Yellowknife Tourist Attractions
Although situated south of the tree limit, on the shores of Great Slave Lake, the modern town of Yellowknife still lies in the transitional zone between northern fir forest and treeless tundra. The largest community in the Mackenzie district, it has been the capital of the Northwest Territories since 1967. It was founded only in 1935 after gold was discovered there, the first such strike in the cold north (average temperature: 26°C (21°F)!). A second gold-rush occurred in 1944 since when the community, set in a landscape of dwarf firs, birch and poplar, has developed steadily into the nerve center of northern Canada.The gold mines at Yellowknife are among the biggest in Canada and gold has unquestionably been the spur to the town's growth. The population figures tell the story: in 1961 Yellowknife had 3250 inhabitants, today that total has increased almost sixfold.Indians have hunted in the Yellowknife area for thousands of years. Europeans on the other hand made their first appearance in the third to last decade of the 18th c., and settled permanently only after the gold-rush of 1934.NameThe name "Yellowknife" derives from the copper knives long used by the local Indians.There are interesting drives around Yellowknife, one being eastwards along the Ingraham Trail (Hwy. 4) to Tibbet Lake, continuing to the Yellowknife Preserve (conservation area). Another follows Hwy. 3 north-west through the unspoiled country beside Great Slave Lake to Edzo. The same road goes to the Mackenzie bison reserve.The major event in Yellowknife's calendar is the annual Caribou Carnival and dogsled race in March.
Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre
The Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife is the Northwest Territories museum and archives. It contains important documents, photos, sound recordings, and other materials, on the history of the Northwest Territories. The centre preserves as well as displays these important collections.The centre is exceptionally interesting.As well as displaying its large mineral collection and finds from the Center's archaeological research, the museum explores in depth the culture of the Dene Indians and traces the pervasive influence of the fur trade, in operation here since at least the 18th c.In addition to the permanent collection the centre also features changing exhibits.
In the peak holiday season excursions are run on Great Slave Lake (from the Yellowknife Trading Post dock). These usually include a visit to the Indian village at Detah.
Cameron River Crossing Territorial Park
Cameron River Crossing Territorial Park is just over 50 km east of Yellowknife. One of the highlights in the park is the Cameron River Ramparts waterfalls. The viewing area can be reached easily by following a boardwalk. For the more adventurous, there is a longer hike that leads down to Cameron Falls, which is approximately 9 km.
The Caribou Carnival in Yellowknife is an annual winter event that takes place in late March and draws visitors from all over. The carnival features entertainment, unique games and contests, crafts, and other fun events.
Northern Arts and Cultural Centre
The Northern Arts and Cultural Centre, a 313 seat theatre facility located in Yellowknife, features northern, national and international performing artists. Productions include a variety of music, dance, theatre and children's programming.
Map of Yellowknife Attractions