Sahtu: Gateway to Adventure
The wilderness regions of the Northwest Territories with its spectacular, pristine wilderness are ideal for outdoor adventure enthusiasts. The Sahtu, one of five regions of the NWT, is located in the central part of the territory encompassing the Mackenzie Mountains on the west and Great Bear Lake on the east. The Sahtu is of particular interest to discerning outdoor enthusiasts who seek remote wilderness adventure offering pristine rivers, majestic vistas and cultural experiences to canoeists, hikers and sightseers. The Sahtu has all the components of a significant global destination for adventure tourism delivering a high level of comfort and support to travellers that come to this region.
Norman Wells, located on “Deh Cho”, the mighty Mackenzie River in the heart of the region, is the place where most adventure tourism in the Sahtu originates. Norman Wells, a town of 800 inhabitants, has the critical infrastructure, historical background and First Nation culture necessary to turn your wilderness dreams into reality. The Mackenzie River served as a travel route for a few Klondike gold rushers and for Mountain Dene hunters who now live in Ross River or Tulita. There is also evidence that humans used this area 11,000 to 12,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age.
The Sahtu has ten river systems accessed through the North-Wright Airways Float Base in Norman Wells featuring eight rivers that are gaining a world-class reputation for canoeists including the Mackenzie, Mountain, Keele, Bonnet Plume, Snake, Anderson and Horton Rivers. The diversity of these rivers provides paddling opportunities for all levels of skill and interest, miles of runnable whitewater and few portages. The Mackenzie Mountains and the tundra regions offer significant canoeing opportunities. World-class hiking opportunities of exceptional beauty are available in the Mackenzie Mountains including the Canol Heritage Trail. The Sahtu is home to five communities including Norman Wells: Colville Lake, Fort Good Hope, Deline and Tulita. Authentic First Nation experiences are available in these communities. The Sahtu is supported by a strong group of outfitters and guides who offer a broad range of wilderness experience.