top of page

Highlights of the Western Arctic in Canada's Northwest Territories

Aerial of Arctic Ocean and Ibyuk Pingo - Credit: Kristian Binder

Reindeer in herds that darken the horizon. Lonesome mountains clad in red and yellow. Canada’s greatest river delta, where the Mackenzie explodes into a thousand tendrils. High Arctic islands, tramped by muskoxen end encircled by whales. And proud peoples – the Gwich’in and Inuvialuit – following lifeways both timeless and new.

Ibyuk Pingo near Tuktoyaktuk

Weird and wonderful, the pingos of the Arctic coast are amongst the North’s best-loved attractions. Engorged by ice, these lofty domes swell from the shores of the Beaufort Sea, towering over the tundra. The second-highest pingo on Earth, 49-metre-high Ibyuk, is just on the outskirts of Tuktoyaktuk.

Ibyuk Pingo - Credit: J.F. Bergeron & Northwest Territories Tourism

Inuvik's Igloo Church

Possibly the North’s most iconic, most photographed structure, the Our Lady of Victory church in Downtown Inuvik is a bleach-white cylinder capped by a silvery dome, imitating the Inuvialuit snow-houses of old. The inside features paintings by local artist Mona Thrasher.

Igloo Church - Credit: Bill Braden

The Richardson Mountains in autumn

Driving the Dempster is pretty any time of year, but at the end of August it becomes a road trip through a day-glo wonderland. The tundra of the Richardson Range ignites with scorching reds and luminous yellows – a sweeping autumn kaleidoscope, transfixing to behold.

Credit: Gerold Sigl & Northwest Territories Tourism

A polar bear

The king of the top of the world, the great white bear reigns supreme here, marching our Arctic coast and patrolling our far-north islands. Outfitters in communities like Sachs Harbour and Ulukhaktok can take you by boat or snowmobile to get a glimpse of these regal beasts.


The Mackenzie delta

Where the North’s greatest river crowds toward the sea, it splinters into a skein of woods and waters – a labyrinthine estuary, supporting all manner of fish, fowl, whales, bears and caribou. This is also one of the North’s richest human landscapes, bustling with an ancient cultural tapestry. Tours are available from Inuvik and other Delta communities.

Moschusochsen Familie auf Banks Island
Mackenzie delta - Credit: Terry Parker

Tuktut Nogait National Park

One of Canada’s most remote national parks, Tuktut Nogait lies on the flanks of the Northwest Passage, protecting the calving grounds of Barrenlands caribou, along with Arctic char, wolves and a high density of raptors. The park is famous for the Hornaday River and its signature cascade, 23-metre-high La Roncière Falls.

Further information on the Northwest Territories can be found at


bottom of page