If you want to delve deep into the Northwest Territories of Canada, then nothing will give you a more authentic experience than a night of camping at 60th Parallel Territorial Park.
Your adventure will begin the moment you pack your camping gear and find yourself driving along the highway and staring in awe at the beautiful landscape that surrounds you. Long ribbons of the road ahead of you, boreal forests, astounding waterfalls, plains, verdent valleys, and glorious mountains will cross your path. The trip to the park itself is nothing short of mind-blowing.
Once you are at the park, be prepared to have tons of recreational activities at your fingertips. There are camps at scenic spots for the overnighters, fish in the beautiful Hay River, berries everywhere, and hiking trails to enjoy the magnificent surroundings.
This park, sitting right on the border with Alberta, is owned and managed by the Government of the Northwest Territories and as soon as you make your entrance to the park, the parallel visitor staff will be there to welcome you with a warm smile and cooperative demeanor. They’d offer you tons of flyers to keep you informed and tell you all about the exciting happenings at the park.
If you are a fan of long drives and are particularly a highway adventurer, then you’d love the uncrowded Mackenzie Highway that provides a dramatic view of scenic wilderness along the way. If you don't fancy driving you can also utilize the public bus services that goes directly to the park.
If coming by car or RV follow Alberta Highway 35 North that will take you to NWT Highway 1 South of Hay River. From there, it’s simply a matter of following directions until you reach your desired destination. The route is beautiful so you’ll need to keep your camera at the ready. The highways are wide and well-maintained
60th Parallel Territorial Park has one campground adjacent to the visitor information center with seven non-powered campsites. All the campsites are back-in and situated among birch and aspen trees, providing shade and privacy. The spots are cozy and pets are allowed on the campgrounds as long as they are leashed.
.The campsites offer no electric or water hook-ups. The campground is situated close to the boat launch area, washrooms, dump station, playground, and beach area. Fishing stations are also available along with firewood at the campground. The campsites offer spectacular views of Hay River and the surrounding Nahanni Mountains.
Some of the world’s most beautiful hiking trails reside in 60th Parallel Territorial Park. Campers and visitors alike can take advantage of the many different trails that vary in both length and difficulty. Liard Trail is an uphill hike that offers stunning views of the Liard River below and the Nahanni Mountains in the backdrop.Heritage Route is an easy trek over a paved trail that takes hiker through dense forests, rolling hills, glistening lakes, and towering mountains. Wood Buffalo Route offers hikers the chance to spot bison as well as pelicans and cranes. No matter what trail you decide to take you can be sure that it will lead to spectacular views and an amazing outdoor experience.
Make sure to visit the visitors center right next to the 60th Parallel Territorial Park to inquire about the different activities at the park. Among them, you’ll find packages that allow you to partake in many watersports. Campers that prefer kayaking, canoeing or paddleboarding can take advantage of the boat launch area located close to the campgrounds to take the waters and do some exploration of their own.
Hay River is nicknamed the ‘Hub of the North” because of the hub of activities that always surrounds it, especially in the summers when the place is full of enthusiastic anglers, in addition to other watersports seekers.
Not only is Hay River one of the largest in Alberta, but the fish found in it are true freshwater monsters. Keen anglers have a chance to catch some truly astounding sized Arctic Grayling, Burbot, Northern Pike, Walleye and many other species of fish in the river.
60th Parallel Territorial Park offers campers a scenic picnic area that overlooks Hay River. Be it summer, winter, or spring, the views remain beautiful throughout the year.
The park offers visitors picnic tables, drinking water, and washroom facilities to make the picnic experience more comfortable and enjoyable. The park facilities also provide a fully equipped playground for the kids to have an equally exciting day out picnicking.
On September 29, 1961, The Great Slave Lake Railway integrated to make a connecting line from Grimshaw, Alberta to the Hay River in the Northwest Territories. It also led to the discovery of Pine Point where a large deposit of lead-zinc was mined to help with the industrial boom.
The Park center is also a museum that educates visitors on aboriginal history with various displays of aboriginal arts and crafts. The park center is a great way to learn and understand the way of life of the natives that once thrived in these lands.
The wilderness is, of course, home to an abundance of wildlife. During your camping stay, you are likely to come across or spot many types of animals and birds. Moose, bear, bison, buffalo and deer are just some of the larger beasts that dwell in this vast landscape. Since the campsites are nestled among aspen and birch trees, bears might get a little too close. Make sure to keep your food in bear safe boxes. You might also catch a glimpse of large grizzlies, black bears, and wolves that reside in the boreal forests.