Reindeer crossing in Inuvik

Destination: Western Arctic

Three Cultures On Top of the World

'Our lady of Victory' igloo church in Inuvik

Destination: Western Arctic

Three Cultures On Top of the World

A man looking out over the Dempster Highway

Destination: Western Arctic

Three Cultures On Top of the World

Invualuit dancers in mukluks

Destination: Western Arctic

Three Cultures On Top of the World

Pingo on Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway

Destination: Western Arctic

Three Cultures On Top of the World

Western Arctic

The Arctic is a land of icons

Polar bears. Reindeer. Treeless tundra, sprawling to infinity. High Arctic islands, reaching toward the pole. Beluga. Muskoxen. An ocean, frozen in place, gleaming in the nightless spring. It’s all here, along with the people who call it home – the Gwich’in and Inuvialuit, who’ve thrived here for eons along the mouth of the Mackenzie River and the flanks of the Northwest Passage.

The Western Arctic is remote, but getting here is half the fun: The Dempster Highway unfurls over the mountains from Dawson City, Yukon, making it the northernmost drive in Canada. Once here, the options are limitless: Explore bustling Inuvik, built in the 1950s like a space-base in the Far North. Boat through the maze-like Delta, rife with rare birds and beasts. See two national parks: Aulavik and Tuktut Nogait. And visit a medley of idyllic villages, from friendly Fort McPherson to Ulukhaktok, site of the farthest-north golf tournament on Earth.

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