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Welcome to the City of Yellowknife, Capital of the Northwest Territories & `Diamond Capital of North America`. We are a culturally rich city thriving with diversity. On the north shore of Great Slave Lake, modern high-rise towers overlook the rustic heritage buildings of Yellowknife`s not so distant frontier past. A modern metropolis meets a vast wilderness. The brilliance of summer’s midnight sun gives way to winter`s dazzling display of the aurora borealis. At the edge of the Arctic, in the heart of the wilderness, lies a city of youth, energy, adventure and prosperity. Located on the shores of the beautiful Great Slave Lake, only 512 km south of the Arctic Circle, we are known for our outdoor recreation, midnight sun, aurora borealis and an unusual blend of northern culture... a City where history is found throughout a modern, bustling metropolis. Yellowknife is literally built on gold, with the tunnels of both gold mines burrowing deep beneath the streets, a city where `the gold is paved with streets`. If there ever was a place on this earth to have a canoe, surely Northern Frontier is it. Dotted with hundreds of lakes and myriad waterways, you can go for a half hour paddle, a three day trip or a month long expedition, by changing direction from any one of several drop in points.
Yellowknife is blessed with a number of trails suitable for walking, biking, hiking and jogging, The Frame Lake Trail (9 km) is an extended network of well maintained paved and graveled walkways and bike routes that circle scenic lakes, climb cliffs, and connect the Bristol monument, Lakeview cemetery and Jackfish Lake with Frame Lake and downtown. In spring and autumn the variety of birds is remarkable, just a short walk from downtown Yellowknife. One of North America`s great migratory bird flyways passes close by.
Through the winter, huge, saucy ravens gather in Yellowknife. You'll come eye to eye, too, with ptarmigan, and cheeky snow buntings and redpolls, on frost-covered branches. In spring, the barrenland caribou herds approach our communities in their northward migration. In autumn, you can travel out on the tundra to one of our first class hunting camps - space is booked years in advance. Yellowknife is the best location in the world for viewing the aurora borealis. As the nights grow longer, the green, red and mauve lights of aurora borealis, or northern lights, are absolutely brilliant in their dance across the sky. The aurora results from forms of electromagnetic energy which are drawn to the earth's poles, literally charging the atmosphere and causing it to glow. Despite the crisp -40, which is not uncommon in the heart of a Yellowknife winter, we have thousands of international visitors who come to be awe-inspired. Tours to view the aurora from outside the city limits are available starting in the autumn and continue throughout the winter months.
Soar across a snow-covered lake behind a dog team. Our dog mushers are world champions, who'll make you right at home on a dogsled. Relive the days before roads and aircraft, when supplies were delivered by dogteam. Tours usually start in mid-November, depending on the temperature and depth of snow. The Yellowknife Dogtrotters Association runs races through the winter. Drive a snowmobile on a day-long trip through the forest and across lakes to a cozy lodge or camp. Cross country skiing is popular and Yellowknife`s Ski Club is the center of activity. Rent skis and try out our Ski Club trails, the site of international competitions. Or fly out to a lodge for a weekend of skiing - and relaxing in a hot tub under the northern lights. Yellowknife is a capital at the edge of the wilderness, surrounded by history, culture, adventure and prosperity. The city is a place of beautiful contrasts.