National Geographic’s 50 Places of a Lifetime
October 05, 2013
The National Geographic Society has announced Canada’s “50 Places of a Lifetime”. Six of the 50 are ‘north of 56’.
Mr. Keith Bellows, Editor in Chief of National Geographic Travel picked out the 50 places. Those ‘north of 56’ were:
- Churchill, Manitoba. “No paved roads lead directly into the tiny town of Churchill, Manitoba, on the remote, southwestern shores of Hudson Bay, so you’ll have to arrive by train or plane to see the area’s most famous seasonal residents—polar bears. Each fall, about a thousand migrate to Churchill, earning it the nickname the “polar bear capital of the world.” Here, the planet’s largest land carnivores await winter, when the bay freezes and they can perch on the ice and hunt for ringed seals. Summertime brings thousands of migrating beluga whales to the town’s coast—and a new reason to visit.”
- Nahanni, NWT. “Stand at the thundering precipice of 302-foot-high Virginia Falls, almost twice the height of Niagara Falls. See rare orchids thriving in its billowing mist. Watch from the 4,757-foot summit of Sunblood Mountain as Dall sheep leap from crag to crag. Examine Rabbitkettle’s volcanic Tufa Mounds, or luxuriate neck-deep with mud masks in Kraus Hotsprings. “
- Whitehorse and Yukon Territory. “During the 1897-98 Klondike Gold Rush, thousands of wealth-seekers stampeded through the Yukon—over the brutal Chilkoot Trail from Alaska; through treacherous rapids where the capital, Whitehorse, now stands; and down the Yukon River to Dawson City and its goldfields. Today visitors can hike the raw, mountain moonscapes of the Chilkoot; walk Dawson’s dusty, historic streets; and enjoy the charms of Whitehorse, a small city built around a love of the vast outdoors that still surrounds it all these years later.”
- Auyuittuq and Sirmilik National Parks, Nunavut. “These remote national parks in the high Arctic of Nunavut’s Baffin Island feature jagged, frosted mountain ranges, traditional Inuit villages, glacier-carved fjords, and vast, uninhabited tundra.”
- Liard Hot Springs, BC. “Follow a wooden boardwalk path through a warm-water swamp and boreal forest to soak in Canada’s second largest hot springs. Originally known as Tropical Valley for its lush terrain, Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park in British Columbia encompasses about eight pools, one of which is open to bathers. The thermal waters simmer between 108° and 126°F in the rustic public pool, making the park a popular rest stop for drivers on the nearby Alaska Highway. “
- Yellowknife and Great Slave Lake, NWT. “Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories, is an isolated mining town built on gold and now sustained by diamonds—an outpost of civilization surrounded by a vast, austere landscape of rock and tundra and water—most notably, the enormous Great Slave Lake, on whose shore the city is built. Come for the wilderness and stay for the people, who know how to make their own fun in this raw country.” The photo of Yellowknife shows the splendor of the northern lights.
So many places to choose from. Other places that are awesome and truly worth a visit: Dawson City, the Dempster Highway, Tuktoyaktuk NWT and Pangnirtung, Nunavut. There are marvelous sites in northern Quebec (Nunavik).
Few Canadians have visited the north. It’s vastness and beauty offer unlimited tourism potential to these Canadians and the other 7 billion people around the world.