Most people fly to Yellowknife. Air Canada (tel. 888/247-2262; www.aircanada.com) and West Jet (tel. 800/538-5696; www.westjet.com) keep prices competitive. Many locals prefer to support the Northern-owned airlines: Canadian North (tel. 800/661-1505; www.canadiannorth.com) and First Air (tel. 800/267-1247; www.firstair.ca), which still provide hot meals and complimentary newspapers on certain routes. However, when it comes time to leave, Air Canada has the only regular early morning departures, which will affect connecting flights upon departure. Canadian North has morning flights on Monday only.
The alternative to flying is an 18-hour drive 1,524km (947 miles) from Edmonton. Take Highway 16 to Grimshaw, where the Mackenzie Highway leads to the Northwest Territories border, 475km (295 miles) north, and on to Yellowknife via Fort Providence. There is very little to see in the last 450km (280 miles). In the summer, a ferry runs across the Mackenzie River, and in winter, an ice road provides access across the river. However, both the road and the ferry close for several weeks between seasons. Best to check with the territory's transportation road and ferry report for conditions (tel.) 800/661-0750). The entire road is now paved, and the trip from Edmonton is a comfortable 2-day trip. If you are driving in the winter, the majority of your driving will be in the dark. Many car rental companies in Alberta and other provinces specifically prohibit travel to the Northwest Territories with their vehicles. If you are considering driving North with a rental vehicle, make sure you read the rental policy in advance. There is a good chance you will see herds of wood buffalo between Ft. Providence and Yellowknife.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.