Canol Heritage Trail

Top choice Hiking

in Norman Wells

The wild, challenging Canol Heritage Trail leads 358km southwest to the Yukon border, traversing peaks, canyons and barrens. Wildlife is abundant and there are numerous deep river crossings. The only shelter is provided by old Quonset huts. Hiking the whole length takes three to four weeks and most people arrange food drops. Contact Northwest Territories Tourism ( for outfitters.

Some visitors helicopter in from Norman Wells to reach the most interesting sections.

Past the Yukon border, an unpaved road leads to Ross River and the Yukon highway system.

The trail was built at enormous monetary and human cost during WWII to transport oil to Whitehorse; 'Canol' is shorthand for 'Canadian Oil.' The huge project was abandoned in 1945, with the war nearly over and cheaper oil sources found.