5 Ways the Nahanni Will Blow Your Mind

Virginia Falls, Nahanni National Park Reserve
Asymetric/Jason Van Bruggen
Asymetric/Jason Van Bruggen

A version of this post first appeared on the Spectacular Northwest Territories website.

 

Nahanni National Park Reserve is a landscape like no other. Tucked into the territory's southwest flank, sliced by great waters and prickling with peaks, it's a place you've gotta see at least once in your life. Discover Nahanni National Park Reserve, accessed through Fort Simpson or Nahanni Butte. Here’s what not to miss.

 

Virginia Falls: Imagine Niagara, then double it

Canada's greatest wilderness waterfall is an easy flightseeing trip from Fort Simpson. Watch the Nahanni River leap off a 315 foot cliff, bisected by the great mid-river spire of Mason's Rock. The noise, the gusting spray, the shuddering Earth, the surrounding grandeur — it's a sight that will change you forever. 

 

Nahanni River: For paddlers, it’s holy water

On every paddler's life-list, there's the Nahanni River. Why? Canyons and hotsprings. Wildlife and history. Rapids and mountains. Culture and waterfalls. Whether you paddle for a month from the Yukon border or do a quick trip from the base of Virginia Falls, it's the greatest wild river journey you'll ever take.

 

Cirque of the unclimbables: Try not to strain your neck 

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It's a landscape that seems like a dream: peaks like daggers, impaling the sky, thumbing their noses at the law of gravity. This is an alpinist's Shangri-La, with classic climbs like Lotus Flower Tower, Mount Proboscis and Middle Huey Spire. Wanna stay grounded? The verdant Fairie Meadow may be the prettiest place you'll ever camp.

 

Ram Plateau: Not a bad little place for a stroll

Rarely seen and almost never trekked, this is a great grassy mesa suspended above a scenic wonderland. Around the edges of the plateau, river gorges plunge almost 6,000 feet, Dall's sheep frolic, hoodoos stand on guard — and the occasional hiker marvels at the splendor of it all.

 

Perfect lakes: Bring your rod and reel

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At lakes like Glacier, Rabbitkettle, Hole-in-the-Wall and Little Doctor, the fishing is good and the scenery is even better. Potential catches include pickerel, pike, trout and grayling.

 

Inspired? See more of what the Northwest Territories has to offer at their website.