Ancient paths worn smooth by generations of migrating caribou. Centuries old stone circles that mark the traditional campsites of our ancestors. Nomadic hiking and camping was our way of life in Nunavut for generations and still today has special, precise and deep cultural connections to the land and our heritage. Using animal skin tents (ittaq in Inuktitut) in summer or the ingenious igloo in winter - or now the modern and practical canvas tent (tupiq), the tradition continues for Inuit and visitors alike. Going “on the land” as Nunavummiut refer to camping is often motivated by berry picking, fishing or hunting. Regardless of the reason to camp, being on the land is a connection Inuit celebrate.
Experiences and Locales
Summer hiking and camping experiences include the migratory bird wetlands of Polar Bear Pass near Resolute; along the shores of Whale Cove for sightings of beluga whales; through wondrous Akshayuk Pass in the mountains of Auyuittuq National Park featuring magnificent Mount Thor and the world’s tallest vertical cliff face at 1,250 metres (4,101 feet) near Pangnirtung.
Hikers should also visit Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park near Iqaluit, and the communities of Baker Lake, Rankin Inlet and Chesterfield Inlet with nearby caribou paths and calving grounds.
On Victoria Island in and around Cambridge Bay you’ll find abundant bird habitats, astounding Arctic shorelines, local fishing spots and important archeological sites. Another historical hike in the paths of the Arctic explorers Amundsen and Franklin runs through the Northwest Passage Historical Park near the community of Gjoa Haven.