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22 June 2022

A Landsby Spotlight on Yellowknife

Photo by Julien Schroder

Nestled on the shores of Great Slave Lake in the spectacular Northwest Territories is a cool capital city with a lively small-town vibe. In Yellowknife you’ll find all the city essentials — from shopping and dining to a variety of arts — but surrounded on all sides by vast stretches of wilderness.

Photo by Hannah Eden

Where is Yellowknife?

Home to about 20,000 residents, Yellowknife is located due north of Alberta and nearly 5,000 km northwest of the nation’s capital. Although Yellowknife may feel remote, it is actually quite easily accessible from many cities in Canada. Direct flights to Yellowknife are available from Toronto, Vancouver and Whitehorse, among others.

Photo by Hans Pfaff

What’s there to do in Yellowknife?

No matter the time of year, Yellowknife is a great place to visit with lots to see and do. Experience the rich Indigenous culture of the Dene First Nations who have lived on these lands for thousands of years, see how the discovery of gold helped to shaped the city and explore the vibrant arts scene at one of the local galleries (try the Gallery of the Midnight Sun or the Down to Earth Gallery). Year round attractions include the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre (which has an interesting and extensive collection that celebrates NWT culture), the Old Town Yellowknife neighbourhood, the Northern Arts and Culture Centre and the Bush Pilots Monument.  The architecture of the Legislative Building (pictured above) is also a popular draw for visitors.

Photo by Bill Braden

Things To Do In The Summer In Yellowknife

In the summer, the city basks in the long hours of daylight when the midnight sun doesn’t set and the sky rarely gets cloudy — creating long, sunny summer days filled with festivals and countless outdoor activities. A local favourite is the Folk on the Rocks Music Festival, which features an eclectic mix of outdoor performances from Dene drumming and Inuit throat singing to bluegrass and reggae.

Outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, golfing and water sports are all very popular during the summer months. See our compact 4-day summer package to the Northwest Territories to discover how you can fit a lot of activities into a short excursion in Canada’s north.

NWT Yellowknife

Photo by James MacKenzie

Things To Do In The Winter In Yellowknife

In the winter, as temperatures dip, the nights become long and the sun barely rises for weeks at a time. The enveloping darkness provides the perfect backdrop for one of nature’s greatest shows: the Aurora Borealis. Because of its location directly under the Auroral Oval, Yellowknife enjoys nearly nightly displays of the surreal Northern Lights.

With almost seven months of snow, Yellowknife is a hub for winter sports. The city has a vast network of tracks for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, as well as trails for snowmobiling. Dog sledding is also popular. We have several packages that maximize Aurora viewing while also allowing for some fun daytime activities. 


Our 2022 Summer Spotlight series has short introductions to Canada’s 14 capital cities (10 provincial, 3 territorial and 1 national) and was created to inspire us Canadians to explore more of our own country. For more details on each province or territory, visit our Experiences page or search our Journal by location. Better yet, reach out to us! We’d love to tell you more about these great places and create travel itineraries for you to explore them.