This ecoregion occupies the Franklin Mountains from Norman Wells to Wrigley along the east side of the Mackenzie River in the District of Mackenzie. It is marked by cool summers and very cold winters. The mean annual temperature is approximately -5.5°C. The mean summer temperature is 10°C and the mean winter temperature is -25°C. Mean annual precipitation ranges 200-300 mm. The ecoregion is classified as having a low subarctic ecoclimate. The predominant vegetation consists of open stands of black spruce with an understory of dwarf birch, Labrador tea, lichen, and moss. Drier and warmer sites tend to have more white spruce, paper birch, and some aspen. Wet sites are usually covered with bog-fen vegetation such as dwarf black spruce, Labrador tea, ericaceous shrubs, and mosses. The Franklin Mountains form a series of linear, relatively low ranges and ridges, largely composed of resistant carbonates, that reach elevations of about 1525 m asl. This ecoregion's surface is covered with steeply sloping glacial drift, colluvium, and organic deposits in the form of polygonal peat plateaus. Turbic Cryosols, Eutric Brunisols, and Organic Cryosols are the dominant soils. Permafrost is extensive and discontinuous with low to moderate ice content, and is characterized by sparse ice wedges. Characteristic wildlife includes caribou, moose, grizzly and black bear, wolf, coyote, beaver, snowshoe hare, muskrat, red fox, spruce grouse, raven, and osprey. Hunting, trapping, outdoor recreation, and tourism are the main land use activities.
This ecoregion is part of the Taiga Plains ecozone.