See the best of Canada's Northwest Territories on a southern road trip

It’s the very definition of a wild road trip.

Here, the highways wind through a boundless Northern wilderness, where herds of hulking bison block traffic. Pull over whenever you feel the urge and cast for quick-biting Northern Pike in innumerable roadside creeks, rivers, and lakes. Dig your toes into the sand on the shores of a great Canadian lake, before a short stroll takes you to your clean, comfortable campsite. Follow the roaring echo from just off the highway to watch a mighty river that tumbles over the side of the cliff.

Holy Grail: The First SUP Descent of the Mountain River

It was the first stand-up paddleboard descent of the iconic Mountain River—but that was hardly the point of experiencing one of the continent’s last great wildernesses. It’s July 1st, the start of our two-week voyage down the famed Mountain River in the Northwest Territories. We’re eating bacon and pancakes drenched in maple syrup, listening to The Tragically Hip, and it’s the country’s 150th birthday to boot. It doesn’t get more Canadian than this.

The Haunting History of This Canadian National Park

Dark mountain spires pierce the fog against a steely sky, making Nahanni National Park seem more akin to Mordor than Canada. The park can only be accessed by boat or floatplane by intrepid travelers seeking to conquer the rapids of the Nahanni River or summit the formidable Cirque of the Unclimbables. Its impenetrable forest and mountains may be the primary reason Nahanni sees limited visitors, but perhaps it’s also because the park is shrouded in macabre legends befitting of its menacing landscape.