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 315-foot 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
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 almost 6,000 feet, Dall's sheep frolic, hoodoos stand on guard — and the occasional hiker marvels at the splendor of it all.
Perfect lakes: Bring your rod and reel
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.