Northern Life, Nature and Culture
As the midnight sun disappears in the late summer and autumn, the Aurora Borealis becomes visible in the night sky once again. At this time of year, Sandy Point Wilderness Lodge offers guests a genuine experience of northern life in the wilderness; with a naturalist guide, you will have the opportunity to witness the culture and traditions of northern life and nature under the aurora borealis. In the fall, we set up our traditional Dene camp and our guides will demonstrate a moose hide being tanned, a smokehouse with fish and other game being prepared for you to sample with cranberry bannock or whitefish caviar.
Our naturalist guide will host hikes on trails where you will sample medicinal plants and learn about the birds and small animals of the boreal forest. Another excursion might take you out on the lake to see a fishnet being set and pulled with white fish and trout. In September, you can see the trout in the clear water spawning in large numbers around reefs and shoals. You can drop a line in the water and we will prepare fresh fried trout or northern pike for your shore lunch.
Witness the loons gather and perform their dance rituals on the water, the ducks and geese gathering in flocks for the fall migration south. Black bears forage for food along the lakeshore and gorge on the berries that cover the ground in large patches of summer’s bounty. As the air temperature starts to cool the land and water the moose start move into the weed beds in bays around the lake to feed and call for a mate.
Step back 80 years as we explore the camps and artifacts left by prospectors who rushed to Gordon Lake in the late 1930s. As the south endured drought and hardship of the great depression, the first bush planes flew over the land of the Dene looking for signs of mineral deposits. Gordon Lake had as many as 300 prospectors and miners for a few years looking to make a there wealth mining gold. Most left defeated by the land and climate, while a small number stayed and became a part of our northern heritage.
The Autumn Aurora Borealis season at Sandy Point Wilderness Lodge offers guests the history of Hom’iiti as a traditional Dene fall camp with the contrasting story of the prospectors and miners that named Gordon Lake. The exploration of northern life, nature and culture under the Aurora Borealis provides guests with a truly unique experience in the northern Canadian wilderness.