Population: 3,606

Hay River is located on NWT Highway 2 on the shore of Great Slave Lake, 76 miles north of the Alberta–Northwest Territories border along the Deh Cho Route.

Visitor Information: Town of Hay River operates a Visitor Information Centre, open daily in summer, phone 867-874-3180.

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 harbour is also home port of the Mackenzie River barge fleet that plies the river in summer.

Visitor services include food, gas and lodging; supermarkets; banks; and other services. Outdoor Saturday market in summer at Fisherman’s Wharf. Camping at Hay River Territorial Park campground; reservations.


  • Farmer’s market at Fisherman’s Wharf in summer.
  • Play golf at Hay River Golf Course (9-holes).
  • Good pickerel fishing in Hay River from bank.
  • Dene Cultural Centre on Hay River Reserve Access Road.
  • Boating and fishing Great Slave Lake: northern pike, inconnu (sheefish), pickerel and grayling.