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Canoe Trip in the Northwest Territories: It’s Happening!

I told you how I won a trip, but I also promised to tell you all about our upcoming trip to spectacular Northwest Territories. And you know me, I like to keep my promises! (You know, mostly.)

All up, our Northwest Territory adventure will end up being 9 days in total. One day for travel there and one day for travel back via First Air, which is one of the only air carriers with regular connections to 30 northern communities. We’ll be flying from Ottawa to Yellowknife.

Once we’re in Yellowknife our prize package includes a one-day adventure to Great Slave Lake where we will fish for Northern pike with Yellowknife Outdoor Adventures. This guiding outfit is run by a man named Carlos Gonzalez, who is an award-winning guide, teacher and restaurant owner. Check out this video below! Hubby is salivating over the potential of a big catch, while I’m salivating over the camp meal ….

Next, we go from Yellowknife to Norman Wells, where we’ll spend the majority of our time with Canoe North Adventures on a multi-day canoe trip. This will be the longest canoe trip I’ve ever been on — 6 days straight. (Yikes! I will have to get in shape and train for this me thinks. Are you listening Mr. Don Draper??)

We’ve been in touch with the husband and wife team who own and operate Canoe North Adventures and it has only served to magnify our excitement! Al Pace and Lin Ward have been guiding visitors up north for more than 18 years now and it is clear that they love it — intensely. I almost cried watching this video; what an experience we have awaiting for us …

Have you ever been up to Canada’s Northwest Territories? Is it on your bucket list or just not on the radar at all?


  1. Andrea from the fishbowl says:

    It looks like you are going to have an amazing experience. I’ve always wanted to go to Northwest Territories, it is definitely on my bucket list! I’ve been to Nunavut which is very cool and very different!

  2. Sarah McCormack says:

    oh wow, Julie, looks simply incredible. just work on your arm strength (weights), because you are already doing lots of cardio :) you’ll do great! my DH & I woud die! ha! but 9 days to reconnect = the best part! I am truly happy for you both as i know how much you’ll appreciate every moment!

  3. says:

    I’ve been to the NWT – Hay River to be exact. While October is probably not the best time to go and I saw a lot of the not so nice sides of Canada’s north, it’s amazingly different, wide open and what you expect wilderness to be like. I would like to return in the summer.

  4. wow that is so amazing! I am so happy for you guys! Trip of a lifetime for sure. I would love to do that, but I am not sure my DH would be willing to do whitewater canoeing. He had a very bad experience with white water rafting (I know it isn’t the same but…) Maybe someday.

  5. Kathleen Bright says:

    Hi Julie, this is an amazing trip! You will find its beauty so different than here. I lived in the NWT, Inuvik, for 4.5 years, just loved it! I use to hunt and fish with my dad, in fact we always traveled down the Mackenzie River to this great pike fishing hole, guaranteed to catch several. I have fond recollections of the NWT considering I was so young when we lived there. Enjoy, enjoy!

  6. I spent 4 summers living and working in Yellowknife, and the NWT are beautiful. A meal at the Wildcat Cafe in Old Town is a must, after you have climbed to the (Bush) Pilot’s Monument to check out the view. I learned to kayak on Back Bay / Great Slave Lake around May 24 (the ice had only been out about 5 days, there was still some floating around), and learned a valuable lesson about avoiding dumping – the water was freezing, and FYI, it never really does “warm up”! The pike are huge, and so are the mosquitoes. The landscape outside of YK is the most amazing, breathtaking, and isolated you’re ever going to experience. My wish for you is that you get to experience the Northern Lights, which, during the summer, are directly over your head, move, and make sounds. Amazing. I’d go back again in a heartbeat, but NEVER in the winter!
    You are going to have an amazing time. Congrats!

    • Oh, just reading your comments gave me chills (and a big fright about the bugs, but I will repress that!). So, can you see the Northern Lights in the months of July and August? The reading I’m doing suggests not until after mid-August onward …

  7. I am so happy for you guys! It will be such an awesome experience!!

  8. Marlain Wietzes / TripDesigner says:

    Julie, you will have a wonderful time,. I have been working with Al and Lin and their canoers for many years now and not only is the feedback awesome, they have many repeat clients – which says a lot about the experience.

  9. My hubby and I just got back from a fly-in fishing trip in Northern Manitoba. Hubby caught a 44inch master angler Northern Pike and I was pretty happy with my 34″ catch.
    My husband sometimes does contract work up north in Nunavut, but I have never been.
    I can’t wait to hear about your trip – have FUN!!

  10. You will have an amazing time. I have been to the NWT 2 times and it is beautiful up there. BIG mosquitoes but beautiful.

    • You’ve been twice? That’s awesome … so few people have ever been that I know. I am really looking forward to the experience!

  11. WOW just wht I was looking for. Camee here by searching for chip giller

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