Fort Good Hope

Fort Good Hope

Rádeyįlįkóé – “Place of rapids”

Population: 560

On the west bank of the Mackenzie, just upstream from where the river squeezes through the towering limestone chute of The Ramparts, this Dene town has deep roots in fishing, hunting and trapping. It’s also home to the oldest building in the NWT: the ornate Our Lady of Good Hope Church, built in 1865 and now a National Historic Site. Access is by air from Norman Wells or, in winter, by ice road up the Mackenzie Valley.

Location: 66°16′ N, 128°38′ W
Elevation: 268 metres
Population: 557
Traditional name: Rádeyįlįkóé – “Place of rapids”
Record high / low: 35.0°C / -55.6°C
Setting: On a rolling, forested peninsula between Jackfish Creek and the east bank of the Mackenzie River in the northern Sahtu region
Languages: North Slavey, English
Ethnicities: Dene (K'asho Got'ine), Métis, non-Aboriginal
Getting here: By air from Norman Wells or Inuvik, by winter road from Wrigley
Founded in: This is the ancestral territory of the Sahtu Dene. In 1805 the North West Company arrived, opening the first fur-trading post in the lower Mackenzie Valley, prompting permanent settlement in the area 
Best daytrip: Three kilometres by boat downstream to “The Ramparts,” where towering limestone cliffs constrict and accelerate the Mackenzie River
Claim to fame: Home to the oldest permanent structure in Northern Canada, the ornate Our Lady of Good Hope church, a national historic site built in 1865
Come for: Rampart Rendezvous, a community festival held every August featuring traditional contests such as duck-plucking, tent-setting, tea-boiling, dryfish-making and canoe races
Notable locals: Frank T’Seleie, political leader and activist; Stephen Kakfwi, former territorial premier

Our Stories

Intriguing tales from Canada's Northwest Territories

Jackson's B&B

Bed and Breakfast accommodation located in the historic Mackenzie River community of Fort Good Hope. Read more

Little Dipper Bed & Breakfast

Four rooms available in comfortable house, meals available when needed. Read more

The Ramparts

The closest thing to whitewater on the mighty Mackenzie River, this fast-flowing section occurs a few kilometres upstream from Fort Good Hope where the river is choked between 40-metre-high ... Read more

Our Lady of Good Hope Church

The oldest and certainly the most ornate place of worship in the North, this tiny cathedral crowns a bluff overlooking the Mackenzie River in Fort Good Hope. Built starting in 1865 by Oblate missionaries – including the... Read more


June 21 every year

Territorial holiday with events in all communities. Contact town offices for details. Read more


July 1 every year

National holiday with events in all communities. Contact town offices and check community websites for details. Read more