A lake in northwest territories of Canada, the Great Slave Lake, which is 11,030 miles long. This makes it the fifth largest lake in North America and the second largest lake in Canada. Well, being of 614 meters in depth, Great Slave Lake is the deepest one of North America. It is a remnant of a vast glacial lake and is said to be put on the map since the 18th-century fur trade.
Great Slave Lake has a lot to offer to your travel enthusiast body, mind, and soul. You would find more than one thing to explore and make you happy. Here are a few reasons to show you why you should visit and see Great Slave lake at least once in a lifetime.
1) A Rich History
From the formation of the Great Slave Lake to the settlers and their archaeological evidence to the history of its name, it’s filled with richness. It is said that the Indigenous Peoples who are the Aboriginal Canadians or First Peoples, were the first ones to settle around the lake. Adding to its cultural history, there have been found lithic tools belonging to different traditions of the period. Some of them are 8000 years old.
The lake was first known as “Grand lac des Esclaves” and was named so after the Slavey people of Dene group. It was then translated to English and called The Great Slave lake.
2) Many Travelers, Many Stories
Since the time of the British period, lots of enthusiasts have come across the Great Slave Lake and left something from stories of their experiences to something they found. It was also named Lake Athapuscow by Samuel Hearne in the 1700s. There is a story about a group of people who stayed there in a cabin and even fended off a wolf pack. This story was believed only after evidence of it was found.
Gold had been discovered in the early 1900s. Also, the pieces of a nuclear reactor which fell from its orbit fell in the Great Slave Lake. So, if you are a person who loves to hear stories of the past, don’t think of any other reason to see it.
3) Mackenzie River
A beautiful outflow river of Great slave lake situated in the Canadian boreal forest, Mackenzie River is the second-largest drainage basin after Mississippi of North America. This river debouches into the Arctic Ocean. It is believed that the Mackenzie Valley was the path taken by initial migrators from Asia to North America around 10,000 years ago.
Mackenzie River has been a reason for economic development around the Great Slave Lake. Oil was discovered; metallic minerals had been found, which includes gold, lead, zinc, and also there has been agriculture around it. You could find a community around this river and richness of nature.
4) Great for Fishing
Northern pike, lake trout, lake whitefish……. you can get it all here. Being one of the deepest lakes, Great Slave lake serves to be an excellent spot for fishing. Also, the lake is said to be the purest and cleanest, fishes found just near the surface area as a result. There is a great fishing spot called Taltheilei Narrows on Great Slave Lake. You could find a lodge around this place and stay there till your hook finds the most abundant fish.
However, the lake is frozen for around 4-8 months. So, you would have to check the fishing time. But to your benefit, there is light for 24 hours during the summer in that region so that you can enjoy to the fullest during that time.
5) The Northern Lights
The heavenly and soothing northern lights can be seen at a high altitude region. This colorful, dancing, and energizing show of northern lights can be seen in the capital city of Great Slave lake, i.e., Yellowknife’s Aurora village. You must visit here from August to April. This will be the most beautiful fuel for your experience hungry soul.
Yellowknife is considered the best place to witness these northern lights, which are also known as aurora borealis in the world. The village named Aurora is precisely for this purpose. You can find varied tours and camps here indulging in many other activities too.
Visiting Canada and wish to know more places to explore? Just click here.
6) Thaine Nene National Park
In the east arm of Great Slave Lake and north shore of the boreal forest, is located the Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve. This national park works for the protection of caribou and pelt animals. Here you could find wild boar, wolf, red fox, arctic fox, beaver, grizzly bear, and others. Ducks, Songbirds, and other migratory birds can also be witnessed.
This is a newly established national park. It officially became a national park in August 2019, which was decided to be created since 2002. You are sure to enjoy flora and fauna together here.
7) The Rocky History
Well, more than history, it’s the age of the rocks found here. The Great Slave Lake is located between the ancient stones, which are also known as Canadian Shield. These are the metamorphic rocks. The north and northwest shore of the lake house the rocks, which are 2.7 billion years old. Even after all these years, these rocks stay as tall and robust as ever. This fact sure excites the traveler inside to witness this beauty around the Great Slave Lake.
8) The Beautiful Ice Road
The Dettah Ice Road connects the capital city of Great Slave Lake, Yellowknife to Dettah, which is a small fishing community of First Nations. The area freezes during winter times to ease transportation. Usual 27 kilometers of the drive is shortened to 6.5 kilometers by this Ice Road.
Wouldn’t it be amazing to ski on this Ice Road, which is formed above the naturally frozen water?
During winters, passing through this Ice Road would make you feel wonders about nature’s magic. How it can reduce or increase humanity’s trouble can be experienced and considered.
9) The House Boaters
Experiencing life on House Boats very quickly is one thing that should not be missed in Great Slave Lake. There is a community of houseboats, i.e., people living their daily life on houseboats, in Yellowknife. This community started in the early 1980s when two families built their houseboats. The city is growing since then, and lots of families are now living in these floating homes. The line of colorful houseboats is a spectacular view, and Boat tours are offering glimpses of these homes.
