Canada – Northwest Territory – Yukon – British Columbia

black bear

black bear

The pictures on this page were all taken in northwestern Canada on a 3 week road trip in May 2014.  I missed a lot of good shots but tried to keep my camera ready. Bison in particular are very common on the roads in British Columbia and I saw some in the Wood Buffalo National Park in Northwest territories as well.

cabibou in BC

caribou in Muncho Lake BC

I saw 3 young caribou near my campsite at Muncho Lake and 2 more later in the Alaska but that was all for this trip. A number of hunters were out and about in some areas so perhaps that kept them hiding out of sight for a bit.

Twin Falls NWT

Twin Falls NWT

I entered Canada at the  Saskatchewan / North Dakota border near Weyburn.  I used to do a bit of work in North Dakota near the border and grew fond of the people from Saskatchewan  They seemed to be a hard working good hearted lot with a sense of humor. I was heading to Northwest Territories so passed quickly through to Edmonton, Alberta and on up to Peace River whee my journey begins.

Mackenzie River ice

Mackenzie River ice

In High Level I met a most outstanding guy from Ft Smith that was very familiar with the roads in NWT and the Yukon.  If you ever see him driving a 4wd Delica with a green canoe on the roof give him my regards ! Even though the Mackenzie River ice had not yet freed up the roars in most places were ok.  (with the exception of ferry crossing to Ft Simpson and Peace River and Ft McPhearson in NWT on the way to Inuvik.

Great Slave Lake

Great Slave Lake

The Great Slave Lake NWT

boat at Hay River

boat frozen in at Hay River

Hay River – the Arctic Star surrounded by ice in the Hay River NWT Great Slave Lake.

Hay River

Hay River

Wood Buffalo National Park – This park is reported to be greater in size than the country of Switzerland. It is rather flat country in the national park with few high points to get views from. I did come across 5 wood buffalo and 4 bears there on my way to and from Peace Point. I really like it down there by the river and saw one black bear lurking about my camp late at night. I used the flash from my camera to spook him away.

Wood Buffalo

Wood Buffalo

Wood buffalo – these guys have a mod squad look and seem to have more character than the regular issue standard plains buffalo. I only saw 5 of them in the national park in 2 days. There is gasoline available at Ft Smith. I carry an extra 20 liters with me traveling in the north country.

Buffalo taking dust bath

Buffalo taking dust bath

Buffalo taking a dust bath – he just flopped over and started rolling. I thought that was pretty cool. I was at the national park before the season started so there were no mosquitoes at that time.

wood buffalo NWT

Wood Buffalo NWT

I observed 82 bison by .the end of my trip. Most of them were alongside the road in British Columbia between Ft Nelson and Watson Lake.

buffalo in BC

buffalo in BC between Ft Nelson and Watson Lake

I took a quick run up to Yellowknife expecting it to be kind of a last frontier sort of thing but was surprised to find a very modern city with tall office buildings and high end apt complexes.

Yellowknife NWT

Yellowknife NWT

Yellowknife is probably a great town but I only stopped at Kentucky Fried Chicken and headed back to Ft Providence on the Mackenzie River.

KFC Yellowknife NWT

KFC Yellowknife NWT

Yellowknife marina on the Great Slave Lake.

Yellowknife marina

Yellowknife marina on Great Slave

North shores of the Great Slave.  I got more gas at the First Nations town of Rea and headed south towards Ft Providence on the Mackenzie River.

Edzo Rae bridge

Edzo Rae bridge

Bridge at Rae.

view from bridge

view from Edzo Rea bridge bridge

View from bridge near Edzo. Tepee framework covered with blue tarp.

warning sign

warning sign – winter survival gear recommended

Winter survival gear recommended n the back roads which are often closed in the summer season because they might be ice roads which can only be used when they are frozen solid.

closed winter roads

closed winter roads

The native language in often used on signs on First Nation land.

ice at Ft Providence

ice at Ft Providence

I arrived Ft Providence the next the next day with the intention of heading west on HWY 1 to Ft Simpson.

roadsign in the native language

roadsign in the native language

Many of the roadsigns on First Nations land are in the native tongue.

handsome wood buffalo

handsome wood buffalo

The road going west from Ft Providence to Ft Simpson and Ft Liard was closed at the Liard River as the ferry could not cross the river yet due to the thick ice.I had refueled at Ft Providence with 20 extra liters in Jerry cans just to be on the safe side. There was very little traffic traveling this road at this time of year (early May 2014)

Canada road trip part 1

dutchpickle logoCanada part 1 – around the Great Slave Lake and the Wood Buffalo National Park

May 24, 2014

13 responses to “Canada”

  1. DP,

    Very good photos…I just got back from the Philippines Singapore and Malaysia last week and getting back into it now at work in Sydney.

