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Old 08-20-2013, 03:28 PM   #1
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Yellowknife or whitehorse

Looking for any information from anyone on traveling to or from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories and/or Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. Thinking about a September 2014 trip. Thanks
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Old 08-20-2013, 04:25 PM   #2
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Well finally somebody that likes my favorite city, Yellowknife,NWT I have only been there once, but it was enough to make me want to come back, in the worst way.

First its a long ride; I recall parked in Edmonton, AB. , looking at the map and where I had come from , South Michigan USA....Then, i looked at how far was left to my destination, considering we were already a long way north....well, I still had a thousand miles to go !...and not a lot in between ether. That was 8 years ago and all this while I have been planing in the back corners of the mind the next trip to Yellowknife.

The first thing I would encourage you to do is look up their website , its great, fact there are several I have joined that promote the NWT..It was a trip I actually had been planing since i was 14 years old and looking at my map of NA...and I wondered, I wondered so much that I started collecting info. on all of Northern Canada, but the NWT was a special place, then and again when I finally got there. There is a feeling you will get, once you cross the 60th parallel, you know you have arrived at the border. I exited the coach and was greeted by the largest black fly's I had ever seen , they were the size of medium sized birds ! The bugs were mostly show however , it was late July , things had settled down in the north country for the short Summer.

Then it was on to Yellowknife, the Mackenzie Highway is paved and in good condition. First stop Hay River for the night., we settled the ills of a crowed camp ground by just driving our Monaco right out on the beach, no one cared , It was a wonderful evening , watching the sky over Great Slave Lake, an inland ocean ! I stayed up till after midnight just gazing at a Sun that never did set, it just danced around in the Sky sometimes cloud cover , sometimes not it was wonderful but hard to explain. The next day it was north bound once more, we stoped at several secnic sites and roadside parks, they were fascinating, here so far north and most likely seldom seen by visitors from the States..eventually , we came to the mighty Mackenzie River, boarded the ferry and then back on land dodging huge boulders, stunted trees and now mostly gravel roadway. ,. This went on for a good part of the Morning, then a sign appeared around the rocks and and dusty roadway stirred up by large trucks, not so great a welcoming, but interesting. The sign did say Yellowknife ? I checked again, yes we were there, but for what, nothing !... Then almost as if magic appeared in plain site a huge International Airport, jets going and coming every 5 min. it seemed. after that was Yellowknife, a modern , new , all new , city dropped right in the middle of what seemed very desolate , yet welcoming. Yellowknife hugs the Great Slave Lake shore line. There is the new city and then for more fun , the old town with a mountain in between that made for a panoramic view.Great resterants, , shops, history st the very modern visiators center, the parlement buildings that reminded us we were in the Capital of the NWT. ! In the middle of town a big lake and thats where the campground was, always full, but because we were so large ( anything over thirty feet was breaking news back then ) they put us right on the Lake, by the boat ramp, that never closed, people were water sking at midnight.

OK , I have rambled, mostly to see if you are still interested, next year is in my plans too, just not set a date, too early. There is so much more I can tell, and I will , this is enough for now except, I must remind people this id the Frontier, the last outpost for the Diamond Mines, and the gold mines. WE in the end had 800 miles of gravel road, on and on. I would be happy to help you plan a trip, let me know your plans and thoughts.
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Old 08-20-2013, 04:44 PM   #3
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Darstar said it right...Yellowknife is the Frontier. It's like stepping back in time. I was there last September for work (work for the RCMP) and the weather was as perfect as I could have dreamed.

Whitehorse is of course in the Yukon and get more traffic with all the folks going to Alaska. It is much more "modern" and I would say very nice as well.

To make the choice or recommendation I think you need to consider what you want from either great city.

Modern - go Yukon
Frontier - CLEARLY go NWT. The mines are great. One can buy really nice local made clothes from skins (really great quality and attractive) and local items.

I WILL say that Yellowknife has a little issue with the locals and drinking. They never bother anyone, but don't be surprised to see them sitting on a bench drinking hard booze at 7am after payday at the mines.

They don't mean no harm, they are just enjoying the morning. At the RCMP we just pick them up, give them a place to sleep, and release them in the morning. We don't even bother getting their names or printing them. Again, they aren't causing any problems, but we don't want them scaring the visitors.

Remember that there is a LOT of diamonds and gold coming out of the mines, but the workers don't make much at all. Of course, their lifestyle doesn't require much money either.

Hey, if you have ever seen "Ice Road Truckers" or "Ice Pilots" then you have an idea what the locals are like. Hearty people just living life the way they want.

Again, I would go NWT. I can go to a "city" almost anywhere. Don't get me wrong, Whitehorse is VERY nice as well. You could do both seeing you are that far north.
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Old 08-20-2013, 05:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrushl View Post
Darstar said it right...Yellowknife is the Frontier. It's like stepping back in time. I was there last September for work (work for the RCMP) and the weather was as perfect as I could have dreamed.

Whitehorse is of course in the Yukon and get more traffic with all the folks going to Alaska. It is much more "modern" and I would say very nice as well.

To make the choice or recommendation I think you need to consider what you want from either great city.

Modern - go Yukon
Frontier - CLEARLY go NWT. The mines are great. One can buy really nice local made clothes from skins (really great quality and attractive) and local items.
Thanks for the support, most people never heard of Yellowknife before Ice Road Truckers a few years back. The early episodes were the best, and yes the setting was Yellolwknife.

I saw Yellowknife a little different than you. Don't recall any drunks , and I met people who worked in the Diamond Mines who were pulling down over 125,000 for 7-8 months work. I know of Contractors that have made millions up there , so , there is quite a contrast. The First nation peoples do have a serious drinking problem , and the villages you visit, where they live can be quite run down. There ARE clutural differences to, as you may know. with the two factions not getting along, the Indians and the Inuet's . I have been to the terrorial Prison to but carvings ( fabulous stuff ! ) I saw the conflict and the problems in the prisons too.

AS far as modern , Yellowknife is way more modern than Whitehorse.. You must not have gotten around town much ?.AS to remoteness , most visitors to Yellowknife are Canadians, and , they fly in and out. Its more a party town than a Frontier as one would think , rustic log cabins, and not newly paved multi lane highways,as in Yellowknife.

AS far as Whitehorse , its a quite boring place, been there several times. Always interesting and the Capital of the YK. but still boring, to me.... However , it would be easy to fo both, I did that , and returned via the Cassier Hy. way more secenic than the AK, Hy. by far ! ( except for Muncho Lake , my favorite stop on the Ak.
I WILL say that Yellowknife has a little issue with the locals and drinking. They never bother anyone, but don't be surprised to see them sitting on a bench drinking hard booze at 7am after payday at the mines.

They don't mean no harm, they are just enjoying the morning. At the RCMP we just pick them up, give them a place to sleep, and release them in the morning. We don't even bother getting their names or printing them. Again, they aren't causing any problems, but we don't want them scaring the visitors.

Remember that there is a LOT of diamonds and gold coming out of the mines, but the workers don't make much at all. Of course, their lifestyle doesn't require much money either.

Hey, if you have ever seen "Ice Road Truckers" or "Ice Pilots" then you have an idea what the locals are like. Hearty people just living life the way they want.

Again, I would go NWT. I can go to a "city" almost anywhere. Don't get me wrong, Whitehorse is VERY nice as well. You could do both seeing you are that far north.
Sorry to have steped all over your post , I was in the wrong place for a reply. I hope everyone can see who is who, could be con fusing.
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