This small Slavey Dene community (population 300) is south of Norman Wells, where the Great Bear River drains into the Mackenzie River. This strategic location has made it a transportation hub since the days of Sir John Franklin.
An Anglican church, built of squared logs and dating to the 1860s, sits on the riverbank, beside the Hudson’s Bay Company post. Many houses have colorful tepees in their yards, which are used for drying and smoking fish, standing in stark contrast to a modern school building.
The Two Rivers Hotel (867/588-3320, $169 s, $219 d) has eight rooms with single and double beds, all with a shared bathroom and kitchen. Meals can also be arranged in the dining room.
If you’re interested in a boat trip chasing arctic grayling in the Great Bear River or to the Smoking Hills, where an exposed seam of coal burns permanently, make enquires at the hotel.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition