The Western Arctic offers a variety of visitor experiences, each one unique. Each Western Arctic community has a culture and personality of its own and offers accommodations and activities for visitors.
From Inuvik, drive to the Gwich'in communities of Fort McPherson and Tsiigehtchic on the Dempster Highway, and to Tuktoyaktuk on the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway. Fly out to Aklavik, also a largely Gwich'in community, on the west side of the Mackenzie Delta. North and east of Inuvik visit the Inuvialuit communities of Sachs Harbour and Ulukhatok on the Arctic islands, or Paulatuk on the Arctic coast. Travel in safety with local airlines based in Inuvik. Book accommodation in advance, and be sure to check on meal availability.
Camping and Hiking
Visitors have a range of camping options available, from highway campgrounds to remote national parks with no visitor services. Wildlife viewing is possible. Large numbers of muskoxen roam Banks Island and the mainland, caribou nurse their young in Tuktut Nogait National Park, a reindeer herd grazes the tundra north of Inuvik, and beluga calve in the shallows of the Mackenzie estuary. Everywhere, but particularly among the waterways and islands of the Mackenzie Delta, there are huge summer flocks of nesting birds, from all points in the Americas.
For the first time visitor, the midnight sun is amazing - the sun circles overhead without setting through June and July. This is the season for insects, as well - visitors will likely want a bug jacket to fend off the little critters, and should try to avoid sheltered and boggy areas. In winter, suitable winter gear is essential - a warm parka, hat, and mitts, plus wind pants and extra warm boots. Check with your hosts in advance, they may be able to lend you some winter gear. Highway travellers should always be prepared for emergencies - with a good spare tire, some snacks and water, plus blankets or sleeping bags in case of unplanned stops.