Tulita: A Hidden Gem in the Northwest Territories

Tulita, located in the Northwest Territories of Canada, is a small community that offers a unique travel experience for those seeking adventure and natural beauty. With a population of just over 500 people, Tulita is a hidden gem that is often overlooked by tourists. However, those who do make the journey to this remote community are rewarded with breathtaking scenery, rich cultural experiences, and a chance to connect with nature.

Attractions and Natural Wonders

Tulita is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, making it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Here are some of the top attractions and natural wonders to explore in Tulita:

  • Great Bear Lake: The largest lake entirely within Canada, Great Bear Lake is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Tulita. The lake is home to a variety of fish species, including Arctic grayling and lake trout, making it a popular spot for fishing enthusiasts.

  • Mackenzie Mountains: The Mackenzie Mountains offer some of the most spectacular views in the Northwest Territories. Visitors can hike through the mountains, explore the valleys, and take in the stunning scenery.

  • Tulita River: The Tulita River is a popular spot for canoeing and kayaking. The river is surrounded by lush forests and offers a chance to spot wildlife such as moose, caribou, and bears.

  • Fort Norman Heritage Park: This park is home to a number of historic buildings, including a Hudson's Bay Company trading post and a Catholic mission. Visitors can learn about the history of the area and the role that Fort Norman played in the fur trade.

  • Tulita Dene Cultural Centre: This cultural centre offers a chance to learn about the history and traditions of the Dene people, who have lived in the area for thousands of years. Visitors can view traditional art and crafts, listen to stories, and participate in cultural events.

Parks, Lakes, and Trails

Tulita is home to a number of parks, lakes, and trails that offer a chance to explore the natural beauty of the area. Here are some of the top destinations:

  • Tulita River Trail: This trail follows the Tulita River and offers stunning views of the surrounding forests and mountains. The trail is suitable for hikers of all skill levels.

  • Bear Rock Trail: This trail leads to the top of Bear Rock, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding area. The trail is steep in places, but the views are well worth the effort.

  • Tulita Territorial Park: This park is located on the banks of the Mackenzie River and offers camping, hiking, and fishing opportunities. The park is also home to a number of historic sites, including a Hudson's Bay Company trading post.

  • Great Bear Lake Heritage Trail: This trail follows the shores of Great Bear Lake and offers a chance to explore the rugged beauty of the area. The trail is suitable for experienced hikers and offers stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

Festivals and Events

Tulita is home to a number of festivals and events throughout the year. Here are some of the top events to check out:

  • Tulita Dene Days: This annual event celebrates the culture and traditions of the Dene people. Visitors can enjoy traditional food, music, and dance, as well as participate in cultural activities.

  • Great Bear Lake Trout Derby: This fishing tournament is held annually on Great Bear Lake and attracts anglers from around the world. The tournament offers a chance to catch trophy-sized lake trout and Arctic grayling.

  • Northern Lights Festival: This festival celebrates the beauty of the Northern Lights, which are visible in the area from September to April. Visitors can enjoy live music, food, and cultural activities, as well as view the stunning aurora borealis.

History of Tulita

Tulita was established in the late 1800s as a trading post for the Hudson's Bay Company. The community was originally known as Fort Norman, after the nearby Norman Wells oil fields. In 1996, the community changed its name to Tulita, which means "where the waters meet" in the local Dene language.

The community was officially incorporated in 1984 and has since become a hub for tourism and outdoor recreation in the Northwest Territories. Today, Tulita is home to a diverse population of Dene, Métis, and non-Indigenous residents, who work together to preserve the area's rich cultural heritage and natural beauty.


Tulita may be a small community, but it offers a wealth of natural beauty, cultural experiences, and outdoor adventures for those who are willing to make the journey. Whether you're interested in fishing, hiking, or learning about the history and traditions of the Dene people, Tulita has something to offer. So why not plan a trip to this hidden gem in the Northwest Territories and discover all that it has to offer?


  • Northwest Territories Tourism. (n.d.). Tulita.
  • Tulita Dene Band. (n.d.). About Us.
  • Tulita Dene Band. (n.d.). Tulita Dene Days.
  • Tulita Heritage Society. (n.d.). Fort Norman Heritage Park.
  • Tulita Territorial Park. (n.d.).
  • Up Here Magazine. (2019, August 1). Tulita's Great Bear Lake Trout Derby.