Canada's Arctic territory pairs incredible outdoor adventure with ways to experience Inuit culture.
Extending some 2 million square kilometres across the top of Canada, Nunavut is the place for one-of-a-kind Arctic outings, whether you travel by dogsled, snowmobile, kayak, or your own feet. Venture along the fjords to the floe edge (where ice meets the open ocean), backpack across the tundra during the long summer days, or check out the work of Nunavut’s many artists. The majority of the region’s people are Inuit, and the territory’s capital, Iqaluit, means “Place of Many Fish,” in Inuktitut. If you’re not an experienced Arctic traveler, you may want to book your trip through a local outfitter skilled at exploring this remote destination.
Nunavut’s capital city is the starting point for most adventures in the territory. It’s easy to sign up for dogsledding, snowmobiling, sea kayaking, canoeing, and other excursions right from town, but campers, hikers, and bird watchers can also explore nearby Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park for an independent adventure.
Encompassing Canada’s largest island, this is where you’ll find the community of Pangnirtung, near Auyuittuq National Park, and a number of protected lands. Sirmilik National Park, at Baffin Island’s northern tip, takes its name from the Inuktitut for “Place of the Glaciers” and is accessible from Pond Inlet or Arctic Bay, while Qausuittuq National Park on Bathurst Island in the high Arctic and Quttinirpaaq National Park, the “Land at the Top of the World,” are other highlights.
Home to Ukkusiksalik National Park, as well as the communities of Rankin Inlet, Baker Lake, and Naujaat (Repulse Bay), Kivalliq is north of Manitoba along the shores of Hudson Bay, where it’s common to spot beluga whales. Operators run boat trips into the national park in July and August. It’s also good to know that this is polar bear and caribou country.
Nunavut’s westernmost area borders the Northwest Territories and extends across the Northwest Passage far into the Arctic. Kitikmeot is known for its wildlife viewing—think caribou, musk ox, and grizzly bears, as well as narwhal, bowhead, and beluga whales.