Tuktut Nogait National Park

Travel Guide North America Canada Northwest Territories Tuktut Nogait National Park

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Introduction

Tuktut Nogait National Park is a national park located in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Meaning "young caribou" in Inuvialuktun, the park is home to the calving grounds of the Bluenose-West caribou herd.

It is also the home to other wildlife species which are muskoxen, grizzly bears, Arctic chars, red foxes, wolverines, Arctic ground squirrels, collared lemmings, and wolves. Tuktut Nogait is a major breeding and nesting ground for a wide variety of migratory birds. Raptors such as peregrine falcons, rough-legged hawks, gyr falcons and golden eagles nest along the steep walls of river canyons.

The Dolphin-Union Caribou herd which normally occupies Victoria Island and winters in the Bathurst area of Nunavut, sometimes migrates as far as Tuktut Nogait National Park following the shoreline in search of windswept areas where the snow cover is cleared making it easier for them to graze.

As is outlined in the Inuvialuit Final Agreement and the Tuktut Nogait Agreement, Inuvialuit beneficiaries have the right to pursue subsistence harvesting within the park. Currently, this takes place in the north-western part of the park and mostly entails fishing Arctic char, hunting caribou, and some trapping. By federal national parks legislation, commercial or sport hunting is not permitted.

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Geography

The park encompasses over 18,000 square kilometres and is located 170 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle in the northeast corner of mainland Northwest Territories. The main rivers that run through the park are the Hornaday River, Brock River and Roscoe River.

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Sights and Activities

Surprisingly few people experience the deep canyons, stunning waterfalls, and crystal clear rivers of Tuktut Nogait National Park. For those seeking solitude in a world where it is increasingly rare, the vast arctic landscape of Tuktut Nogait offers unparalleled opportunities.

The area’s importance as a birthing and rearing area for the Bluenose West caribou was a key factor in the establishment of the park, and is reflected in its name. In Inuvialuktun, the language of the Inuvialuit, Tuktut Nogait refers to a young caribou from the time it drops, wobbly-footed, on the tundra, until roughly one year of age.

Visit Tuktut Nogait in June for a chance to witness the herd of 20,000 Bluenose West caribou travelling to their calving grounds in the park. Paddle down the pristine Hornaday River in July along a watercourse rich with birdlife. Consider an extended wilderness hike in August when the tundra is ablaze with fall colours.

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Opening Hours

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Cost

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Getting There and Around

Paulatuk (population 300) is located 40 kilometres west of the park and approximately 420 kilometres east of Inuvik.

By Plane

Inuvik is the largest community in the region and is serviced daily by scheduled aircraft from southern Canada. Aklak Air is presently the only scheduled aircraft carrier serving the community of Paulatuk. Scheduled flights between Inuvik and Paulatuk are currently on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Schedules may be subject to change. There are no roads or trails leading directly to Tuktut Nogait from Paulatuk.

There are no ground based landing-strips, only water based landings are permitted in Tuktut Nogait. Known water base landings include, but are not limited to: Uyarsivik Lake/ Cache Lake, Canoe Lake, Long Lake, One Island Lake, Seven Island Lake, Akluk Lake, Brock Headwater Lakes and Hornaday Lake. Charter aircraft may be arranged from Norman Wells and sometimes Inuvik.

By Boat

The coastline of Darnley Bay in the Amundsen Gulf is an attractive starting point for many visitors wishing to hike into Tuktut Nogait, particularly the Brock and Hornaday River Deltas. Boat shuttle services are periodically offered by local operators to carry visitors between Paulatuk and the coastal shores to the northwest of the park. Contact the Parks Canada office in Inuvik for assistance with boat shuttle options.

By Land

Tuktut Nogait National Park is bordered on the north and west by privately-owned Inuvialuit lands. Visitors entering the park overland from the north or the west must cross these lands. Visitors crossing Inuvialuit lands are welcomed by the Inuvialuit, provided that they treat the lands with respect and that they do not interfere with Inuvialuit use and enjoyment of the lands. Visitors planning to fish on Inuvialuit lands must first register with the Paulatuk Hunters and Trappers Committee (PHTC).

The Hornaday River is a scenic and helpful navigation aid for visitors accessing Tuktut Nogait by land. The Hornaday River delta is 15 kilometres by land from Paulatuk. Visitors can follow the west bank of the Hornaday River for approximately 40 km to the boundary of Tuktut Nogait where they can enter the park.

Contact the Parks Canada office in Inuvik for assistance with land travel options.

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Eat/Drink/Sleep

The Paulatuk Hotel has ten fully equipped rooms with private washroom, fridge, telephone, wireless internet and satellite TV. A communal kitchen is available to guests. There is no restaurant in Paulatuk, but the hotel manager can provide meals upon request. Both meals and room reservations must be made well in advance of your trip.

There are no campgrounds or camping facilities (washrooms, showers, picnic tables or cooking facilities) in Paulatuk.

Basic groceries are available in Paulatuk’s Northern Store. Consider preparing your backcountry food before arriving in Paulatuk as the variety of groceries is limited.

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This is version 1. Last edited at 11:49 on Aug 10, 16 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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