Skip to main content
Home Destinations Western Arctic

The Arctic is a land of icons

Caribou. Muskox. Reindeer. Treeless tundra, sprawling to infinity. High Arctic islands reaching toward the North Pole. Beluga. Polar bears. An ocean, frozen in place, seemingly frigid yet alive with abundance; a sustaining life source. It’s all here, along with the people who call it home — the Gwich’in and Inuvialuit, who’ve thrived here for millennia alongside the mouth of the Mackenzie River and the flanks of the Northwest Passage.

The Western Arctic is remote, but getting there is half the fun. The Dempster Highway unfurls over the mountains from Dawson City, Yukon, making it the northernmost drive in Canada. Ice roads, ferries and sturdy aircraft connect the more remote, though no less welcoming communities along a road that now connects Canadians to the shores of the Arctic Ocean.

Once here, the options for adventure are limitless. Explore bustling Inuvik, built in the 1950s by the government as a political centre for the region. Boat through the maze-like Delta, rife with rare birds and wildlife. See two national parks — Aulavik and Tuktut Nogait. Brush up against the history of the Mad Trapper and the Lost Patrol. Visit a medley of idyllic villages, from friendly Fort McPherson to Ulukhaktok, the site of the farthest-north golf tournament on Earth. This is a land of icons and it is an iconic destination.