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Ice Falls

I am Clair Littlefair and I am the team captain of the NWTRPA Walking Challenge Team named HP Ski Team; I am also a coach for the ski team based out of Yellowknife! We ski together four times a week and are getting ready for Artic Winter Games and Canada Winter Games. While skiing on Sunday, we ventured to Back Bay Cemetery and the Ice Falls. We could crawl under the ice and be between the rocks and the ice as we walk on all the overflow ice.

We had a lot of fun skiing on the lake and exploring the ice falls. We recommend to anyone else looking for something to do on a Sunday afternoon to go and find a beautiful landmark in your community and surrounding area.

Icefalls are formed when water flows in sub-zero temperatures over a steep drop or cliff, creating a cascading waterfall of ice.

To keep it simple, when you have water flow in the winter, you are likely to see some ice falls! These spectacular natural wonders are typically found in mountainous areas, and the Northwest Territories is home to some very impressive ice falls.

As the ice falls flow down the cliff, they take on a variety of shapes and forms. Some are thin and spiky, while others are wide and flat. Some are smooth and polished, while others are rough and jagged. No two ice falls are the same, making each one a unique and breathtaking sight.

The colours of ice falls are also striking. In the winter sun, they can take on a dazzling array of shades, from deep blue to bright white, depending on the light’s angle and the ice’s clarity. As the sun sets, the ice falls can glow with a golden light, making them appear almost otherworldly.

One of the most well-known ice falls in the Northwest Territories is the Alexandra and Louise Falls, located on the Hay River in the Twin Falls Gorge Territorial Park, just south of Enterprise. These stunning waterfalls are considered some of the most powerful icefalls in North America.

The water flows over a series of terraced ledges, creating a multi-tiered cascade of ice.

These two ice falls can be accessed by hiking. However, visitors should be aware that these areas are remote and can be challenging to reach, and it is important to be prepared for the wilderness with proper gear and supplies.

Be sure to send us pictures from your adventure!