In winter, when ice roads are formed on the Great Slave Lake, it provides the direct path to the entrance of such homes. You can visit if you are allowed and know how they live on waters with solar power and generators. A documentary series called Ice Lake Rebels aired on Animal Planet from 2014 to 2016. This series was shot on the Great Slave Lake, and it very well describes the life of such houseboat dwellers.
Watch the pretty houseboats and tour through them in this video.
10) Incredible Sites
Surrounding the lake, you can find beautiful sites. The locals of Yellowknife, Hay River, Fort Resolution, and others are very cheerful and helpful in guiding you to the best spots having a breathtaking view. The east arm of the Great Slave lake is said to be of magnificent wilderness. You can rent a boat and explore the sights. You can have a good time here camping and fishing in the freshwater.
If you want a peaceful journey where there is no ringing of cell phones and messages all the time, visit here. You would feel very friendly with the view of the Canadian shield on all the sides.
11) North Arm Territorial Park
Located on the frontier highway of Great Slave lake, this territorial park serves as a great one-day picnic spot. It can also be a rest stop from all your roaming around. This park has a large waterfront beach, lush green lawns, picnic tables, fire pits, playgrounds, and toilets. You can take in the vastness of the Great Slave lake by standing on the North Arm Territorial Park shore.
The beach is immaculate and tranquil. You would love to have a dip in it and enjoy the freshness of the water supply.
Go there with a group of friends and make your day splashing and smashing. You can play group games in the open lawns here and energize. The children can be kept busy in the playground area. So, a great spot to turn the Great Slave Tour to a fun picnic.
12) Choose Among the Best
There is an availability of many lodges nearby Great Slave lake. Above that, each of the lodges has its beauty and experience to provide. Like the Great Slave, a lake, a hostel is a perfect place for fishing in protected water. Even the trophy lake trout is mostly caught here. Some other lodges offer beautiful sights and facilities. You can also find places offering freshly caught fish, cooked, and presented on your platter. These lodges make your trip comfortable, memorable, and secure.
They provide traveling and sight-seeing packages which you must not forget to book a lot before your actual trip as most of them get packed up quickly for the season.
Explore one of the lodge, i.e., frontier Lodge just here.
13) Historic Fort Reliance
Located at the eastern end of the Great Slave Lake, near the Lockhart River, a very ancient Fort Reliance is situated. This fort is believed to be built as a site for winter around the 19th century. It is back from the shoreline near the tree line and lush green terrace. At this site, you could find four chimneys and fireplaces. There are also traces of cabins, rubble piles, and shallow pits.
There is a vast history behind the building and rebuilding of this fort. Alexander Roderick McLeod, who was a part of the Hudson Bay Company, built the fort for a specific expedition. The fort served as a base for various operations back in 1833. The fort was abandoned by the end of the team in 1835, however, during the 1850’s it had been rebuilt for Hudson’s Bay Company Post. The remnants found at this place are considered unique relics of history, making it a great reason to visit Great Slave lake.
14) Kayaking Adventures
In the North Arm of the Great Slave Lake, you can enjoy the kayaking expeditions in the wilderness of the lake. You can plan the sea kayak expedition around the time of the Aurora season. As the north arm of the Great Slave lake lies precisely in the magnetic field of Aurora Belt, the sea level kayaking will lead you to the beauty of northern lights.
Paddling through the north arm will bring you far from the digital world. You would welcome the dominant historical, spiritual, and cultural significance through the north arm.
It is a land of legends and learning. As per the experience of the kayaks, the north arm is a paradise of unseen and unexplored islands carved from the glaciers. Get your spirits high and embrace the adventure.
15) Lots of Festivals, Ecology, Wild Boars and Others
Great Slave Lake has its unique festivals, which are of great zeal. The Hay River Annual Pond Hockey is a very famous festival. It is one of the most excellent shows on the ice. People of the town gather at the center of the festival, which is full of food vendors, local musicians, games, hockey players taking up the floor, and a lot more.
The people of Yellowknife celebrate Long John Jamboree. There are lots of activities to do there. The SnowKing Winter Festival is also worth visiting. Each year the Snow castle flourishes a little. You should hear the story about it from the locals.
Great Slave lake also serves a varied pallet of ecology. Here you could spot Wild Boars, Zillions of Birds including shorebirds and songbirds, Caribou, and Bisons. Even in the Mackenzie Bison Sanctuary is famous for holding the largest wood bison herd of World. A lot of aircraft activity can also be seen on Great Slave Lake. You could witness floatplanes, enjoy quiet sailing, and energize yourself.
Know more about the details of going to the Great Slave Lake here.
You can notice how exciting and thrilling the Great Slave lake visit can be for you. A full pack of each kind of experience waits for you in Great Slave Lake. What are the other places and activities around the Great Slave Lake? Do share if you know about any local peculiarities of the site.