Nova Niven is Now Accepting Applications! Apply Now to Secure Your Position!
Skip to content Skip to footer

Summer in Yellowknife: Enjoying the Warmer Side of the North

When people think of Yellowknife, the capital of Canada’s Northwest Territories, the first images that often come to mind are icy landscapes and the spectacular Northern Lights. However, this vibrant city nestled on the shores of Great Slave Lake has so much more to offer, especially during the summer months. Yellowknife is genuinely a year-round destination, with its unique summer experience providing a refreshing contrast to the cold and enchanting winter season. This blog aims to peel back the layers of this northern gem during its warmer days. Here, we will explore what summer looks like in Yellowknife, detailing the climate specifics that make it pleasantly surprising and showcasing a variety of activities that both locals and visitors can enjoy under the midnight sun. Whether you’re contemplating a visit or looking to make a more permanent move, join us as we unravel the summer treasures of Yellowknife.

Summer in Yellowknife: Climate

The summer in Yellowknife from June through August usher in an unexpectedly warm respite from its chilly reputation. The temperature averages from 12°C to 24°C (53°F to 75°F), making for pleasantly warm days that are ideal for exploring the great outdoors. One of the most remarkable aspects of summer in Yellowknife is the phenomenon of the midnight sun, with daylight extending for up to 20 hours during the solstice period in June. This continuous daylight gradually decreases as the season progresses towards August, yet the city enjoys long hours of sunlight throughout summer.

As the season transitions from June to August, the climate varies subtly. Early June can still have a crispness in the air, while July often represents the apex of warmth, inviting residents and visitors alike to bask in the outdoor activities available. By August, there’s a slight dip in temperature, and the environment begins to hint at the approaching autumn, especially during the nights.

For those residing in or visiting Yellowknife, this period means adapting to a more outdoor-centric lifestyle, taking full advantage of the extended daylight to explore, participate in festivals, and enjoy the natural beauty that comes alive during these warmer months. The change in climate from the cool onset of June to the milder yet still warm August also influences the types of activities suitable for each part of summer, from water sports on Great Slave Lake to late-summer hiking when the landscape begins its slow shift towards fall.

Outdoor Activities

Water-Based Activities

Outdoor Water-Based Activities in Yellowknife

Yellowknife’s summer transforms it into a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, and at the heart of this transformation is Great Slave Lake – one of the deepest lakes in North America. The lake’s expansive, crystal-clear waters become the playground for various water-based activities that appeal to people of all ages and skill levels.

Fishing: The Great Slave Lake is an unparalleled fishing experience. The lake is teeming with abundant fish, including giant pike, trout, and Arctic grayling, making it a premier destination for anglers. Whether you prefer the serenity of fly fishing or the excitement of deep-water fishing, the lake offers it all. For novices and those looking to enhance their fishing experience, guided fishing trips are available, providing the equipment and expertise needed and local knowledge that significantly increases the chances of a successful catch.

Boating: Getting on the lake is another popular activity, offering a unique perspective of Yellowknife’s stunning shoreline and the untouched wilderness beyond. Visitors can rent boats to explore independently or join guided tours leading to scenic and often secluded spots around the lake. Sunset cruises are recommended for a breathtaking horizon view as the sun dips below it, painting the sky in vivid hues.

Kayaking and canoeing: Present more serene ways to explore Great Slave Lake’s vast waters. Paddling through the calm lake, explorers can enjoy the water’s tranquillity, the paddle’s rhythm, and the close encounters with nature. It’s common to spot eagles soaring above or catch glimpses of wildlife along the shores. Wildlife viewing excursions are available for those looking for a guided experience. These tours are designed to bring you close to the local fauna, including the majestic bald eagle and other bird species, offering thrilling experiences and the chance to learn about the ecosystem from knowledgeable guides.

Yellowknife’s Great Slave Lake, with its crystal-clear waters and rich wildlife diversity, offers many water-based activities suited to adventure seekers and nature lovers alike. Lasting memories are guaranteed, whether you’re casting a line into the deep blue, paddling quietly along the coast, or simply soaking in the panoramic views on a leisurely boat ride.

Hiking and Exploring

Summer in Yellowknife when you rent a luxury apartment from

Exploring the rugged, picturesque landscapes around Yellowknife on foot offers an immersive experience. The area’s vast network of hiking trails and nature walks caters to adventurers of all skill levels, from casual walkers to experienced hikers looking for their next challenge.

