NWT Northern lights & Fall Colors 2016

Join Kevin Pepper and Chris Pepper for this workshop in Canada’s north.

Dates:

Wk #1 from September 19, 2016 to September 24, 2016

Wk #2 from September 25, 2016 to September 30, 2016

Cost: $3595 Canadian

Day 1 – Arrival day. As you arrive from home you will be picked up at the airport and brought to the hotel. Here we will gather for a group dinner to get to know each other and go over our planned route for the week.

As you arrive you will have free time until our group dinner at the hotel. After dinner you will have the option of heading out for a possible aurora sighting away from the city…. or stay in and relax for our busy week ahead.

Day 2 –  Our day begins with a short trip to Cameron Falls. Located just 46 km from Yellowknife. A scenic 20-minute hike from the parking lot takes you through stands of fall colors provided by aspen, spruce and jack pine, where you’re likely to spot whiskey jacks and nighthawks.

As we near Cameron Falls, the trail climbs over outcrops of sedimentary rock. Stairs span some sections, but several steep areas remain. At the viewpoint, you can admire the Falls framed in a palate of fall colors and explore the side-trails.

Walking 250 meters northeast will bring you to a bridge above the Falls that offers access into the rest of Hidden Lake Park. The park has been kept in its natural state, and there are no trails past this point…. just us and nature. Trail Length: 1.2 km.

At night we will drive out where minimal light pollution exists and plan to watch the aurora from one of many lake side positions that we have identified as great aurora viewing locations.

Day 3 – The Northern Frontier – Stretching from the north and east shores of Great Slave Lake, east to the Barrenlands and northwest to Great Bear Lake, Northern Frontier is adventure country. Featuring some of the oldest exposed rock in the world, studded with countless lakes and rivers, some as yet unnamed, it’s a paddler’s paradise in summer and early fall. Here are the headwaters of legendary wilderness canoeing rivers, flowing north and east – the Coppermine, the Thelon – and shorter rivers, both wild and tame, draining south into Great Slave Lake.

In a landscape of sandy eskers and glacial moraine the caribou seem to suddenly appear and vanish just as quickly. Tiny plants carpet the land and as we descend on the territory they will have morphed to a ruby red tapestry under foot in August and September.

Today we will travel to the East Arm. The scenery is on a grand scale, virtually untouched since the glaciers retreated. Marvel at the 600 meter cliffs that drop into quiet bays. On a sunny autumn day, the East Arm reveals its colours – from greys and yellows, reds to brilliant pinks, marine blues and turquoise.

Great Slave Lake’s East Arm is a world class scenic and geological wonder. Spectacular cliffs drop into the tenth largest lake in the world. The scenery is primeval, the result of glaciation in North America and a clearly visible fault in the earth’s crust. The future National Park includes an historic 50 km trail to the Barrenlands called Pike’s Portag

At night we will remain in the area and prepare to photograph the stunning terrain we photographed during the day, at night… this time hopefully with northern lights or star trails and the milky way…

Day 4 – They say that Wildlife viewing on the highways is free. Black bear and foxes peer out from the forest. Wood bison, the larger northern relative of the plains bison, are making a comeback near Fort Providence and Fort Liard.. and we often encounter them on our highways – when they do, we will stop and let them cross the road in their own time and enjoy the scenery through your lens. We will drive through an area where the Mackenzie Herd of Northern Bison are ranging from 2000 to 3000 buffalo. The Mackenzie Bison Sanctuary is home to the first successful bison relocation program recorded in North America.

As we travel the Frontier Highway,one of the best ways to view the Mackenzie Herd;  the bison are often grazing along the side of the highway. Sometimes resting on the highway and almost always crossing the highway.

Moose and woodland caribou live in the woods and wetlands all along our highways. Bald eagles and tall, dusty-grey sandhill cranes are two easily spotted species spending the summer in the Dehcho area, together with ducks, gulls and terns, warblers and other songbirds.

But these common sightings only the supporting cast to our waterfall and fall colors we will encounter on the western delta of Great Slave Lake.

Our return back to the hotel will consist of a watch for the aurora… and if it appears, we will stop and photograph it.

Day 5 – The Great Slave Lake area attracts hundreds of thousands of migrating waterfowl to its islands, bays, marshes and wetlands. This area combines parts of all four recognized North American flyways – Atlantic, Mississippi, Central and Pacific for birds that migrate to the Arctic each summer.

North of Yellowknife, Behchoko and Whati, geese, ducks and swans nest and breed each summer. The North Arm is popular with gulls, terns, red-breasted mergansers and mallards. Loons, terns and jaegers populate the islands at the mouth of Yellowknife Bay. Large numbers of bald eagles make their headquarters between Yellowknife and the East Arm.

But lets not forget the rolling vistas of fall colors that will carpet the landscape and make the forests come alive. The photo opportunities will surround you at every turn.

After our return to the hotel for dinner, we will once again depart for our own aurora watch over some of the remote calm lakes away from the light pollution… and if the skies do not dance in color and sing to us, there is always the opportunity for some star trail photography and long exposure photography.

Day 6 – One more stroll during the golden hour to see the fall colors outside of Yellowknife. This morning we will go to Niven Lake Trail. The (2 km) Niven Lake Trail circles a small and productive lagoon which features some of the best bird watching in Yellowknife, as well as glimpses of muskrats and the occasional beaver. There is a variety of ground surfaces here, from muskeg, to forest to rock, and many scenic fall color viewpoints with interpretive signage to inform you what you are photographing.

Plan your departure for after 3pm and we will drop you off at the airport around 1 pm.

Please note: We do our best to stay on schedule; however there is the possibility of delays due to factors beyond our control. We do our best to ensure you see all advertised tours within the time frame of the trip.

Included… airport pick up and drop off, transportation, Meals from dinner on day one to breakfast on day six, entrance fees, guides, photography guidance

Not Included… anything not listed as included, trip insurance, alcohol, laundry, items of personal nature.

For more information please email Chris @ chrispepperphotography@gmail.com