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Northwest Territories Travel Guide

Northwest Territories — Transportation

Traveling long distances across isolated wilderness are the norm on journeys across the Northwest Territories, whose southern border extends across all of Alberta and Saskatchewan plus a bit of British Columbia. The main roads into the Northwest Territories are the Liard Highway from British Columbia, the Dempster Highway between Inuvik and the Yukon, and the Mackenzie Highway, which travels as far south as Edmonton, Alberta. Air travel is the other most common way to enter the area, and indeed, floatplanes which can land on water are often the only way to reach several isolated communities.

Northwest Territories Taxis and Car Rentals

City Cabs (+1-867-873-4444), Somba Ke Taxi (+1-867-766-4444), and Diamond Cabs (+1-867-873-6666) are Yellowknife’s three main taxi providers. Most other sizeable Northwest Territories communities also have their own taxi companies like Inuvik’s United Taxis and Hay River’s Courtesy Cabs. However, taxis aren’t always the most practical way to get around as everything is pretty spread out. Car rental is the most useful for driving around Yellowknife and its surrounding area, and many car rental companies will assist customers in planning the safest and most scenic routes across the vast lands. Take note that several highways are constructed from gravel instead of pavement, and motorists must always be on the lookout for large wildlife and treacherous weather.

Northwest Territories Water Taxis

Many Northwest Territories ferries are free, including Fort McPherson’s Peel River crossing, Fort Simpson’s Liard River route, Fort Providence’s Mackenzie River crossing, Tsiigehtchic’s Arctic Red, and Mackenzie River crossing. During winter, many Northwest Territories ferry crossings freeze into drivable ice bridges, but some of these routes are closed altogether during the spring as the ice begins to break up and autumn freezing season starts.

Northwest Territories Trains and Buses

Yellowknife is the only Northwest Territories city with bus service, which operates three routes downtown between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. on weekdays. Yellowknife City Transit also offers a reduced Saturday schedule.

Greyhound Canada and Frontier Coastlines are the two main bus lines that reach the Northwest Territories. Frontier Coastlines travels between Yellowknife, Rae, Hay River, Fort Smith, Fort Providence, and Fort Simpson. Greyhound Canada serves all of the above communities in addition to Providence Junction, Enterprise, and Fort Liard.

Beluga whales, the Northern Lights, and the Dempster Highway can all be seen on Arctic Tour Company’s bus excursions. Arctic Nature Tours is another major charter bus company. The Northwest Territories has no passenger rail service.

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