Experience the Arctic Circle

Auyuittuq National Park

Auyuittuq is a very special place few people get to experience. When you join this trip you will have the opportunity to explore a vast arctic landscape with narrow fiords, towering mountains, hanging glaciers and, if you are lucky, some arctic wildlife. It’s a photographer’s paradise at the Arctic Circle. For more information or to book your trip, contact us.


Please note the outfitter reserves the right to cancel trips if the weather is not suitable.

On the morning of departure, please meet at the Auyuittuq National Park Visitor Centre in Pangnirtung at 8:30 am. You will start your day with the park interpreter who will lead you through the park orientation and registration. The park entry fee for the day is $16.00 per person and can be paid at the park office. If you have a valid Backcountry Camping and Excursion Pass please bring it as it is valid for day use. A minimum of 4 people per trip is required. The cost per person is $225.00. The outfitter accepts cash or e-transfer only.

During your trip, you will be accompanied by Parks Canada staff, sharing stories about the park and the area. You will travel from Pangnirtung over the spectacular Pangnirtung Fiord into Auyuittuq National Park via snowmobile and qamutik, taking approximately one hour. Be prepared for a bumpy ride! Your guide will stop periodically along route to allow you to get up and move around to keep your blood circulating, your extremities warm and to let your eyes take in the incredible scenery. Once in the park, the outfitter will stop below Crater Lake so you can walk up for a look and then continue on by foot to cross the Arctic Circle. If weather permits, you may even catch a glimpse of spectacular Thor Peak.

There is one outhouse along the route. Participants should be prepared to relieve themselves out on the land. We recommend that participants bring toilet paper in a ziploc bag with an additional bag for used toilet paper to be disposed of at the outhouse or back in the community.

You can expect to be back at the Parks Canada Visitor Centre in Pangnirtung by 5:00 pm.

April weather in the Arctic

You should be prepared for variability. April temperatures can range from +10°C to – 30 °C in Pangnirtung. Being cold can ruin your visit to the Arctic Circle. We want you to enjoy your time so we have prepared a few tips to help you make the most of your day.

Keeping your hands and feet warm and dry
You may be walking on snow, bare ice and if it is warm, slushy pools of water on ice. Whatever the conditions, Auyuittuq National Park is a wilderness area, and you will be on uneven slippery surfaces. You will want well insulated water resistant boots with good grip or tracks.

Appropriate equipment and fit are critical to keeping your hands and feet warm. Restricted circulation can be an issue if your boots are too tight or you have too many layers of socks or mittens. Keep your extremities toasty by ensuring you have good fitting mittens and boots with adequate room for circulation, but not enough for drafts. Mittens should be windproof and very warm. If you are planning on taking pictures you may want to consider bringing a light pair of gloves to keep your hands nimble while you are working with your camera. Hand and foot warmers are a good idea as well.

Keeping your core warm
Make sure you wear lots of layers and bring extras in your day pack. You can always take them off if you’re too hot. It is windy traveling behind a snowmobile so ensure you have a warm, windproof outer layer that can be synched in tight to the body to stop drafts. When your core is cold, your body pulls blood away from your extremities, making your fingers and toes cold.

Bring lots of snacks
Think of your body as a living furnace that needs fuel to keep warm. Have a big warm breakfast before coming out and keep eating during the day. Be prepared for whatever food you bring to freeze. For this reason, crackers, nuts, chocolate and dried fruits are good choices. Fatty foods like nuts and chocolate burn slowly and help keep you warm. You may want to leave the lettuce and oranges behind for this trip.

Bring a thermos full of hot liquid
A hot, sweet drink will help to keep you hydrated and your core and extremities warm. Avoid alcohol. Pangnirtung is a “dry” community and alcohol is prohibited. Drinking alcohol dilates your capillaries and drops your core temperature, making it much harder to stay warm.

Protect your head and face
No matter what you call it (toque, hat, beanie), keeping your head warm is important. You want to be able to synch your hood in tight to keep the hood on and drafts out. It’s also a good idea to pack goggles to protect your eyes and a balaclava or something to protect your face because the fast movement of the snowmobile adds wind chill to the cold temperatures making frost bite more likely.

How to get to Pangnirtung

There is no road access to Pangnirtung. Canadian North offers scheduled flights to Pangnirtung via Iqaluit from Montreal, Ottawa and Yellowknife. Weather conditions in the north may impact your travel schedule. Flights are often delayed and sometimes cancelled so allow for delays when planning.

Where to stay in Pangnirtung

Find a hotel, bed and breakfast, campground or other accommodations in Pangnirtung.

Other things to do in the Pangnirtung area

If you’re making a trip to the Arctic Circle, why not stay awhile and experience all that spectacular Pangnirtung has to offer?

Floe edge tours
A visit to the floe edge – where the frozen sea meets the open sea – is a special Arctic experience in the spring. Arctic wildlife such as seals, polar bears, walruses, narwhal, bowhead and beluga whales, and an astounding variety of birds gather at the floe edge. Be prepared for a full day trip. Fishing trips are also possible.

Auyuittuq National Park Visitor Centre
A great place to start! Here you will find exhibits that interpret the natural and cultural history of Auyuittuq National Park and other national parks and historic sites in Nunavut. The Parks Canada administrative office is in the same building.

Angmarlik Interpretative Centre
Located next to the Auyuittuq National Park Visitor Centre, this community museum, library and Elder’s centre displays representations of traditional Inuit and whaling life in Cumberland Sound. Elders meet three times a week in the afternoon to play cards, knit, play games or chat with each other.

Pangnirtung community history and sites
Between the Hamlet Office and the Angmarlik Centre is a small yellow house that was the home of the community’s first doctor. It was moved from its old location and used as the first visitor centre for the community.

Behind the Northern Store are the former Hudson’s Bay Company buildings. On the high rock near the shore is a small black cannon that was fired whenever the ships arrived.

On the beach, near the Auyuittuq Lodge, are the old whale blubber station buildings which were in operation by the Hudson’s Bay Company until 1964.

The Ukuma Trail skirts the Duval River and heads toward Kingnait Fiord. The trail found on the far side of the river. It follows an easy route onto Mount Duval where you can see the spectacular scenery around Pangnirtung.

Shopping for artwork

There are many artisans in Pangnirtung, producing amazing work to sell to locals and visitors. Some local artists sell their wares going from house to house or to offices, you may want to have cash on hand so you can purchase directly from the artists.

The Uqqurmiut Centre for Arts and Craft
Phone: (867)-473-8669, Fax: 473-8634, Email: inuitart@nunanet.com
A locally-owned business and primarily a tapestry studio, print shop and craft gallery, this small shop sells carvings, tapestries and prints, as well as the famous crocheted Pangnirtung hats, Malaya sweaters, soapstone and whalebone carvings, brooches, and pins by many local artists. The weaving shop also produces blankets, scarves and sweaters.

Arctic Inuit Co-op
Phone: (867) 473-8936/8970, Fax: 473-8657
A general store that sells local carvings and crafts as well as groceries, produce, hardware etc.

The Northern Store
Phone: (867) 473-8935/8908, Fax: 473-8610
Sells a little of everything, from snowmobiles, to clothes, groceries and produce, craft supplies home and hardware.

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