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Visiting Northwest Territories' Campgrounds, Yukon Territories' on Your Next Road Trip
Few places on earth are as forbidding as the northern reaches of Canada. Consisting of the Northwest and Yukon Territories, this area makes up more than 40 percent of Canada's land mass and stretches from the edge of the northern Canadian Rockies to the frigid waters of the Arctic Circle. But hey, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop off for a quick peek, does it? Much like other extreme parts of the continent, the intrepid traveler willing to press on into these northern lands is rewarded with plenty of great views, wildlife and geography like few other places around the globe. And just think of the tall tales you’ll spin around the campfire. These lands, which once hosted an enormous yet fleeting gold rush population, are some of the most treasured and untouched wilderness in North America.
A great way to introduce yourself to these northern territories is to take the Alaska Highway from British Columbia. Finished in 1942, the highway passes through several provincial parks in British Columbia before heading west into the Yukon. What this means to visitors is a chance to visit Kluane National Park, a huge expanse of pristine wilderness that borders British Columbia and the southern reaches of Alaska, located in the southwest corner of the Yukon. The park features the impressive St. Elias Mountains, crowned by the enormous Mt. Logan, towering nearly 18,000 feet. From these mountains, the parks roll west and into a small strip of Alaska, before ending at the shores of the Pacific Ocean.
The Klondike Highway, which heads north out of the Yukon town of Whitehorse, is another scenic drive dotted with natural wonders and great campgrounds. Along this route you'll come across lovely Lake Laberge, famous for its abundance of lake trout and other fish. From there, the highway passes through several charming towns that sprang up throughout the region like wildfire during the gold rush era of the late 1800s.
At the town of Dawson, the Klondike Highway turns into the Dempster Highway and eventually leads to the town of Inuvik in the Northwest Territories. This coastal tundra region forms the southern edge of the Arctic and is home to two national parks created to protect the region's fragile and virtually untouched ecosystem. Both the Ivvavik and Vuntut National Parks sit along the shores of frigid Mackenzie Bay, and the mighty Mackenzie River nearby. The waterway stretches for more than 1,000 miles before dumping into the chilly waters of the Beaufort Sea. The lengthy riverfront offers excellent hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities along the Canol Heritage Trail near the town of Norman Wells. Of course, you don't have to walk the entire 230-mile trail, but do pick a section and spend some time off-road. Here, the stealthy hiker (who keeps the proper distance!) will surely be able to spot some of the continent's most elusive creatures, including wolves and grizzly bears.
To the east of these two adjoining parks is the Tuktut Nogait National Park, where it is almost expected for one to spot agile Dall's sheep, grizzly bears, or herds of caribou which roam the Arctic base. The area also hosts an impressive geological collection of pingos, a natural formation unique to this region, where gravel and soil form cone-like structures and reach as high as 140 feet.
Canada's northern reaches are home to the Nahanni National Park. It’s surrounded by dense forests and rugged mountains, not to mention Virginia Falls, an impressive pair of waterfalls whose enormity and awe-inspiring presence is eclipsed only by Niagara Falls. The park is also home to the Rabbitkettle Hot Springs, a natural wonder that can reach 70 degrees during the summer; a moderate temperature elsewhere, but steamy for this region of the globe. The hot springs offer a refreshing respite from hiking the miles of trails at Nahanni National Park.
Article Courtesy of Woodall's Campground Directory where you can find Yukon and Northwest Territories' campgrounds / RV camping resorts at the turn of a page. Browse
Northwest Territories' Campgrounds
Yukon Territories' Campgrounds