Experiences in Yellowknife: Camping, Tours, and More


Yellowknife, NWT is a beautiful and excitement-filled travel destination that is not well-known to most Canadians, except those who live in the north. However, for those who live near enough to travel there for Yellowknife camping, or have the privilege of living there, the possibilities for adventure are endless. 

One thing about the north is that outdoor adventure abounds. People who live in northern Canada typically enjoy the outdoors and are not bothered by the extreme temperatures. Winter in Yellowknife can get extremely cold (think - 50 degrees celsius), yet you will find people participating in activities like dog sledding and skating all winter long. In contrast, summer in Yellowknife brings 20 hours of sunlight and temperatures frequently over 30 degrees. These months open up a whole new array of summer activities for residents and visitors. 

Summer Solstice (June 21) is really the kick-off of summer festivities. By this day, the city is experiencing 20 hours of sunlight, and the weather is warm and beautiful. Summer solstice activities include a street carnival, a midnight sun golf tournament, and a day-long tribute to indigenous culture and peoples. 

Summer Experiences in Yellowknife

You will not be bored in Yellowknife! There is so much to see and explore just walking around the city. A walk through Old Town Yellowknife is a must to see how the community began. Walking up to the Bush Pilots Monument will give you a breathtaking view of Yellowknife.

Old Town Paddle and Co -  Go on a paddle boat tour through the waterways of Yellowknife in the warmth of the day or under the midnight sun. 

Yellowknife Golf Club - Golf enthusiasts or recreational golfers can enjoy playing a unique 18 hole course, right up until 9:30 p.m. 

Fishing - Fishing is an abundant resource in the Northwest Territory, and whether you choose to fish at your own leisure or go out with a guide, you have a great chance of catching something! Arctic Grayling, Lake Trout, and Northern Pike are just a few of the fish you may encounter on the end of your line! Don’t forget to get yourself a fishing license! 

Hiking - Yellowknife and surrounding areas are full of beautiful hiking trails of varying levels of difficulty. Trails like Cameron Falls are easier to follow and result in a beautiful waterfall view while others such as Prelude Lake are not all on grass terrain but also across rock. On this trail, you need to follow the stakes in the ground marked with a little hiking sign. At each sign, you look for the next and walk towards it, keeping yourself on the trail. If you have never experienced terrain too northern for much tree growth, this is a very cool experience. Visit the Yellowknife Visitor Centre to find out more information on the various hikes and pick up maps. 

Borealis Bike Tours - The first (and only) fat bike tour company offers tours of Yellowknife and surrounding areas year round. 

Farmer’s Market - The Farmer’s Market happens biweekly on Tuesdays and is such a fun place to go to try out some different foods and shop for the infamous Yellowknife pottery. Some would say there are feuds in Yellowknife on who the best potters are. There are a variety of booths and vendors set up at the Farmer’s Market and whoever you decide to purchase from, you will leave with a beautiful keepsake. You’ll find people scattered all over the greenspaces enjoying the wide variety of cuisine offered from the different vendors at the market. 

My Backyard Tours is a company offering various types of tours to those wanting to experience Yellowknife with a guide. There are plenty of day tours, and for those die-hard tourists, some overnight and weeklong tours as well. If you would love to hike but don’t want to venture onto the trails alone, you can even take a guided tour of the Cameron Falls hiking trail. 

Long Lake Beach - Long Lake Beach is located at Fred Henne Territorial Park by the YK airport. This is a large sand beach that is excellent for swimming. The beach also has volleyball nets and a playground. The water is chilly but feels refreshing on those hot summer days. 


There are three Territorial park campgrounds in Yellowknife and the surrounding area, each offering a somewhat different experience. The Fred Henne Campground is right in the city of Yellowknife and is full service. This is ideal for those going to explore the city of Yellowknife. There are two other Campgrounds (Prelude Lake and Reid Lake) that are varying distances outside of the city and do not have serviced sites, but they do provide beautiful hiking trails and outdoor experiences. You may read more about Yellowknife camping in this article.

If you want a very unique experience while in Yellowknife, you could visit the floating homes of Yellowknife. Thirty houseboats make up the Yellowknife Bay Floating Community and some of them are even used as air bnbs. Be prepared to pack light as in summer these floating air bnbs are accessible only by canoe or small boat. When the water freezes in the winter, they can be driven to. An air bnb stay in one of these floating homes would be a once in a lifetime experience. 

If you much prefer to be in the heart of the city, there are various hotels and air bnbs available to you. 

Must Try Eateries

While in Yellowknife, you will want to try some cuisine that you do not regularly consume. Depending on where you are from, that may be seafood or wild game. If wild game is not something you have access to, you will want to try it! These restaurants know how to prepare it well, and it’s a tasty treat. 

Bullocks Bistro is a famous Yellowknife fish restaurant that serves wild caught fish from Great Slave Lake and cooks it right in front of you. Beautifully located on the shores of Great Slave Lake, this is a favourite with locals and visitors alike. This offers a very local cuisine experience. 

The Wildcat Cafe is the oldest restaurant in Yellowknife (opened in 1937) and is housed in one of its oldest buildings. It has been declared a heritage sight. It had to be renovated in 2011 but still has so much charm. There aren’t many tables, but they move people through quickly. Their wild game meals are delicious. You’d have missed out on a real treat to not have tried their Bison sliders! 

The Black Knight Pub offers pub food but with a northern twist. Bison meat and fish and chips are a few of the most popular dishes here, served in a traditional pub atmosphere. This establishment is popular among tourists. 

This is just a small overview of what Yellowknife has to offer! A winter visit would bring different and exciting opportunities as well, such as viewing the stunning northern lights. The north in the winter is not for those who cannot stand the cold, but if you can, you will be rewarded with unique experiences and beautiful views. 


This article has been written by homeschooling staff writers of The Canadian Schoolhouse (TCS). Enjoy more of our content from TCS contributors and staff writers by visiting our themes page that has a new theme topic added every month!

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