5 Ways the Nahanni Will Blow Your Mind

Virginia Falls, Nahanni National Park Reserve
Asymetric/Jason Van Bruggen
Asymetric/Jason Van Bruggen
Sharing the experiences, natural wonders, and culture of the Northwest Territories.

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 96-metre 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 1,800 metres, Dall's sheep frolic, hoodoos stand on guard – and the occasional hiker marvels at the splendour 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.

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