Nahanni trips start in Fort Simpson, a small Dene (aboriginal) village at the confluence of the Liard and Mackenzie Rivers, or Norman Wells, a small community on the Mackenzie River in Canada’s Northwest Territories. Whether your trip starts in Ft. Simpson or Norman Wells depends on the specific trip. Check your trip information package for confirmation of this.
Check the itinerary in your trip information package to determine when you must arrive in Fort Simpson/Norman Wells. We will fly from Fort Simpson/Norman Wells to Nahanni National Park by chartered float plane. There are no roads to the park.
Getting There By Air
We arrange an optional discount fare with First Air for the flight to Fort Simpson or Norman Wells from Edmonton, Alberta. The fare will be lower than the least expensive internet fare. All you need to do is book a flight from your home to Edmonton.
1) Reserving your Edmonton - Ft. Simpson/Norman Wells flight with First Air:
Just check the box on application form if you want the discount air package. First Air will reserve a seat for you. Confirmation and payment is required approx. 60 days prior to your departure. The flight itinerary for this flight is in your trip information package. We can arrange a custom itinerary if you wish to spend time in Yellowknife or Fort Simpson on route.
2) Booking your flight from your home to Edmonton:
Normally you will arrive in Edmonton the day before your trip and depart from Edmonton the day after your trip. Check the First Air itinerary in your trip information package before booking your flight to Edmonton. You’ll find the cheapest fares on line. You can research the options at on-line travel agents such as Expedia or from the website of the specific airlines. See links below.
When You Arrive
We will pick you up when you arrive at Fort Simpson or Norman Wells Airport on the first day of the trip and take you to the Black Feather base in the village. Here we will make final preparations for our charter flight into the river that afternoon (weather permitting).
If you choose to arrive earlier than the designated first day of the trip you’ll need to take a cab to your hotel or the campground. Feel free to drop by the Black Feather base to introduce yourself to your guides.
Getting There By Road
Although most people fly to Fort Simpson it is possible to drive. If you have the time it may be an interesting choice. From Alberta you drive north from Edmonton to Peace River then on to the NWT eventually taking the MacKenzie Highway (HWY. 1) to Fort Simpson. From BC drive from Prince George north to just past Fort Nelson to where the Liard Highway (HWY. 7) heads north to Fort Simpson. There is a ferry that crosses the Liard River just before you reach Fort Simpson. It runs about every 2 hours.
Travel in the north poses considerable logistical challenges and may require a positive attitude and patience. Weather, primitive infrastructure and communications, vast distances, rugged conditions and extreme remoteness can make everyday activities an adventure in the north. If you or your luggage are delayed, just call our office and tell us about your situation. We’ll do our best to help you on your way.
Your registration package will include a list of recommended hotels in Edmonton, Yellowknife, Norman Wells and Fort Simpson. Most people will require at least one hotel on route to the rendezvous.
Travelling on ‘Points’
It may be possible to travel all or part of the way to your Nahanni trip on ‘points’. Northern travel is expensive so this may be a good time to spend some air miles. The following airlines are Aeroplan Partners:
- Air Canada
- First Air
- Canadian North
The First Air aircraft from Yellowknife to Fort Simpson is small and has only a few ‘points’ seats on each flight so an early reservation with Aeroplan is recommended. Going a day early or leaving a day late may get you all the way there on points.