Great Slave Lake stretches to the northern horizon like a vast inland sea. It’s one of the biggest, deepest freshwater lakes on the planet and the second largest lake within Canada. We call it the Big Lake. Here, on its south shore in Great Slave Gateway, there are sandy beaches stretching for miles.
The largest community is Hay River, connected to southern Canada by rail, road and air. Far from the ocean, this is an Arctic port where tugs and barges prepare for the long trip down the Mackenzie River and along the Arctic coast. Take a boat tour of the harbour and shipyards on the Hay River.
Drive east to the Slave River delta. Along this route there are natural sand beaches, great fishing holes and campgrounds. The Slave River delta at Fort Resolution is relatively untouched, much as it was when the first trading post was established over 200 years ago. There's an abundance of birds and wildlife. There's wildlife on the highway, too, so watch for bison and bears.
Winter or summer, head out on the water from Hay River. Rent a canoe or charter a Great Slave Lake fishing boat to sample a day in the life of a commercial fisherman. Charter a cruiser and steer west to the headwaters of the Mackenzie River where waterfowl nest in summer. There are fishing lodges at prime locations nearby. In winter, travel on the lake ice to view the aurora on clear nights, far from the city lights.