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Nahanni National Park Reserve of Canada

Learning Experiences

man looking at falls Looking toward Náįlįcho from the viewpoint trail
© Parks Canada

Approximately 800 people visit Nahanni National Park Reserve each year to experience its spectacular scenery and discover its rich history. We recommend that you visit the Fort Simpson park office before embarking on your river trip or day visit. Friendly and knowledgeable staff can answer questions and enrich your experience in the park. We will also be happy to tell you more about the local area and nearby attractions.

Buy the “Nahʔą Dehé Natural and Cultural History Guide” for $10, to enrich your experience or simply learn more about the natural and cultural history of Nahanni National Park Reserve.

Then head into the park to learn about Nahanni’s rich Dene culture and unique natural phenomena during guided hikes and campfire programs at Gahnîhthah Mįe (Rabbitkettle Lake) and Náįlįcho (Virginia Falls).

Gahnîhthah Mįe (Rabbitkettle Lake)
tufa hike Learning about bear habitat at Gahnîhthah
© Parks Canada

Join Parks Canada staff on a guided hike to see Canada’s largest freestanding tufa mound, a 10,000 year-old geological wonder! Learn about the age-old journeys of humans and wildlife in the area, as you hike along the crest of picturesque Emerald Lake.

From a lookout point on the Rabbitkettle River, touch and feel pieces of tufa, take pictures and learn about the local geology and spiritual significance of Gahnîhthah (Rabbitkettle hotsprings and tufa mounds) that make it special.

Guided hikes to Gahnîhthah are offered twice a day at 08:30 and 13:30. Hikes may not be available outside of these times. While you are there, ask park staff about other interpretive activities – and don’t forget to take a dip in Rabbitkettle Lake!

Náįlįcho (Virginia Falls)

Feel the thunder of Náįlįcho getting stronger as you approach a viewpoint overlooking this impressive waterfall, an icon of the Canadian north. Learn about local ecology, culture and geology. Discover why Nahʔą Dehé (the South Nahanni River) is a wild river like no other.
visitor looking at birch fragment Visitor examines a birch canoe replica
© Parks Canada

Available on-demand. Bring your mug to our campfire programs and savour warm tea as you deepen your awareness of the landscape and people of Nahʔą Dehé. Campfire programs are offered nightly in the campground, based on availability and demand.

Day visitors and river tripper can take two-hour guided hikes.

Nahanni Butte Park Office

De-register at the park office in Nahanni Butte at the end of your river trip. Ask local staff about interpretive walks, cultural programs and community activities. Make sure you allow time to experience these new opportunities!

Office hours:
Fort Simpson and Nahanni Butte
June 1 – September 30 Daily 08:30 am – 5:00 pm (closed noon – 1:00 pm),
Rest of the year, Monday to Friday -08:30 am – 5:00 pm (closed noon – 1:00 pm).