Exploring Nahanni National Park Reserve, Canada

When you are ready for some outdoor adventure, Canada is waiting. Nahanni National Park has so much to offer to those brave enough to come and sample its gifts. Whitewater rivers, alpine tundra and magnificent canyons are just a few of the things Nahanni National Park has to offer its visitors. Do remember, there are no roads or tourist accommodations within this UNESCO’s World Heritage site listed park.

The South Nahanni River starts in the remote Mackenzie Mountains as a little stream filled with boulders. It gains force as it flows past mountain valleys, canyons and gorges. Some of the canyons are 1200 m deep. A premier wilderness river, this is a whitewater rafter’s dream destination.

Lotus Tower, Nahanni National Park

Lotus Tower, Nahanni National Park

The only known habitat of the Nahanni Aster, the park also holds many other kinds of flora. Lodgepole pines, trembling aspens and white and black spruce make up the forest of the park. Crocus also make their appearance in the cooler climes of the park.

The Virginia Falls are located deep in Nahanni National Park. These falls are twice the vertical drop of Niagara Falls. Visitors should bring a camera to capture this spectacular natural wonder. Camping is allowed at the Virginia Falls Campground. However, you must paddle in, so pack light. It is a 2-3 day paddle from Rabbitkettle Lake to the falls.

There are other camping areas located throughout the park. Some adventurous whitewater rafters may choose to stay on an island in South Nahanni River. There are outhouses and food caches here. Primitive camping but an amazing view with the sounds of the river lulling you to sleep.

Kraus Hotsprings is a relaxing place to rest. Dip into the thermal springs as you take in all of the majesty around you.  There is an outhouse, a check-in station and a food cache here. A perfect place to camp but please remember to refrain from using soap in the hot springs.

Nahanni National Park is teeming with wildlife. Caribou, Dall sheep, white and black wolves, moose and bears all roam through the park. Grizzly, black bear and cinnamon bear all enjoy the park. Sometimes the camping areas overflow with berries and must be shut down due to bear foraging. The closures are specifically to prevent human/bear encounters. Please adhere to all rules regarding bear safety in the park.

Cirque of Unclimbables, Nahanni National Park,

Bears also share the waters of the Nahanni River with fishers. Enjoy catching glimpses of bears as you try to catch whitefish, artic grayling, trout and northern pike from the pristine waters. Or grab a paddle and canoe along the canyons enjoying the scenery of the towering walls and narrow gorges.

Hiking is also a great way to spend the day (or the week) in Nahanni National Park. There are no ‘trails’ in the park. So-called trails are marked by burned-out trees, bends in the river, and giant boulders. The hike to Sunblood Mountain calls for ‘following the sheep path’. Be prepared with extra food and water.

The best time to visit Nahanni National Park Reserve is between June and August as South Nahanni is in serious spring flood up until early June and sometimes even later.

There is nothing that can top an adventurous vacation in the Nahanni National Park. Visit today and experience the wonders for yourself.

Image source : Wikimedia Commons

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