Serving as the capital of the Northwest Territories, Yellowknife lies within Canada’s “Land of the Midnight Sun”. It lies on the shores of one of North America’s largest lakes and is a renowned destination for watching the Northern Lights illuminate the skies above.
A trip to Yellowknife offers a fascinating insight into life on the edge of Canada’s majestic wilderness and how those who came before survived in this remote corner of the globe. Unlike the prospecting gold miners of days gone by, you’ll be able to find somewhere comfortable to rest your head in Yellowknife at Find All Rentals. Its apartments and holiday homes are ideal for those exploring along the Ingraham Trail and chasing the Northern Lights or visiting Yellowknife to fish and sail in the summer months.
When to visit Yellowknife
If you’re after warm temperatures and never-ending days, then the summer is the best time to visit Yellowknife. Late summer to early autumn is a good time to view the Northern Lights, although mid-November to early April tends to offer the best sightings due to the long, clear winter nights. Spring is an ideal time for skiing, snowmobiling and dogsledding when Yellowknife’s snowcapped landscapes are bathed in sunshine.
Things to see and do in Yellowknife
Delve into the local history
If you’re interested in the natural and cultural history of the Northwest Territories, then the Northern Heritage Centre (opened by the Prince of Wales in 1979) is the place to head. Its collection includes First Nations artefacts, fur trading objects and sound recordings, as well as minerals that have been uncovered in the region.
Take a step back in time in the Old Town
Clustered on the lakefront are a handful of historic log cabins that date back to the discovery of gold here in the 1930s. Now juxtaposed against waterfront mansions, many of these heritage buildings are occupied by galleries selling First Nations artworks and seafood restaurants, as well as shops renting out kayaks. Don’t miss a stroll down “Ragged Ass Road”, which was named after a bad prospecting season for its residents.
Get active on Great Slave Lake
During the summer months, Great Slave Lake is a hive of activity when locals come to fish for giant lake trout in the cold waters. You can rent a kayak to explore Great Slave Lake at your leisure or get a bird’s eye view from a float plane, which will deposit you at one of several beautiful beaches.
Join a guided architectural tour
A short walk from the centre of Yellowknife is a striking domed building that hosts the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories. It’s where elected members carry out their day-to-day business and the government meets to discuss issues of importance to the region. You can join an hour-long guided tour to learn about its unique architecture or opt for a self-guided audio tour if you prefer to explore independently.
Catch a live performance
Since it opened in 1984, the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre has been entertaining Yellowknife residents with dance, theatre and music performances. In addition to its 279-seat theatre where most of the shows are held, it regularly hosts masterclasses, mentorships and community workshops in its adjacent spaces.
Climb to “The Rock”
For elevated views across Yellowknife and Great Slave Lake, climb to the city’s highest point at “The Rock”, which is topped by a monument dedicated to Canadian bush pilots. From the top, you get a bird’s eye view of the Old Town below, which is particularly impressive at night.
Encompassing around 3,000 hectares of rugged terrain, Hidden Lake Territorial Park is an outdoor lover’s paradise. It’s located along the Ingraham Trail, which extends for around 70 kilometres from Yellowknife to Tibbitt Lake and has become a prime viewing destination for the Northern Lights. You can hike to Cameron Falls, which freezes solid in the winter months, or explore the abandoned gold mines that dot the park.
Play a round of golf
Established in 1948, this 18-hole golf course is laid out on sand, making for a completely unique experience. In the summertime, you can play well into the night, thanks to the long daylight hours. In addition to a coaching academy, there is a 24-bay driving range and a practice area with putting and chipping greens. At the onsite pro shop, you’ll find golfing apparel and accessories from leading brands.
Experience the frontier spirit of Canada’s far north
A holiday in Yellowknife is so much more than just another city break spent exploring museums and monuments. This vibrant frontier city stands on the edge of a vast wilderness, with the spirit of discovery and the unknown truly palpable.