Northern Canada: Staff favourites
There are two sets of falls on this river accessible from Sila Lodge in Ukkusiksalik National Park. The first is about a half hour walk from the lodge. Walk further for a couple hours and see a more dramatic waterfall cutting through the bedrock.
Rose Island, (Sallikuluk in Inuktitut) has been used by generations of Inuit who have lived, hunted, gathered, and used the island as a meeting place. Part of Torngat Mountains National Park, this small island located in Saglek Bay, is also a resting place for Inuit as there are over 600 traditional Inuit rock graves. When you step onto the island you know you have arrived at a truly special place.
Vibrant wildflowers in bloom, 18th-century graffiti etched in stone, and beluga whales swimming off in the distance – the hike from Sloop Cove to Prince of Wales Fort National Historic Site is a breathtaking site to see and experience.
An amazing place on the northern tip of Wapusk National Park. In spring and early summer it may offer sights of the Cape Churchill Caribou herd, while later in the year it is a hub of Polar Bear activity like no other – the only place where I have seen over 10 polar bears at once as they wait for the Hudson Bay to freeze-up and their chance to return onto the sea ice.
Blink and you could miss this tiny section of faded wallpaper in the sunroom of the Commissioner’s Residence in Dawson City. It’s what remains of a frieze hand-painted by former Canadian politician and influential Yukoner, Martha Black. I love the way this small, delicate, personal touch contrasts with the stately furnishings in the home.
I love the Galley on the S.S. Klondike National Historic Site, but I wouldn’t have wanted to work there. Cooks fed up to 100 passengers and crew using the enormous coal-burning stove that dominates the stern-wheeler’s tiny kitchen. It must have been sweltering! Look closely and you’ll find the menu offered to passengers in the 1930s.
When you get to go stand inside Robert Service’s cabin, it is just the cutest, most quintessential, colourful log cabin you can imagine for a writer! Then, to join a guide on a hike up the hill behind the cabin is incredible. You hit a breathtaking lookout at Crocus Bluff – and you completely understand Service’s most famous poem, “Spell of the Yukon”, because it’s giving you shivers. It is just a magical experience.
When you realize what an “Escape Room” is, you know that Dawson is the perfect place for one! The room itself is so fun to get to – tucked away inside a historic building. And to find out that the mystery you get to solve actually did happen, every detail is true! When your team beats that clock...or the clock beats your team, your adrenaline is racing. If your team is very good, you get to put your name on an old leaderboard!
When I first visited Kluane National Park in 1994, I couldn’t imagine the immensity of the Icefields since they are not visible from the Alaska Highway. Now I know... I’ve been up there for two camping trips at the Discovery Base Camp. Spectacular!
Whenever I go to Grizzly Bear Hot Springs in Nááts'ihch'oh National Park Reserve, there is one place that I try to catch a few minutes to just sit. It’s a big, flat rock at the source of Shúhzhié káįlį (The Creek Is Flowing Out of the Mountain). Watching the creek flow straight out of the rock and listening to its bubbling notes, I like to think it’s the music the Elders say the mountains are keeping.