Ingraham Trail

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Ingraham Trail
Northwest Territories Highway 4
Route information
Length69.2 km (43.0 mi)
Major junctions
West endNWT-3.svg Highway 3 (Yellowknife Highway) in Yellowknife
East end Tibbitt Lake
Highway system
Northwest Territories highways
NWT-3.svg Highway 3 Highway 5 NWT-5.svg

Sign on the trail Ingraham Trail.JPG
Sign on the trail

Highway 4, known as the Ingraham Trail, extends from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories to Tibbitt Lake, approximately 70 km (43 mi) east of Yellowknife. It was built in the mid-1960s as the first leg of a 'road to resources' with the original intention of circulating Great Slave Lake.


The highway is designated as a northern/remote route of Canada's National Highway System.

The Ingraham Trail serves as both an industrial and recreational highway. In February and March each year, the trail is the initial section of the Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road to three diamond mines located {300 km (190 mi) northeast of Yellowknife. The trail is also known as Yellowknife's cottage country, with the bulk of seasonal and year-round cabins located between Cassidy Point and Prelude Lake Territorial Park. During the winter road program, B-train tractor trailers travel the road, four loads every 20 minutes, 24 hours a day.

Although the highway serves primarily recreational activities and area residences in this lake-dotted country it is, after the ice break-up on Great Slave Lake, the only access to Dettah from Yellowknife. The small Dene community is about 6.5 km (4.0 mi) from Yellowknife by ice road in winter or 27 km (17 mi) using the Ingraham Trail.

For about a month in late winter, a winter road to Lac de Gras is opened to trucking of mining supplies, the junction being along the Ingraham Trail. The road condition has suffered due to its frequent use by heavy trucks. This is shown on the first season of the American reality television series, Ice Road Truckers , which airs on History. The Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road also extends from the end of the Ingraham Trail to Contwoyto Lake in Nunavut, forming Nunavut's only connection to the road network in the rest of Canada.

The Ingraham Trail is named after Vic Ingraham, a pioneer Yellowknife businessman of the 1930s–40s.

Yellowknife has experienced an aurora borealis tourism boom the last few years and the Ingraham Trail is the prime viewing location. It is common to come across aurora rush after midnight during the peak aurora season, November to March. [1]


Ingraham Trail crossing the Yellowknife River Yellowknife River flowing under bridge.JPG
Ingraham Trail crossing the Yellowknife River

Since January 2014, the road bypasses Giant Mine through a realignment that originates off Highway 3, approximately 2 km (1.2 mi) from the Old Airport Road turnoff. [2] At 7.6 km (4.7 mi) the road crosses the Yellowknife River followed by the Dettah turnoff at 9.8 km (6.1 mi). After this the road passes several territorial parks: [3]

before reaching Tibbitt Lake (69.2 km (43.0 mi)).

The trail is chipsealed to Reid Lake, leaving the last 10 km (6.2 mi) as gravel.

Related Research Articles

Northwest Territories Territory of Canada

The Northwest Territories is a federal territory of Canada. At a land area of approximately 1,144,000 km2 (442,000 sq mi) and a 2016 census population of 41,786, it is the second-largest and the most populous of the three territories in Northern Canada. Its estimated population as of 2020 is 44,904. Yellowknife became the territorial capital in 1967, following recommendations by the Carrothers Commission.

Yellowknife Territorial capital city in Northwest Territories, Canada

Yellowknife is the capital, only city, and largest community in the Northwest Territories, Canada. It is on the northern shore of Great Slave Lake, about 400 km (250 mi) south of the Arctic Circle, on the west side of Yellowknife Bay near the outlet of the Yellowknife River.

Numbered highways in Canada

Numbered highways in Canada are split by province, and a majority are maintained by their province or territory transportation department. All highways in Canada are numbered except for three in the Northwest Territories, one in Alberta, one in Ontario, and one in Quebec. Ontario's 7000 series are not marked with their highway number but have been assigned one by the Ministry of Transportation. A number of highways in all provinces are better known locally by their name rather than their number. Some highways have additional letters added to their number: A is typically an alternate route, B is typically a business route, and other letters are used for bypass (truck) routes, connector routes, scenic routes, and spur routes. The territory of Nunavut has no highways.

Great Slave Lake Second-largest lake in the Northwest Territories of Canada

Great Slave Lake is the second-largest lake in the Northwest Territories of Canada, the deepest lake in North America at 614 metres, and the tenth-largest lake in the world. It is 469 km (291 mi) long and 20 to 203 km wide. It covers an area of 27,200 km2 (10,502 sq mi) in the southern part of the territory. Its given volume ranges from 1,070 km3 (260 cu mi) to 1,580 km3 (380 cu mi) and up to 2,088 km3 (501 cu mi) making it the 10th or 12th largest by volume.

Kitikmeot Region region of Nunavut

Kitikmeot Region is an administrative region of Nunavut, Canada. It consists of the southern and eastern parts of Victoria Island with the adjacent part of the mainland as far as the Boothia Peninsula, together with King William Island and the southern portion of Prince of Wales Island. The regional seat is Cambridge Bay.

