NWT updates Ingraham Trail aurora-viewing maps

A detail from an NWT government map showing safe aurora-viewing locations on the Ingraham Trail
A detail from an NWT government map showing safe aurora-viewing locations on the Ingraham Trail.

New versions of Yellowknife-area aurora-viewing maps are being issued in six languages, the territorial government’s tourism staff announced on Wednesday.

The maps cover Highway 4, otherwise known as the Ingraham Trail, and provide safety information designed to help tourists find the best places to park for a good view of the lights.

Residents, some tour operators, and territorial government staff have long feared a serious accident on the Ingraham Trail as tourists – particularly those with rental vehicles on self-guided trips – head out onto the highway but park in unsafe places, or don’t use their lights properly.

The maps have been available since 2015 but are now being updated to include “more robust safety information,” the Department of Industry, Tourism, and Investment said on its website.



“The safety information covers driving practices, ice conditions, wildlife awareness, and how to dress properly for cold weather,” departmental staff wrote.

Map: Open a copy of the Ingraham Trail aurora-viewing map

Maps will now also show the 9-1-1 emergency number introduced for the first time to the NWT late last year.

The maps are designed primarily for tourists. Alongside English and French, they are available in Japanese, simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, and Korean.

The territorial government said the new versions will be available at most Yellowknife hotels, the city’s airport, the visitor centre at City Hall, and the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre.

They are also passed to representatives of NWT Tourism in other countries “so visitors have the opportunity to read up long before they land,” the department said.