Nahanni National Park Reserve in the Dehcho Region of the Northwest Territories, Canada, approximately 500 km (311 mi) west of Yellowknife, protects a portion of the Mackenzie Mountains Natural Region. The centrepiece of the park is the South Nahanni River (Naha Dehé). Four noteworthy canyons reaching 1,000 m (3,300 ft) in depth, called First, Second, Third and Fourth Canyon, line this spectacular whitewater river. The name Nahanni comes from the indigenous Dene language name for the area; Nahʔa Dehé, which means “river of the land of the Nahʔa people”, who some now speculate may have been the ancestors of the modern day Navajo people.
The stories of the Naha, and dangerous landscape that they inhabited, grew in stature with the Klondike Gold Rush as some explorers attempted to use the Nahanni as a path to the famous gold fields of the Yukon, or to try and make their fortune on the Flat and South Nahanni Rivers. Although no significant gold was found, legends of haunted valleys and lost gold emerged after the headless corpses of Métis prospectors Willie and Frank McLeod were found around 1908. The Lost McLeod Mine, a legendary lost mine somewhere in the park, is supposed to have been where the two brothers found their gold. In the years that followed, mysterious deaths of other prospectors added to the legends. The names of park features such as Deadmen Valley, Headless Creek, Headless Range and the Funeral Range, bear testimony to these stories and legends. In later years Albert Faille was a prospector in the area and met writer Raymond M. Patterson. The latter’s works brought minor fame to Faille.
The Gate, Second Canyon
Virginia Falls and Mason’s Rock