Frame Lake Trail: A favourite among locals and visitors alike, this moderately easy trail circumnavigates Frame Lake, right in the heart of Yellowknife. Offering stunning views of the city and its natural surroundings, the trail is well-marked and accessible, making it ideal for a leisurely afternoon walk. Along the way, hikers can enjoy the sight of local vegetation and the occasional sighting of wildlife, such as foxes and birds.

Cameron River Falls Trail: For those seeking more adventure, this trail promises a more challenging hike that leads to the breathtaking Cameron Falls. Approximately a 45-minute drive from Yellowknife, this hike takes you through lush boreal forests and offers spectacular views of the cascading waterfalls at the trail’s end. The path can be rocky and uneven, so appropriate footwear is recommended.

Prosperous Lake Territorial Park: Ideal for both hiking and paddling enthusiasts, Prosperous Lake offers several trails that vary in difficulty. Hikers can enjoy the serene beauty of the lake and its surrounding wilderness. It’s common to spot a range of wildlife, including bears (from a safe distance), moose, and various bird species, making it a thrilling experience for nature lovers.

The unique flora and fauna come to life during the summer months. Hikers can marvel at the vibrant wildflowers that dot the landscape, including the territorial flower, the Mountain Avens. The extensive daylight hours under the midnight sun provide ample opportunity to observe the diverse wildlife in their natural habitat, making every hike a discovery.

Whether you’re drawn to the tranquil lakeside paths or the more strenuous treks that offer panoramic views of Yellowknife’s untamed beauty, the region’s trails deliver splendid isolation and an intimate connection with nature. From the rich tapestry of boreal forests to the sparkling water bodies that reflect the summer sky, hiking around Yellowknife is an adventure that beautifully blends physical activity with the tranquillity of the natural world.

Camping and Overnight Adventures

Summer in Yellowknife: Enjoying the Warmer Side of the North

Yellowknife’s surrounding wilderness offers prime camping sites for experienced campers seeking adventure and those searching for comfortable outdoor accommodations. Campers have a unique opportunity to witness the Northern Lights’ mesmerizing dance on clearer summer nights under the expansive northern sky.

Fred Henne Territorial Park: This campsite is perfect for families and those seeking comfort in the great outdoors. With well-maintained facilities, including showers and electricity hook-ups, it combines the beauty of nature with the convenience of modern amenities. The park is close to Yellowknife, making it an excellent base for exploring the city and the surrounding nature.

Hidden Lake Territorial Park: For the more adventurous souls, Hidden Lake offers a remote camping experience only accessible by boat or foot. This site is ideal for experienced campers who are well-versed in backcountry skills and prepared to be self-sufficient. The isolation of Hidden Lake allows for unparalleled stargazing opportunities, including the Northern Lights during the early summer months.

Preparation Tips for Overnight Adventures Under the Northern Lights:

  1. Check the Weather: Clear skies are essential for Northern Lights viewing. Check the forecast to choose the best night for your adventure.
  2. Pack Warm: Even during the summer, nights can be chilly. Bring warm, layered clothing to ensure comfort throughout the night.
  3. Bring the Right Gear: A good-quality tent, sleeping bags suitable for the season, and a comfortable sleeping pad are crucial for a pleasant camping experience.
  4. Lighting: To better enjoy the Northern Lights, you should keep artificial lighting to a minimum. A headlamp or flashlight with a red light setting will help you move around your campsite without disturbing your night vision.
  5. Camera Equipment: If you’re planning to capture the glory of the Northern Lights, remember to bring a tripod and a camera capable of long exposures.

Experiencing a night under the Northern Lights is a truly magical experience that combines the thrill of camping with the awe-inspiring beauty of one of nature’s most spectacular phenomena. Whether you choose the comfort of a managed park or the wildness of the backcountry, summer in Yellowknife offers something for every type of outdoor enthusiast.

Summer In Yellowknife: Events

Summer in Yellowknife is not only a time to explore the great outdoors but also a vibrant season for cultural and community events that showcase the rich local culture, arts, and a strong sense of community spirit. Two exciting events are the Folk on the Rocks festival and the Old Town Ramble and Ride, each offering unique experiences that unite locals and visitors to celebrate the region’s diverse heritage and creative expressions.

