Population: 3,606

Hay River is located on Northwest Territories (NWT) Highway 2 on the Deh Cho Route, 24 miles from the junction of NWT Highways 1 and 2. The town is on the south shore of Great Slave Lake at the mouth of the Hay River.

Visitor Information

Visitor Information Centre, 923 Mackenzie Highway; phone 867-874-3180 or email tourism@hayriver.com. Open daily in summer (mid-May to Sept.), 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mon.–Thurs. and 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fri.–Sun. Open weekdays in winter, 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1–5 p.m. Friendly staff, restrooms, tea/coffee, free Wi-Fi, and local artisan shop. For RVers, there is a sani-dump and potable water located at the visitor center. Visit www.hayriver.com and check out the menu under Tourism for listings of local businesses, attractions, festivals tand events, and more.

Visitor services include food, gas and lodging; supermarkets and Home Hardware; recreation center with aquatic center; banks; and other services. Outdoor Saturday market mid-June to mid-September at Fisherman’s Wharf. Check out the Heritage Centre on Vale Island; open Mon.– Sat. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sun. noon to 5 p.m., in summer; phone 867-874-3872.

Hay River was established in 1868 with the building of a Hudson’s Bay Co. post. Today, the community is the transfer point from highway and rail to barges on Great Slave Lake bound for arctic and subarctic communities. Hay River harbor is also home port of the Mackenzie River barge fleet that plies the river in summer.

Hay River Territorial Park and Campground is located on Vale Island on Great Slave Lake (10 km/6 miles past the visitor center, follow signs); 43 sites all with power, some pull-throughs, hookups, showers, firewood, toilets, potable water, sani-dump station and firepits, outdoor gym; camping fee, open mid-May to mid-September. The beach park offers picnic sites, firepits, toilets, swimming and playground. Reservations online at www.NWTparks.ca. Also beachfront camping is available at 2 Seasons Adventures, Castaways and powered sites at the Hay River Golf Course.

Great Slave Lake, northern pike up to 40 lbs.; Inconnu (sheefish); whitefish, lake trout, burbot, arctic grayling; good pickerel fishing in Hay River from bank.