Yellowknife (Canada)

Yellowknife Travel Guide and Trip Resources


Hideyuki KAMON

The last frontier

Yellowknife is the capital city of Canada's Northwest TerritoriesTough climate in winters
Founded during a gold rush in the 1930s, then shifting its attention to government services
A last frontier feeling is palpable in the Old Town, Great Slave Lake is stunning

If you head up north in Canada trying to find that last frontier atmosphere, Yellowknife may just be the kind of place you are looking for. About half of the total of 40,000 people who call the Northwest Territories home reside in this town 500km south of the Arctic Circle, so calling it the last speck of civilization for as far as the mind can comprehend, is not by any means a stretch.

The history of the town on the shores of the Great Slave Lake is part exciting and part boring. The exciting part is that the town was originally founded when gold was found in the vicinity. The gold rush initially drove commercial activity here, but as the gold production slowed down in the 1980s, the town turned its focus to something slightly more boring: government services (being the capital of NT and all). As luck will have it though, in more recent years miners once again struck upon something interesting: diamonds.

Naturally, the landscape around Yellowknife is spectacular, and one of the common reasons to venture outside of town is to gawk at the aurora borealis (or northern lights). But even otherwise the landscape, not quite tundra yet but getting dangerously close, is stunning. Explore the shores of the lake or head up north along the Ingraham Trail, where you will find landscapes that are a hiker's/biker's/fisher's/paddler's dream (cross out as applicable).

Inside of town the Old Town old heritage buildings remind of the 1930s gold rush, while the rest of town has a more modern outlook and provides good restaurants and bars, or shall we say all of the comfort that you won't find anywhere around Yellowknife. For hundreds of kilometers. [Review by travelindicator]


Key info

  • Yellowknife is a city in Canada's region of Northwest Territories. It has a population of 19,234, is situated at an altitude of 627ft and the best airport to fly into is YZF (Yellowknife, Yellowknife)
  • The main spoken language here is English, and the average English skill is high
  • Note Yellowknife is not a good point of entry for trips to Canada as it is not well internationally connected. Instead try entering through for instance Calgary
  • The currency used in Canada is the Canadian dollar (CAD)

Yellowknife Weather

Historical average maximum temperature per month (℉):

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
-8 -0 12 32 50 64 70 64 50 34 14 -0

Historical average rainfall per month (inches):

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
0.6 0.6 0.6 0.4 0.7 1.1 1.6 1.5 1.4 1.2 1 0.6

More Yellowknife travel resources

A good place to read a bit more may be this article from someone in the know about 10 things to love about Yellowknife. At Planetware you find the top 10 attractions, while the Alberta Scottish Business Association has a strictly business account of going here. Finally, we can't really leave you without giving you the Wikitravel of this place.


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