Folk on the Rocks: This renowned music and cultural festival has been a staple of the Yellowknife summer for over forty years. Set against the stunning backdrop of Long Lake, it features a wide range of musical genres, from folk, blues, and rock to worldbeat and electronic music, performed by artists from across the globe and talented local musicians. More than just a music festival, Folk on the Rocks includes workshops, food vendors offering local and international cuisine, and art installations that provide a holistic cultural experience. It’s a perfect occasion for families, friends, and music enthusiasts to come together and enjoy the warm summer days and nights filled with melodies and camaraderie.

Old Town Ramble and Ride: This community-oriented event captures the heart and soul of Yellowknife’s historic Old Town. Throughout the weekend, streets come alive with musicians, artists, and performers, turning the area into a pulsating hub of creativity and entertainment. Galleries, shops, and cafes open their doors to celebrate the vibrant local arts scene, offering workshops, exhibitions, and live performances. The event encourages residents and visitors alike to explore the winding streets of Old Town on foot or by bike, offering an intimate glimpse into the community’s rich history and contemporary artistic endeavours. The Old Town Ramble and Ride exemplify Yellowknife’s community spirit, with neighbours and newcomers mingling, sharing stories, and revelling in the joy of collective festivity.

These summer festivals and events are a testament to Yellowknife’s lively community spirit and dedication to preserving and promoting local culture and arts. They offer a welcoming atmosphere for all to discover the creativity, history, and natural beauty that make Yellowknife a unique and enchanting place to visit or call home. Through music, art, and communal gatherings, the essence of Yellowknife’s vibrant community comes to the forefront, creating lasting memories for everyone involved.

Tips for the SummeR In Yellowknife

With its extended daylight hours and warmer weather, Summer in Yellowknife calls for thorough preparation to make the most of the outdoor adventures and festivals. Here are some practical tips to ensure you enjoy a safe and comfortable summer:

  • What to Pack: Light, breathable clothing is ideal for daytime, but remember a jacket or sweater for cooler evenings. A sun hat, sunglasses, and a reusable water bottle are essential for sun protection and hydration. Also, pack comfortable walking or hiking shoes to explore the terrain comfortably.
  • Sunscreen and Insect Repellent: The sun’s rays can be surprisingly strong, even in northern latitudes, so apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF generously and frequently. Insect repellent is a must, especially in areas close to water or during hikes in dense forests, to protect against mosquitoes and other insects.
  • Safety Advice for Outdoor Activities: Always inform someone about your travel plans if you’re venturing into the wilderness or participating in remote activities. Use GPS or carry a detailed map and a compass as backup. Be bear aware; know how to store food properly and what to do if you encounter wildlife.
  • Staying Hydrated and Protected: With the longer daylight hours, it’s easy to underestimate the fluid you need. Drink water regularly throughout the day, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Use UV-protective clothing and seek shade during peak sun hours to prevent sunburn and heat exhaustion.

By following these practical tips, you can ensure a fulfilling and enjoyable summer experience in Yellowknife. Explore the natural wonders, engage in cultural festivities, and immerse yourself in vibrant community life while staying safe and comfortable.


Yellowknife’s summer is a period brimming with endless possibilities, from the mesmerizing dance of the Northern Lights in the tranquil night sky to the lively thrum of cultural festivals that warm the heart and stir the soul. The array of outdoor adventures melds seamlessly with the vibrant cultural scene, offering something for everyone — the thrill-seeker, the nature lover, and the cultural aficionado alike. By preparing adequately and adopting a spirit of adventure and openness, visitors can fully immerse themselves in Yellowknife’s unique experiences. The combination of majestic natural beauty, rich cultural expressions, and the warm, welcoming community spirit makes summer in Yellowknife not just a visit but a deeply enriching experience. Whether you’re paddling serene lakes under the midnight sun, exploring historic Old Town, or revelling in the eclectic sounds of Folk on the Rocks, Yellowknife in the summer encapsulates the beauty of Canada’s North, leaving attendees with lasting memories and a yearning to return.

Whether you’re seeking adventure in the great outdoors, immersing yourself in local arts and culture, or simply enjoying Yellowknife’s unique festivities, there’s something here for everyone. Contact us at Rent in Yellowknife and experience the enchantment of the North for yourself. Your Northern adventure awaits!