In the summer, about the time the ice leaves the Barren Lands, you can feel the midnight sun on your face.
Fly in to MacKay Lake Lodge, 240 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife, and breathe in this vast land. Watch tundra wolves, grizzly bears and hundreds of caribou. Experience some of the best fishing — for lake trout, northern pike and Arctic grayling — in the world. Come August, be dazzled by the aurora borealis.
“The Barren Lands are not barren, but full of life, including herds of migrating caribou and resident muskox, and ducks, swans and geese that fly north to have their young,” says Gary Jaeb, who has been introducing visitors to wildlife with True North Safaris since 1986.
Wild Aurora Bear Camp, a second lodge two hours southwest of Yellowknife, was once a Tlicho hunting and trapping cabin. Here you’ll find black bears and the largest land mammal in North America, the wood bison.
Whatever season you come north, you’ll find much to marvel at both in the wild, and inside the operation’s warm, comfortable lodges where delicious food is served, and drumming, hand dances and other Dene cultural activities take place.
“People book to go fishing, then they experience the lodge, the meals, guiding and the drum dance at the end of the week,” says Jaeb.
More and more, he explains, visitors come to be immersed in the aurora borealis. “Up here at MacKay Lake, it’s like you’re inside a teepee, with the aurora streaming down all around you.”