The Farthest Road
The Dempster Highway is Canada’s northernmost motorway, carrying road-trippers across the Arctic Circle to Inuvik in the Mackenzie River Delta. In another few years you’ll be able to push even farther: The route is being extended to Tuktoyaktuk, an Arctic Ocean settlement famous for pingos, caribou and Inuvialuit culture.
The Northernmost River
The Thomsen River, gliding crystal-clear through the treeless Eden of Aulavik National Park, is considered the farthest-north navigable river on the planet. Each summer, canoeists ride its flow of snowmelt to the Arctic Ocean, gawking at muskoxen and fishing for char, whitefish and the world’s northernmost trout.
The Largest Herd
Most of the world’s muskoxen – around 68,000 – dwell on the barrens of Banks Island, outnumbering the island’s people 600 to one. Survivors from the ice age, these shaggy sheep-like beasts will likely be indifferent to your presence. But enjoy them with caution: Adult muskoxen can weigh 500 pounds and boast a mean set of horns.
The Wildest Park
Tuktut Nogait National Park is so remote that some years, very few go there. That’s just fine with the park’s caribou, raptors, wolves and Barrenland grizzlies, which are pretty much indifferent to human presence. But if you’re looking for a place to get away from it all, you can’t get more “away” than this.
The Toughest Weather
If you travel to the uttermost tip of the territory, you’ll experience what may be the harshest weather on Earth. Meteorologists say the icebound Parry Islands, near the top of the Arctic Archipelago, suffer from a combo of clouds, dampness, wind and unrelenting cold that make this the most extreme, least habitable corner of Canada.