Between January and March the ice roads get over a metre thick and despite the cracking and booming the ice makes, it’ll hold you no matter how many servings of moose stew you indulge in. Drive the scenic Mackenzie Delta from Inuvik to Aklavik and out onto the Beaufort Sea to Tuktoyaktuk. Be sure to take photos - you might need them to show that you’ve had your own “Ice Road Trucker” experience.
With thousands of lakes scattered throughout the Northwest Territories there is no shortage of great fishing locations. In winter, auger a hole through a few feet of ice (if you weren’t hungry before, this will certainly stir up your appetite), cast a line and enjoy cup of hot chocolate while you wait for dinner to bite. To keep warm, set up an ice fishing tent, or better yet, build an igloo around you.
During the first week of April an impressive herd of 3,000 reindeer cross the Mackenzie River near Inuvik. Click here for more information.
Sun that Doesn’t Rise
The NWT is famous for its sun-drenched, 24 hour daylight in the summer, but in Inuvik and communities north of here in the Western Arctic, the sun doesn’t rise for about a month during winter. Tropicana once “brought the sun to Inuvik” one January as part of their “brighter mornings make for brighter days” campaign. (Click here to watch it).
Also known as the Northern Lights, the Aurora often appears as curtains made up of parallel rays that fold and ripple as they swirl across the sky. Sometimes the lights move with incredible speed and sometimes they hover lazily from horizon to horizon in great arcs. You might see them as ghostly wisps in green, red and violet that suddenly burst into giant spokes. Visitors can view these lights from August to April each year.
Sun Dogs, or phantom suns, can make you think the sun has multiplied. Ice crystals form in the clouds during the colder months and act as a prism that bends that rays of light. Sometimes this appears as a halo around the sun, other times you’ll see three suns. If that isn’t wild enough, they also come in different colours depending on how close to the actual sun they appear. They range from red through to blue the further out they get. The Aurora is not the only magical thing in our sky.
Ice fog is a type of fog made up of fine ice crystals suspended in the air. In the coldest months of the year, this shimmering phenomenon transforms the trees, bushes and houses into an ethereal wonderland. Even on the coldest winter days, it’s hard to resist the beauty of ice fog by staying indoors.
Nearly all of Western Arctic communities play host to winter Jamboree - the North's version of carnivals. Inuvik's Muskrat Jamboree, Tuktoyaktuk's Beluga Jamboree, Aklavik's Mad Trapper Rendezvous, Fort McPherson's Peel River Jamboree, and Tsiigehtchic's Mackenzie River Jamboree are all held between March and April and feature fun events for the whole family, dances, community feasts, and more!