Winter road temporary road in winter

A Winter road is built over land on compacted snow, frozen tundra and bare ground, or on a floating ice cover. Segments of a winter road that cross an expanse of floating ice are also referred to as an ice road or an ice bridge. Conversely, a winter road may be built mostly on floating ice, with occasional land crossing called 'portages' - the Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road is an example.

Highways in Nunavut Wikipedia list article

An estimated total of 850 km (530 mi) of roads and highways are spread across Nunavut. Over the next decade the number of roads is expected to increase due to the increase of population. Nunavut is the only province/territory that is not connected by roads to other parts of Canada.

Dettah Yellowknives Dene First Nation in Northwest Territories, Canada

Dettah, sometimes, incorrectly, as Detah, is a First Nations community in the North Slave Region of the Northwest Territories, Canada. Located just southeast of the capital of Yellowknife, it is a 6.5 km (4.0 mi) drive from that city by ice road across the north arm of Great Slave Lake in winter or a 27 km (17 mi) drive via the Ingraham Trail, year-round. The name means 'Burnt Point' in the Tli Cho language and refers to a traditional fishing camp used by the Dene for hundreds of years.

Ice road path made over frozen water rather than land

An ice road is a winter road, or part thereof, that runs on a naturally frozen water surface in cold regions. Ice roads allow temporary transport to isolated areas with no permanent road access. They reduce transportation cost of materials that otherwise would ship as expensive air freight, and they allow movement of large or heavy objects for which air freight is impractical.

Dandenong Creek Trail

The Dandenong Creek Trail is a shared use path for cyclists and pedestrians, which follows Dandenong Creek through the outer eastern and south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Jericho Diamond Mine

The Jericho Diamond Mine is a dormant diamond mine located in Canada's Nunavut territory. Jericho is Nunavut’s first and only diamond mine. It is located 420 km (260 mi) northeast of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories and is accessible by air all year and by winter road from Yellowknife. The project was mined from 2006 to 2008, and produced 780,000 carats of diamonds from 1,200,000 tonnes of kimberlite mined from the open pit operation. Over $200 million was invested in the development of the Jericho operations including the construction of a 2,000 t per day diamond recovery plant, maintenance facility, fuel farm, and offices and accommodation for 225 personnel.

Gahcho Kue Diamond Mine

The Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine is located on the Canadian tundra in the Northwest Territories. It is situated at Kennady Lake, in the Akaitcho Treaty 8 Territory claim block, which is 85 km (53 mi) southeast of the Snap Lake Diamond Mine and approximately 280 km (170 mi) east northeast of Yellowknife. The site is served by Gahcho Kue Aerodrome, which has both an ice runway in winter and a year-round gravel runway, and a spur of the Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road from Lupin Mine. the main camp is at 63°26′05″N109°12′02″W, north of the ice strip, with a smaller site at 63°25′48″N109°12′00″W, south of the runway.

Contwoyto Lake lake in Nunavut, Canada

Contwoyto Lake is a lake in the Kitikmeot Region of the Canadian territory of Nunavut, located near the border with the Northwest Territories. With a total area of 957 km2 (369 sq mi), it is the territories' tenth largest lake.

Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road highway in the Northwest Territories

Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road is an annual ice road first built in 1982 to service mines and exploration activities in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut in Northern Canada. Between 400 and 600 km long, the road is said to be the world's longest heavy haul ice road and operates for eight to ten weeks starting in the last week of January. Most of the road (85%–87%) is built over frozen lakes, 495 km (308 mi), with the remaining 73 km (45 mi) built on over 64 land portages between lakes. This ice road was the location of the first season of Ice Road Truckers.

Yellowknife Highway highway in the Northwest Territories

The Yellowknife Highway, officially Northwest Territories Highway 3 and also known as the Great Slave Highway, is a highway connecting Yellowknife, Northwest Territories to the Mackenzie Highway, from a junction 188 km (117 mi) north of the Alberta border. First completed in 1960 as a gravel and dirt road, the highway is now paved and realigned after years of work concluded in 2006. Access to Yellowknife from prior to the opening of the Yellowknife Highway, was only possible by airplane, winter road, or boat across Great Slave Lake.

Tibbitt Lake is a lake in the Canadian Northwest Territories.

This timeline of Yellowknife history summarises key events in the history of Yellowknife, a city in the Northwest Territories, Canada.

This is a list of Ice Road Truckers Season 1 episodes.

The Bathurst Inlet Port and Road Project is a plan to build an all-weather road from Bathurst Inlet to a complex of mines. These mines are approximately equidistant between Bathurst Inlet and Yellowknife, NWT. There are no paved roads between Yellowknife and the mines, so they have relied on shipping supplies to the mines over winter-time ice roads. However, in 2005, there was a particularly warm winter, and the ice roads weren't safe for a long enough period to bring in supplies.