It’s almost certain that you’ve heard the rumours by now. And, yes, they are true. After this year, the famous ice road from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk is closing. This means you have just one more winter to experience the unique opportunity of driving, literally, on the frozen Arctic Ocean.
An excursion to Tuktoyaktuk is always an exciting venture – no matter the season or whether you boat, fly or drive. But a trip up in the winter, meandering through the frozen Mackenzie Delta and the treeless Arctic tundra as your four wheels leave pavement in favour of ice, is dreamlike.
Naturally, you will want your adventure 200 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle to be worth your while – after all, driving the ice road is just one of the many experiences you will want to have when planning a trip north.
Not only will you want to drive the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk ice road one last time before it closes for good, but you will also want to experience the unique geography of the Mackenzie Delta and the cultures of the Inuvialuit and Gwich’in peoples who call it home. And the best way to do that? Take in a local festival!
Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2017, the Inuvik Sunrise Festival has continued to grow, year after year, into one of the territory’s premier events.
In early December, the sun sets below the horizon for 30 days. Its return in January is cause for celebration. Local food, dance, music and winter activities take place at a sprawling ice-road village. But the real party begins on Saturday night – with a giant bonfire, incredible fireworks displays, and a concert inside the renowned Igloo Church.
The Inuvik Sunrise Festival takes place January 6 to 8. And, as a special bonus this year, the sun’s first appearance will occur during the opening day of the event!
For an authentic glimpse into life in Canada’s Western Arctic, there is no better opportunity than Inuvik’s Muskrat Jamboree. After all, the event is a community celebration that’s older than the town! This year will be the 60th anniversary.
If ice chiselling, harpoon throwing and muskrat skinning get your competitive juices flowing, then you will fit right in! If it doesn’t, watching dog races, enjoying country food and tapping your feet to the Drummers and Dancers is sure to please. But most importantly, you’ll want to see who gets crowned the Muskrat King and Queen!
The Muskrat Jamboree takes places April 7 to 10. And yes, you will be able to try muskrat at this festival – a Mackenzie Delta delicacy!
Perhaps the most iconic event in all of Canada’s North, the Reindeer Crossing is truly something you have to see to believe. After all, it’s not every day you get to watch 4,500 reindeer herded over an ice road in the Arctic tundra!
Join the hundreds of other spectators as you witness an event that can only be described as magical. Make sure you have your camera ready!
The Reindeer Crossing takes place on April 9, overlapping with the last day of the Muskrat Jamboree. Although the reindeer will always travel to their calving grounds each year, without the ice road it may become more difficult to witness the crossing in person. This could be your last chance!
Make this winter your year to travel north. From the closing of the ice road to all the wonderful festivals taking place in Inuvik, the time is now! Let us help plan your trip 200 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle. Packages are available.
[Contact the Town of Inuvik – email firstname.lastname@example.org]