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Habitated places in northern Canada

Travel Forums North America Habitated places in northern Canada

1. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 9y

Can someone please tell me what would be the northern most place that people live at/tourists are able to stay in accommodation in Canada where you can reach bus vehicle other than plane? Yellowknife appears pretty far north on the map and shows as having an airport but not sure if buses would go that far north.

Also any of those islands that make up the northern section of Canada got any people living there/places tourists can stay?

Thanks for your help.

2. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 9y

I don't really know specifics, but the roads in Canada don't reach the northern-most towns. I'm guessing it would simply be impractical to maintain a road that went on for miles and miles and led to a small village. Airlines like First Air and Air Creebec serve some of the small, remote communities. And yes, people do indeed live in the remote islands (which belong to the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, I believe) - especially Baffin Island.

The islands farthest north are the Queen Elizabeth Islands - some of the largest islands in the world. They are very sparsely populated, though, and I don't know if you could get there without spending an arm and a leg.

This article ives a list of NWT roads plus a small map of roads from the south to north which may help. As far as I know, the north is very open and welcoming to tourists, although it may be more challeging to plan that traditional travel. Here are a few sites I could dig up for you:

Northern Travel
Yukon Travel
Nunavut Travel

Keep us up to date - looks like you've got an exciting trip in mind!

3. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 9y

Thanks for the info.

Don't know when I will get a chance to do that adventure, probably be like my ambitions of navigating around Greenland by kayak in the summer when the pack ice has melted enough, visiting Spitsbergen, travel to the North Pole and go on an expedition to the South Pole (costs about $100,000US last time I saw to do that particular expedition). I'll just need to win lotto or find a get very rich quick scheme!

Prices for flights from Edmonton-Inuvik on First Air seem pretty reasonable at 1143.74CAD given it is going quite a long distance and to such a remote part of the world, so maybe when I next go to Canada I'll do that before global warming destroys all what's up so far north.

4. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 9y

You can get a bus to Yellowknife and around the NWT using Frontier Coachlines. They don't, as far as I can find, have a website. But you can call them: (867) 873-4892. They connect with Greyhound at Hay River, apparently, which would connect you with the rest of the country.

Enjoy,
Greg

5. Posted by outdooren (Full Member 86 posts) 8y

You can take the Greyhound up north. You can depart from just about anywhere but you will be on the bus for a long, long time. I'm talking days, and there's just forest along the way. It's the cheapest way to get there and not very comfortable but you can do it. It is not recommended to drive there, you would need atleast 2 spare tires and extra gas. Flying is expensive but by far the most efficient way of making it there. Then you can take the bus throughout the north and even into Alaska if you wish to do so. First Air flies there from Edmonton, Alberta. If you want to go really far north, well there are only fly in Inuit communities. Very few outsiders fly into these communities and you're looking at a very pricy flight and they're probably wouldn't be any hotels as these towns aren't geared for tourism.

6. Posted by Bogman (Budding Member 61 posts) 8y

I'm a former Northwest Territories resident and still a frequent visitor for work, so know a lot about the place.

In eastern canada you can't get very far north by road. In Ontario the furthest north you can get is really Moosonee on James Bay, you can get there by train from Cochrane. In Manitoba you can also get to Churchill by train from Winnipeg. No roads though.

In the west, yes you can drive to Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories (most of it is now paved), and there is also an all season road to Wrigley and Fort Simpson on the Mackenzie River (buses are infrequent and only go as far as Fort simpson....that's ok because Wrigley is a complete dump). The roads both involve ferry crossings and are closed for several weeks during river freezing and thawing. when frozen you can just drive across. In the winter there is an ice road north from Wrigley to Norman Wells. Don't recommend it though unless you are very, very prepared.

But, the furthest north you can drive in all seasons is to Inuvik in the Mackenzie River delta. It is accessed by the Dempster Highway through the Yukon (originates near Dawson). Most of the road is gravel, and it has the same warnings above about river crossings. In winter there is an ice road that takes you through the delta and on to the Beaufort Sea to a small community called Tuktoyaktuk.

None of the islands (Queen's Elizabeth Islands, Baffin etc.) are accessible by road. And once there there are almost no roads to speak of. The Queen elizabeth Islands are basically uninhabited except for very small Inuit community, a couple of weather stations, and a military base. Oh, and in the summer you'll find a bunch of geologists wandering around (like me).