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North America > Canada > Northern Canada > Northwest Territories > Hay River

Hay River

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The town of Hay River is in Northwest Territories in northern Canada. A drivable northern destination for ice fishing and sport fishing.


Alexandra Falls

Hay River is a small town on the shore of Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories on Canada. The town is home to the Northern Transportation Company Limited, and serves as a transportation hub of the north, as goods are transferred from rail and truck to barges to be sent across Great Slave Lake, up the Mackenzie River and to many isolated northern communities and industrial sites. It has all-season road access, making it a destination in both summer and winter, uninterrupted during the spring breakup and fall freeze up seasons. Be warned: northern towns are often not very pretty, but the surrounding area is often breathtaking.

Get in[edit]

Drive from Edmonton (approximately 12 hours) or Yellowknife (approximately 5 hours). Fly direct from Edmonton on Northwestern Air (a small northern airline) 5 days a week. Fly from Yellowknife on First Air or Landa Aviation (you can get to Yellowknife from the south on Westjet or Air Canada).

Get around[edit]

By car is the best way, but taxis are not very expensive. Most areas are accessible if you don't mind walking.


  • Wildlife: moose, bear, deer, wood buffalo
  • The natural world: the northern lights, spring ice jams, Alexandra Falls, and Louise Falls on the Hay River, pressure ridges on Great Slave Lake

Great Slave Lake is the deepest lake in North America and the ninth largest lake in the world.


Ice fishing in Hay River

Excellent summer and ice fishing on Great Slave Lake for whitefish, lake trout, and perch. Ice fishing tours and bombardier tours in the winter on Great Slave Lake. Summer sport fishing and tours of the eastern arm of the lake, and commercial fishing demonstrations. Contact Great Slave Lake Tours 867-874-3617.


  • Local fish in the West Channel Fishing Village or at The Docks
  • Local Art and Food in the summer at the Fishermen's Wharf.
  • Gifts and coffee at She Takes the Cake downtown.
  • Typical small town stores like Home Hardware, Fields and NorthMart.
  • Local Art at the Hay River Tourism Center .


  • Family dining: The Back Eddy (try the Back Eddy Burger or any fish dish)
  • Bar/Lounge: The Back Eddy, The Dog House Pub at the Ptarmigan Inn
  • Family dining/coffee: M&M Bakery has great coffee and lunch options
  • Dessert/Baked Goods: She Takes the Cake downtown. Great coffees, fancy drinks and delicious cup cakes.
  • More options in town


  • Alcohol: The Back Eddy, The Pub at the Ptarmigan Inn
  • Coffee: M&M Bakery, She Takes the Cake
Hay River Beach with Great Slave Lake in the background
  • The Ptarmigan Inn
  • The Cambridge Executive Suites (contact Greenway Accommodation)
  • 1 Harbour Inn Bed & Breakfast, 31 Capital Dr, +1 867-874-2233.
  • Anchorage B&B (contact Greenway Accommodation)
  • Camping at the twin falls south of town, or at the Hay River Campground on the lake


Go next[edit]

Check out:

Routes through Hay River
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