Yellowknife Quick Facts
- Established: 1936
- Population: Approx. 20 000
- Nickname: Diamond Capital of North America
- Yellowknife is a little over 3000 kilometers away from the North Pole.
Sitting on the northern shore of Great Slave Lake, Yellowknife is the capital city and largest community of the Northwest Territories. It was a northern frontier base during the gold rush of the 1930’s and the town became established through supplies trading and mining activities. Much earlier in history the indigenous people had established a fur trade along the surrounding shores. Interestingly, since it’s located on the edge of the Arctic Circle, the city is uniquely blessed with shimmering aurora borealis (northern lights) for about 240 days per year – more nights with a visible aurora than any city on earth. This alone is already a wonderful reason to visit Yellowknife – witnessing nature’s most amazing light show! Positioned by the Lake, Yellowknife actually enjoys good summers despite its subarctic climate and large differences in daylight hours throughout the year.
Besides dancing under the spectacular aurora, Yellowknife boasts several other engaging activities such as dog sledding, cross-country skiing, golfing under the midnight sun, ice road tours and fishing in one of the largest lakes in the world. Yellowknife’s other attractions include numerous pristine lakes, walking trails, a historic old town, museums, and the Pilot’s Monument offering magnificent views of the city. Art and culture lovers will enjoy the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre that supports a variety of artists from near and far and visitors should also see the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre and the Northern Frontier Visitors Centre. Murals and sculptures can also be seen throughout the town – just pick up the ‘Artswalk’ brochure from the visitors centre. The Old Town is like a living museum where pioneer businesses began the commercialisation of Yellowknife in the 1930’s. The spirit of Yellowknife is tangible here and it has many restaurants, cafes and gift shops by the waterfront. The long summer days allow visitors plenty of time to tour Yellowknife and visit the local festivals or enjoy a picnic by the lake. We recommend taking a guided tour of Yellowknife to see more of what it has to offer travellers.
More than a winter-wonderland, Yellowknife is the real deal when the temperatures drop. The dog teams are world champions who can fly you across a snow covered lake in minutes or you can hang out at the site of international ski tracks at the popular Ski Club. Many photographers, hunters and eco-travellers head out to track the abundant wildlife surrounding Yellowknife. The ice roads are also a sight to behold crossing Yellowknife Bay which are used by miners and are also open to the public. Nearby lodges and camps offer cosy accommodation on winter nights – many with the necessary hot tubs and warm cocoa! Check out our travel directory of Yellowknife at the top of this page for more information that may help with your stay.
Visit Yellowknife and experience all the wonders of nature alongside this scenic, modern city.