THE SLAVE LAKE INN YELLOWKNIFE HOTEL IS WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE TO MANY POPULAR LOCAL ATTRACTIONS
Great Slave Lake
Beneath its whitecaps lies a mysterious, watery abyss unrivaled in North America. At a point not far offshore from the community of Łutselk’e on Christie Bay the lake-bottom falls away two-thirds of a kilometer, making it the deepest lake in North America and the sixth deepest on Earth. Put in context, Great Slave could sink the CN Tower. To drop an anchor to the bottom, a fisherman would need more rope than he could lift.
According to John Ketchum of the Northwest Territories Geoscience Centre, there are debates about what’s behind Great Slave’s great depth. Some have said it’s an ancient rift, like the famous tectonic ruptures in East Africa. Others say it was caused by glaciers eroding the brittle rock along an ancient geologic fault.
Also unclear is precisely how far down it goes. The official figure is 614 meters – 2,014 feet. But according to University of California researcher Slawek Tulaczyk, who conducted bathymetric soundings in Christie Bay in 2005 and 2006, there are trenches that reach even farther down, by as much as 30 meters.
It isn’t an environment a person would want to visit. At those depths, sunlight doesn’t penetrate, so all is perpetually black. Even worse, the pressure is stupendous – around 800 pounds per square inch, or 1,000 tonnes on the average-sized human body. You wouldn’t last long down there – so maybe its best that Great Slave keeps its secrets.
Yellowknifes Old Town
One of the most diverse, historic, offbeat neighborhoods in Canada, Old Town is the beating heart of Yellowknife. Here, where the Precambrian Shield blends into the Great Slave Lake. Gold seekers approximately 80 years ago pioneered what was to become the North’s greatest settlement. Today the area is an intriguing mash-up of log cabins, mansions, houseboats, float planes, art galleries, famous restaurants, monuments and more. Guides to Old Town’s historic sites are available from the Northern Frontier Visitor Center.
Bush Pilots Monument
Yellowknife’s most popular lookout rises above Old Town, providing a stupendous view over Great Slave Lake, Back Bay and the northern reaches of the city. The monument is high up on “The Rock,” and is accessed via a winding staircase to the top. It is dedicated to the bush pilots and engineers whose lives were lost as they flew the wilderness skies of the Northwest Territories. The monument also serves a practical purpose: When the light atop the tower is flashing, residents and visitors are warned that floatplanes or skiplanes are active on nearby Yellowknife Bay.
Northern Arts and Cultural Centre (NACC)
One of Yellowknife’s special gems. This 297 seat theatre is the only fully-equipped live performance theatre in the NWT. The Northern Arts and Cultural Centre is a non-profit charitable organization hosting fine performances for over 30 years. Check website for upcoming performances.
Somba K’E Park
On the shores of Frame Lake in front of City Hall, this grassy park is Yellowknife’s favourite gathering place. In summer, musical performances are common at the waterfront Amphitheatre, and various attractions – the museum, the visitor centre, Firewood Studio, a towering drum-dance sculpture, etc. – are close by.
Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre
The granddaddy of Northern museums, Yellowknife’s voluminous Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre has it all – from biplanes to gold-mining memorabilia to Dene mooseskin boats. In addition to all the exhibits there’s an interactive play area for kids (complete with a miniature trappers cabin), and often, live performances and presentations.
Perched on a pillar near the entrance to town, the yellow and blue Bristol Freighter airplane greets visitors to Yellowknife, reminding them of the region’s vital aviation history. Bush planes such as this one fed the development of the town, bringing people and supplies before Yellowknife was connected to the outside world by road. The Bristol Freighter itself was the first wheeled plane to touch down at the North Pole before being retired in 1968. Around the freighter you’ll find trails, picnic tables and interpretive signage.
Food and Drink
Our Capital City is home to some great dining options. Take a look here to see a few of our top picks!