Yes, I was talking about the midnight sun in Canada’s Northwest Territories, where summer daylight is permanent. So don’t forget, the midnight sun is so weird that you have to see it. Two a.m. (2 a.m.) looks like our Toronto noon in the golden sunshine. Birds chirping all night, children playing, fishermen fishing and golfers golfing. Campers spend all their days walking around, eating lunch at midnight and crawling into their sleeping bags in the morning – because really, when each day is blissfully infinite, you just do what you feel like doing. This is why the midnight sun is so stunning and strange.
Paddlers enjoy a 24-hour day in various national parks or near islands, rivers or lakes. There, the sun rises for summer on April 30 and doesn’t set until August 13, three and a half months later. Even areas as far south as Fort Simpson don’t get truly dark from May to July.
Canoeing or Kayaking:
People have traveled north here by canoe since time immemorial. There were no roads, the network of lakes and rivers served as highways. Traveling from the barrenlands in the east, the tundra to the Mackenzie Mountains in the west and the open Arctic Ocean at the top of the world, a history from ancient times. Today, these historic waterways attract intrepid canoeists, intrepid kayakers, water rafters and paddleboarding professionals from around the world. Open doors for them 24 hours a day. Even if you are inexperienced, you can definitely take part in the fun and excitement of canoeing or kayaking on a guided tour.
Every trip across the legendary lakes and famous rivers of the North can be an unforgettable experience. A serene canoe trip can find the love of life with majestic nature and unique feelings that touch the heart.
Although the summer sun never sets in the Northwest Territories, it doesn’t stand still in the sky either. Instead, it circles the heavens in a diagonal loop, reaching its zenith at midday and grazing the horizon at midnight. It looks unobservable, incomparable and phenomenal.
Make sure to bring your sunscreen before going there. Because of the low-angle sun, your skin will likely burn when you lie on the beach or even while standing. Be careful of reflected UV radiation in clear, clean water of rivers or lakes. Many hapless travelers burned their foreheads.
Photographers go crazy for the midnight sun, as the region offers magical evening and dawn light that gives photos a brilliant glow. In the Northwest Territories, the coveted “Photographic Golden Hour” lasts until the end of the summer months.
Amazing landscapes, majestic animals and brilliant summer flora; Plus with incredible northern light, there’s no shortage of subjects for photographers. Specialized photography tour guides can take you up close to iconic wildlife such as muskox, arctic fox and bison and offer tips on how to capture the best shots. You’ll also enjoy basking in the midnight sun, a breathtaking natural phenomenon that creates a magical color known as the 24-hour golden hour.
If you plan to go camping, be sure to bring a sleeping-mask. Why? Daylight stimulates the photoreceptive ganglia in your eyes, which tell your pineal gland to stop making melatonin. Melatonin is what makes you feel drowsy and lowers your body temperature in preparation for sleep. So sleeping-mask will save you from insomnia. Fortunately, hotel rooms in the Northwest Territories are usually equipped with “blackout blinds” to keep sunlight out at night.
The Northwest Territories has more than a dozen regional campgrounds and more regional national parks, spanning tundra, mountain peaks, waterfalls, torrential rivers, and vast lakes as well as oceans. You can camp in a fully-furnished campground, start a campfire to warm your site. Or you can simply drop your backpack and head into the wilderness and explore the area under the midnight sun.
After settling into your spacious campsite, keep your zoom lens at the ready, taking in the spectacular display of sparkling waterfalls under the midnight sun. Embark on a nature walk between well-kept communities, to witness the peaceful grazing of wild bison. The spectacular world of the North is closer than you think; A life-changing connection with nature awaits you.
Some animals are particularly adapted to endless daylight, adapting to the change. Caribou have a gene component that prevents them from needing to sleep on a regular 24-hour cycle. Instead, they remain active throughout the bright arctic summer, only sporadically falling asleep.
The Northwest Territory is divided by the Arctic Circle. This is the imaginary line where, on June 21 – the summer ‘solstice’ – the sun does not dip below the horizon. The further north you go from the Arctic Circle, the longer the sun will be with you. At the northernmost point of the earth, the North Pole, the sun remains overhead for six months.
There are two easy ways to reach the Arctic Circle. You can drive the incredible Dempster Highway, the only road in Canada that crosses the circle. The 735 km long Dempster Highway was built in 1979 and roughly crosses the Arctic Circle, following traditional First Nation transportation routes starting in the Yukon. Secondly, you can also embark on a sea-going ship.
If you’re only heading north for a short day, opt for the summer solstice, June 21, when the endless fun will keep you active all night long. Throughout the Northwest Territories, National Aboriginal Day celebrations will bring local parks into a frenzy of Aboriginal food, music and dance, often into the wee hours of the morning.
From time immemorial it has been a real and genuine, immersive tribal abode. Here, lifestyles and cultures are as old as the soil and land.
The indigenous experience is that the unbroken land of the region is permanent in their hearts and makes it uniquely what they call home. In 33 communities across the region, there is a traditional link of life and knowledge. You can take the opportunity to store 24 hours of meaningful and memorable outstanding experiences.
Because of the favorable environment, the midnight sun is like rocket fuel for northern plants. In Inuvik’s large community greenhouse, sunflowers grow up to 14 feet tall.
The all-time high temperature in the Northwest Territories occurred on July 18, 1941 at Fort Smith, when the mercury reached 39.4°C (103°F)—more than the all-time high temperature in Hawaii. When this type of situation arises, the only solution is to take a dip in the water to cool off.
Don’t forget to play golf under the midnight sun. Several towns have three to nine hole courses, some with putting greens or artificial turf and even clubhouses. The nine-hole course at Uluhaktoek on Victoria Island is the world’s most northerly golf course, the most notable cold spot for golf.
24 Hours Fishing:
Visit any of the famous fishing lodges and spend the day with expert guides fishing for forty pound trout in Great Bear Lake. Enjoy fine dining at your leisure. Return to the lake to fish again and again under a sky that is never night or dark.
The regions are home to an extraordinary variety of fish, both pleasing in size and number. Here, the fish are really so big that it is unbelievable to see.
Northern Lights (Aurora) and Aboriginal Culture:
As autumn and winter approach, the midnight sun no longer exists, turning into longer nights and shorter days, as the Northern Lights (Aurora) appear, awakening the northern sky with more sweetness.
Wherever you decide to explore, you can be sure that there will be plenty of scenic, fun outdoor activities to match your interests and sense of adventure.
Take time to listen to the legendary story of the aurora and then bask in the spectacular glow of our Northern Lights. Discover the deep timeless connection people have with Aurora. Indigenous cultures of the north have lived under the aurora and may be interested in their experiences; The collective experience of viewing the Northern Lights while learning about their cultural significance can be a magical and memorable experience.
A region of undeniable natural beauty:
One of the most spectacular aspects of the Northwest Territories is the diversity and beauty of the northern natural environment and majestic wildlife. Here, the timeless and enduring world of the North is always close at hand, and easily accessible.