Northwest Territories was not on our original travel itinerary. We were re-watching some Pau Hana Travel youtube videos for their tips on the trip up to Alaska and had forgot that they had done a detour to the Northwest Territories off the Alaska Highway to BC Highway 77. We paw wowed as a family and said, we should do it! So here we are on our journey to the Northwest Territories!
We went to Fort Liard and as they call it here the “tropics of the Territories” for their warmer climates. It was only a 2 ½ hour detour off the Alaska Highway. This was the most Bison we had seen so far on the journey! They were just wandering everywhere, it had us all with our cameras out in awe.
Where we stayed
On our way to NWT, we followed in Pau Hana’s footsteps (pauhanatravels.com) and journeyed from Dawson Creek to Buckinghorse River Lodge and stayed overnight in the parking lot for free.
We then went to Hay Lake Campground in Fort Liard. A small community run campground with a dumping station, potable water and firewood, all free along with the campsite! We were able to snatch the campsite right along the river, breathtaking views! Before you get too caught up in that view though, check when mosquito season is here … find out more below.
What we did
As soon as we unhitched, we went into town as it was 4:30 and wanted to make sure we could get gas and go to the Acho Dene Native Craft store, this is also the visitor information. They close at 5pm so we just made it. We also went to the general store where Annalise was very excited to try one of the 50 flavours of soft serve ice cream there. All the locals were super friendly.
We hadn’t anticipated on doing too much, just go into town and hang around the site since we were going to head back to the Alaska highway in the morning. As we were playing cards and relaxing staring out at our gorgeous view of the river, the mosquitoes started to come. They were all over our windows and coming into our slide outs in the RV. Did not even know that could happen! Apparently, this happens to other 5th wheel RVers and we have heard that it is happening in Alaska too. It was honestly horrendous, no reprieve as more and more mosquitoes found their way in and ate Annalise and I alive. No joke, we slept for only a few hours and packed up at 5 AM to head back on our journey finding reprieve in our truck.
What we missed
I was reading up on a lot of things to do in the Territory just in case we decided to change our minds and stay longer. There are amazing waterfalls called the Virginia Falls in Nahanni National Park that are twice the size of Niagara Falls. You can take flightseeing tours over the falls, walk around and have a picnic lunch there. We would have had to make it up to Fort Simpson and while speaking to another RVer on our travels as well as the RCMP officer in town, the road would have been too tough to take our rig to. We also had to move along our journey as this was only a detour but, this is differently on my bucket list someday!