There are no established hiking trails, but plenty or Arctic tundra that is able to be explored. Canoeing or kayaking the Thomsen River is another popular activity in the park.

Yellowknife

Yellowknife is the capital, and largest community, of the Northwest Territories. It is located on the north shore of Great Slave Lake. It is known as being a great place to view the northern lights (aurora borealis). Getting to Yellowknife is much easier than many destinations throughout the Northwest Territories. Yellowknife has the busiest airport in northern Canada.

The Best Places to Photograph in the Northwest Territories, Canada

Yellowknife by Phillip Grondin / CC BY-ND 2.0

Great Slave Lake, North Arm

The Great Slave Lake is a large lake in southern Northwest Territories. It is a picturesque lake, and also the deepest lake in North America. There are several communities on the shores of the lake, including Yellowknife to the north. More than half of the popular of the Northwest Territories lives in communities along Great Slave Lake.

The Best Places to Photograph in the Northwest Territories, Canada

Great Slave Lake by sfbnurse / CC BY 2.0

East Arm of Great Slave, Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve

The East Arm of Great Slave Lake is known for its natural beauty. The islands, narrow channels, and cliffs make it a spectacular location. Lutselk’e is the only community on the East Arm. Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve is a proposed national park that would be located around the East Arm.

The Best Places to Photograph in the Northwest Territories, Canada

East Arm of Great Slave by Paul Gierszewski / Public Domain

Great Bear Lake

Great Bear Lake is the largest lake entirely in Canada, and the 8th largest in the world. The lake is on the Arctic Circle in a remote location. It is a very popular location for fishing and also features plenty of natural beauty.

Dempster Highway

The Dempster Highway connects Inuvik (Northwest Territories) to the Klondike Highway in Yukon. In the Northwest Territories it is Highway 8. The Dempster Highway is a great way to see and experience the area. Traveling the unpaved Dempster Highway does require you to be prepared and cautious, as towns and facilities are few and far between.

The Best Places to Photograph in the Northwest Territories, Canada

Dempster Highway by Tania Liu / CC BY-ND 2.0

Fort McPherson

Fort McPherson is a small town along the Peel River. The Dempster Highway runs through Fort McPherson.

Inuvik

Inuvik is a gateway to a few national parks through flights into the parks. Inuvik can be accessed by the Dempster Highway or by plane.

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The Best Places to Photograph in the Northwest Territories, Canada

Dempster Highway, south of Inuvik by Mark Schacter / CC BY 3.0

Mackenzie Delta

The Mackenzie Delta is a wetlands corridor with many waterways and islands. The town of Inuvik also serves as an access to point to Mackenzie Delta. Boating and flight tours are available. In addition to the beautiful landscape, the delta is also an important area for migratory birds.

The Best Places to Photograph in the Northwest Territories, Canada

Mackenzie Delta by Adam Jones / CC BY-SA 2.0

Canol Heritage Trail

The Canol Heritage Trail runs for more than 300 km from the town of Norman Wells to the Yukon Border. It is known as one of the most difficult trails in all of Canada. The trail follows the path of Canol Road, which was built during World War II and quickly abandoned. Due to the length and difficulty of the trail (including multiple rivers to cross) it should only be attempted by experienced hikers. Those who do make the trek are able to see plenty of beautiful scenery.

The Best Places to Photograph in the Northwest Territories, Canada

Canol Heritage Trail by Anthony DeLorenzo / CC BY-SA 3.0

Northwest Passage

The Northwest Passage is a series of waterways that connect the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.The decline is sea ice has made these waterways more navigable.

The Best Places to Photograph in the Northwest Territories, Canada

Northwest Passage by Boris Wise / CC BY 2.0

Photo license links: CC BY-SA 2.5, CC BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 2.0CC BY-ND 2.0, CC BY 3.0, CC BY 2.0

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