Auyuittuq National Park

The Akshayuk Pass is the most popular skiing and hiking destination in the park. It is a 97 kilometre natural corridor between mountains and ice that will immerse you in what this landscape has to offer. Depending on your experience and skill level, a traverse through the pass will usually take 8 to 12 days or you can do shorter 2 to 6 day trips. Ask staff for destination recommendations. There are 9 emergency shelters spaced about one day’s travel apart. You won’t find any campgrounds or services in the park except for outhouses located near the shelters. Despite no designated trail to follow, the pass follows a glacial valley and significant landmarks. The striking views of Overlord, Odin, Thor and Asgard peaks will guide you through this spectacular landscape.

July and August are the most popular months for hiking in the park. While warm summer temperatures are common in July and August, hikers should be prepared at all times for inclement weather such as sudden drops in temperature, strong winds, and rain or snow.

Most visitors hike the southern portion of the trail, from Overlord to Summit Lake and back. This route takes 5 to 6 days. A small but growing number of visitors hike the entire trail from North Pangnirtung Fiord to Overlord. This route requires about 8 days (one-way). The most rugged section of trail is between Thor Peak and Glacier Lake. The trail traverses several glacier moraines and many river crossings. Regardless of which route is chosen, extra time should be allotted in case of bad weather.

Guides and outfitters are available in Pangnirtung and Qikiqtarjuaq to provide boat transportation to and from the trailheads.

While it is possible to travel the 31 kilometres from Pangnirtung to the park by foot along the fiord in summer, this takes 2 to 3 days and is not recommended. It is much easier during the winter, when travelling on the sea ice. At the north end of the park, it is approximately 82 kilometres from the community of Qikiqtarjuaq to the North Pangnirtung emergency shelter. Since Qikiqtarjuaq is located on an island, it is important to know that you will need a boat operator to reach the community.

Always plan extra time for travel in the park and a couple of extra days in the communities, particularly as weather and river crossings can affect your schedule any time in the season.

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