Fort Simpson is a village located on the banks of the Mackenzie and Liard Rivers in the southwest corner of the Northwest Territory, Canada. The small community is a recreation destination and an air transportation hub situated in the middle of the Mackenzie River said to be 1.2 kilometres wide.
Fort Simpson is located in the Nahanni sector of the Deh Cho Region of the Northwest Territory. South of the community is a river ferry connecting to the Mackenzie / Heritage Highway (Hwy #1). North of the community is another river ferry connecting the highway to a small village named Wrigley.
The river ferry operates in the summer and an ice road connects Fort Simpson to the highway during the winter. Crossing onto the island of Fort Simpson, NWT is not possible during the months of October and November (freeze up) and April and May (break up).
Fort Simpson is a transportation centre for adventure. On the mainland is an airport for regional and national airlines. The Mackenzie River is decorated with docks and piers many of which are servicing floatplanes and accompanied by boats. In the community of Fort Simpson is a small airstrip for touring companies and charter planes.
There are other services in the community important to travelers also. The services in the village include a campground, accommodations, tour companies, gas stations, grocery store, restaurant, bank, post office and art galleries.
Hiking, canoeing, rafting, kayaking, flightseeing, golfing, fishing, wildlife watching, mountain climbing and backpacking are enjoyed in the Nahanni Park and Fort Simpson region. There are tours exploring the park by plane, canoe, kayak and raft. Air tours fly people in and out of the Nahanii National Park Reserve.
Fort Simpson, is referred to as the "Gateway to the Nahanni". Some of the geographical landmarks in the region include the Nahanni Butte Mountain Range, Mckenzie River, Virginia Falls, the Ram Plateau, Doctor Lake and the Cirque of the Unclimbables.
The Nahanni National Wilderness Park is accessed only by river, charter planes and floatplanes during the summer months and can be accessed via an ice road near the village of Fort Liard during the winter months. The Park Office for the Nahanni National Park Reserve is located in Fort Simpson.
Fort Simpson was, at one time, a Hudson Bay Trading Post on the Mckenzie River. The largest in the area and one of the first. Before Fort Simpson the area was referred to as the "Fort of the Forks" by the Hudson Bay Company because of its location on the rivers.