The Northwest Territories lies to the east of the Yukon, and is one of Canada’s three northern territories. Its capital, Yellowknife, sits next to Great Slave Lake.
The borders of the present-day territory were determined in 1870, when the Hudson’s Bay Company handed over land in Rupert’s Land and the Northwestern Territory to the Government of Canada. The Yukon provides overland access to Inuvik and Fort MacPherson, NWT via the Dempster Highway. From Inuvik, winter roads provide access to Tuktoyaktuk and Aklavik. You can also turn off the Alaska Highway onto the Liard Trail near Fort Nelson, which will take you to Fort Liard and Fort Simpson, NWT. Travelers should keep in mind that driving from Whitehorse to Yellowknife via the Liard Trail is only for the very adventurous. Most travelers coming from Whitehorse will drive south to Edmonton before turning north again to reach Yellowknife. If you do choose to drive the Liard Trail, be prepared for long distances without services, rough highway conditions, and unpaved roads.