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Overview

Yellowknife is known for its outdoor recreation, midnight sun, northern lights and blend of northern culture. Stunningly set on pink granite on the shores of Great Slave Lake — the sixth-largest freshwater lake in North America — Yellowknife is a mix of upscale homes, a modern, bustling downtown, hopping floatplane base, and Old Town, perched on a rocky peninsula, since 1934. Here, one older neighborhood is set on Ragged Ass Road, named after down-on-their-luck prospectors, of which there were many. The growth in population to more than 20,000 in this surprisingly urbane city is largely due to the impact of oil, gas and mineral discoveries ...

Yellowknife is known for its outdoor recreation, midnight sun, northern lights and blend of northern culture. Stunningly set on pink granite on the shores of Great Slave Lake — the sixth-largest freshwater lake in North America — Yellowknife is a mix of upscale homes, a modern, bustling downtown, hopping floatplane base, and Old Town, perched on a rocky peninsula, since 1934. Here, one older neighborhood is set on Ragged Ass Road, named after down-on-their-luck prospectors, of which there were many. The growth in population to more than 20,000 in this surprisingly urbane city is largely due to the impact of oil, gas and mineral discoveries in the Northwest Territories. Gas and oil exploration is growing, as is diamond mining. Three operating mines thrive in and around Yellowknife, named after the copper knives the First Nations peoples traded. Gold exploration, on which the city began, is limited. Today, Yellowknife is a jumping off point for explorations in the wilderness, sailing and sightseeing trips on the lake, deluxe fishing lodges and paddling routes. It is also a major transportation hub for the western Arctic.

Catherine Senecal
About the Expert

Catherine Senecal is the author of Pelicans to Polar Bears, a wildlife viewing guide to Manitoba, and has written about Alberta, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and other places for Michelin Guides, Rand McNally, and Reader’s Digest Atlas.

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Catherine Senecal for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Capital of the Northwest Territories, located on the north shore of Great Slave Lake, approximately 250 miles south of the Arctic Circle, on the west side of Yellowknife Bay.
  • Language: Dene Suline, Dogrib, South and North Slavey, English, and French
  • Currency: Candadian Dollar
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    July to September