    Hope all goes well for you up north on the jobs front…


  2. DP,
    Fairbanks you are right up the top now in the artic mate from your photos it still looks very cold.

    Yes had a great time with Alyn shes always a good travelling buddy too have around and we are now starting to plain our next trip this coming December in Borneo…so hope you can make it also as well.

    Here today in Sydney its very hot for this time of the year 28 degees and in fact its been 24 plus degees here in Sydney for the last 17 days not that I’m complaining as just love having an on going Indian summer! As this time of year in Sydney the temptures only about 16 to 18 degees around midday.

    Mate i really loved malaysia very nice country are heaps to see and very cheap prices on most things.


  3. DP,

    I’ve been told that soon again they will be running an international ferry service out of Brooks Point to Sandakan once a week eachway.

    But Maswings Airlines owned by Malasian Airlines flys 7 days from Kota Kinabalu to Puerto Princesa return see details below i got off there website…So that’s even better and faster…maybe fly and boat to break up the trip and make it a bit more interesting.

    Kota Kinabalu – Puerto Princesa
    Daily Services effective 01st June 2014
    (7 x weekly)
    MH3992 BKI – PPS 1135hrs / 1305hrs LT
    MH3993 PPS – BKI 1330hrs / 1500hrs LT
    One Way fare from
    RM 175.00 * / USD 79.00*

    Alyn also told me if you want to leave your motorbike at her house its ok.


  4. Hey ricks…nice photo you took my friend …not long im having new lens see you on december ricks take care slways

  5. Hey mate hows it angin. Just having a look at your pics.. Great veiws and sounds like u havin a good time. All ok here. Work stopped on the new place until i get back to the Uk and earn some money ahahaah. We just finished getting the boys enrolled in St Josephs in Maasin. Melody old school. I am off back to UK in 5 weeks. Bored stupid here ahahah.But will have plenty to do when i get back to UK. Hope to be seeing u maybe xmas mate. Would be brill. Take good care. x

  6. For me – I rather liked Hay River on the Great Slave Lake. I like being around working boats and enjoyed scouting around in early spring .

    I spent a few days looking around in the wood buffalo NP and met some interesting people. The wood buffalo have a different look than the plains buffalo but I did not see any large groups or herds. There are heaps of birch trees blocking the view anyways.

    This seems to be a nesting area for whooping and sandhill cranes and other birds for people that are interested in bird watching.

    I spent a few days back in there camping on the Peace River. I figured I would get some bear activity as I had cooked a good dinner of stew ha ha. There was a bear proof can at one place I stayed but I expected a night visitor ha ha. I got up to take a water break and could see a shadow taking 3 steps , then crouching, 3 steps repeat etc. I was van camping and got my flash ready. as he cane by my window I quickly flashed his picture :)

    The bear took off running . I did see another guy out there earlier in the daylight and about a half hr later I heard a gunshot. I think he got that bear. I felt bad but what could I say.

    On another day I thought I saw a set of bear ears poking up behind a mound of earth by the side of the road. Thinking no-way ! I drove quietly ahead and there was a blondie lying on its back basking in the sun ha ha. I did get a picture of it running but getting a pic of that bear spread eagle on it’s back soaking up rays would have been priceless !

    I asked a ranger about that the next day and he assured me that it was a blond black bear as there were no grizzlies in that area. That was the only blondie I have seen yet in my travels :)

    I did a lot of driving and carry spare fuel. The detour was ok to satisfy curiosity but it would not be for everyone. There are no services or supply stations anywhere back in there.

    But it was a highlight for me to camp on the Peace River.

    After this I did make a run up to Yellowknnife but the best part of that run was stopping at the First Nations villages on the way and talking to the locals. There seems to be a growing interest in keeping the old customs and languages which is what fascinates me the most.

    I did enjoy the Yellowknife airport but spent almost no time in the city.

    About a month later I did make the run up to Inuvik via Dawson City which I really liked and highly recommend. However with the expansion into the Arctic for minerals and oil the traffic is getting heavy with heavy vehicles. In the old days it was a joy but rather dusty to say the least !

    I have made the Arctic run a number of times and suggest overnighting at Eagle Plains . I have stayed at the Arctic Circle parking lot in the winter a few times and than can be ok if your equipment is sound.

    Obviously fuel up at Eagle Springs. Also breakfast and coffee ha ha :)

    also Dawson City on the Yukon River in the Yukon is a good beginning point for food, fuel etc. Also if you choose to take the Top of the World Highway into Alaska at any time you can take the Yukon River ferry across the river and be on your way !

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