Roaring rivers cut through canyon walls scarred with the eons of geologic history. Imposing peaks lure climbers toward iconic mountaineering goals. Impressive waterfalls thunder with intensity. And these natural wonders are entwined with millennia of First Nations history and culture. This is Nahʔą Dehé (Nahanni National Park Reserve). Welcome to adventure incarnate.

Discover Nahʔą Dehé (Nahanni National Park Reserve)

Set remotely among the Mackenzie Mountains of the Northwest Territories, Nahʔą Dehé (Nahanni National Park Reserve) occupies 30,050-square-kilometres of Dehcho First Nations territory. It is a raw and primordial landscape without road access or services within.

Defined by canyons reaching 1,000 metres deep, impressive waterfalls—96-metre-tall Náįlįcho (Virginia Falls) being the most iconic—epic backpacking and paddling routes and the iconic Cirque of the Unclimbables, this park earns its reputation as wild and beautiful. But beyond the wilderness lies a deep cultural story. Nahʔą Dehé; (Nahanni National Park Reserve) is inseparable from the Dehcho First Nations who call it home; 10 nations who consider this precious landscape a gift to be shared with the world. A visit will challenge your body and mind, connect your spirit to the land and uplift all who experience its beauty.

Bucket List Activities

Rafting/Canoeing: 

NahanniFritz Mueller/Parks Canada

Paddling expeditions remain the premier reasons visitors make the trek north of 60 into Nahʔą Dehé (Nahanni National Park Reserve)—particularly the famed trips on the South Nahanni River. Usually starting at Gahnįhthah Mįe (Rabbitkettle Lake), paddlers of a variety of skill levels can set out on weeklong (or longer) itineraries along the same watercourses travelled by First Nations for thousands of years—and later made famous by paddlers such as Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Bill Mason. Canadian River Expeditions, Blackfeather and Nahanni Wild offer summer-season guided trips ranging from a week to 21 days or more. Discover more information here.

Flightseeing: 

NahanniFritz Mueller/Parks Canada

Since Nahʔą Dehé (Nahanni National Park Reserve) is the size of Belgium, you may want to employ a motorized method to be able to view a collection of its peaks, valleys and rivers. Why not book a flightseeing tour out of nearby Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories? Whether you choose to soar like the eagle above landforms like Ram Plateau or the Cirque of the Unclimbables, take an aerial view of Náįlįcho (Virginia Falls)—which is twice the height of Niagara—or even decide to touch down at one of the seven landing sites, you’ll find an adventurous itinerary to satisfy. Discover licensed air operators here.

Climbing/Mountaineering: 

NahanniFritz Mueller/Parks Canada

Lotus Flower Tower, Mount Proboscis, Middle Huey Spire. If you’re an alpinist, you likely know exactly what these names reference. For the rest of us—they’re part of the Cirque of Unclimbables, a ragged mountain range and a hallmark of Nahʔą Dehé (Nahanni National Park Reserve). Will you hike in and camp beneath in the shadows of these impressive monoliths, or do you have the skills to actually climb the Unclimbables? Discover more information here.

When You Go

NahanniFritz Mueller/Parks Canada

Nahʔą Dehé (Nahanni National Park Reserve) is a remote wilderness park in the Northwest Territories, accessed primarily by air. Primary access points are Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories, Muncho Lake, British Columbia and Watson Lake, Yukon.

Day-trip access is typically from Fort Simpson. Interior multi-day trips generally take between seven and 21 days. Learn more about options for access here.

There are seven landing aircraft sites within the park as well as five designated campsites with limited facilities. As a wilderness park, backcountry and random camping is encouraged throughout (Parks Canada backcountry permit applies to all overnight visitors). Discover more information at pc.gc.ca/nahanni.

      

More NWT Adventure on Explore:

          

Plan your next great adventure with explore!
Off the beaten path locations, tips and tricks, interviews with intrepid explorers and more.