The largest lake in Canada is known as the Great Bear Lake. It can be found in the Northwest Territories and also along the Arctic Circle between 65 and 67 degrees of northern latitude and 118 and 123 western longitudes. Along the lake is a mountain known as Grizzly Bear Mountain. The lake turns to ice from November to July, due to the northern proximity and the cold weather found in the north and along the Arctic Circle. The lake is known for fantastic fishing opportunities as well as a beautiful and scenic area.

Great Bear Lake is a fishing heaven

Great Bear Lake is hundreds of miles from civilization, and here you will find wild and freshly caught trophy lake trout, arctic grayling, pike fishing, as well as fly-fishing opportunities and much more. This lake boasts the All Tackle World Records for both lake trout and Arctic Grayling and many other line class records. The fishing here is said to be some of the best in the world. Fishing lodges are littered around and near to the lake and include Tree River Lodge, Arctic Circle Outpost, Trophy Lodge and Branson’s Outpost among a few others. Many of the lodges provide fishing packages that include boats, all meals and accommodations, air transportation and other amenities for a more comfortable and convenient stay.

Nearby things to do in the Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories is a territory of Canada and the most populous territory in northern Canada as well. The Northern Frontier Visitors Center can be found in Yellowknife and has excellent displays, including some of Inuit soapstone carvings and the Dene culture. This is a great place to learn about the area, especially if you’ve never been to Canada. There is a café to stop and rest and grab a bite to eat too. The town of Yellowknife is typically where you travel from to reach Great Bear Lake and is a hub of activity for the area.

Cameron Falls River Trail

This trail is an excellent way to see the landscape of the area. The area is known for bears, so bring bear spray and leave food in the car or don’t bring any with you at all. This is voted as one of the best hiking trails in Yellowknife and is a nice break to take from all the fishing at Great Bear Lake that you’ve been doing. The trail is well marked and easy to follow and does make a good climb up. There are falls along the way, and when it gets colder, they will be frozen. The elevation does increase, and the views are superb from way up high! Don’t forget a camera on this amazing trail. It can be easily hiked with snowfall or not, and many visitors have done both.

Bush Pilot’s Monument

While in Yellowknife awaiting your journey to Great Bear Lake, another top-rated thing to see is Bush Pilot’s Monument. The monument pays tribute to the many bush pilots who helped open the north. The monument is elevated and sits high up on a hill. There is parking at the base and then a staircase that climbs to the top where the monument stands. The view from the top is a 360-degree view of Yellowknife Bay, Old town, Back Bay and much more. Visitors love the view from here!


Old Town

The old town is a favorite stop for both locals and visitors. Restaurants can be found here as well as older historic looking buildings mixed in with modern ones. The old town is part of the three districts that make up Yellowknife. The other two districts are known as Newtown and Uptown. The old town is where the city was born and remnants of old times can be seen throughout the area. There are ships with local arts and crafts and this part of town as a rustic and historical feel to it. There are lots to see as you wander around, as well as great views of the harbor. Crossing the bridge from Newtown into Old Town, you will feel like you’ve stepped back in time to the beginnings of the city of Yellowknife.

Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Center

For a fantastic sightseeing opportunity, stop at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Center. The center is said to have incredible displays on the early life of the territories, mining, wildlife, transportation, culture and even art. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and all the exhibits have excellent explanations. There are items available for purchase in the gift shop area and lots of brochures too. This is a great stop to make when you arrive as it gives you lots of information about the area and the staff can answer questions you might have. There is a play area for small children and a café to get something to eat. Get started on your journey through the Northwest Territories by making this your first stop.

Aurora Village

Aurora Village is a popular tourist destination to see the magical auroras that light up the sky when it’s dark. Shuttles or buses will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the village where you will wait, usually late at night or in the early hours of the morning when the auroras are to appear. There are very large tepees located along a frozen lake that is the gathering place to keep warm while waiting for the aurora to appear. There are a gift shop and restaurant there as well and wood burning fires within the tepees to keep you warm. Hot coffee and other drinks are available and to save money, you can bring your snacks. Many people will never see an aurora in their lifetime, and this is the perfect chance to see it!

Aurora Village

Sightseeing Tours

While fishing or visiting Great Bear Lake, consider participating in a sight-seeing tour. The area is known for its abundance of wildlife, and the snow should not deter you from trying a tour of the beautiful area. Snowmobile tours, dog sledding, snowshoeing, water tours, tours by air, fishing tours and many others are offered to you so you can see the beauty of the lake and what the Northwest Territories have to offer. Don’t forget to schedule a tour to see the floating lights of the auroras in the night sky for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The museums and visitor centers offer amazing exhibits on the history of the area and don’t forget to fish in the best fishing lakes in the world at Great Bear Lake.


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