Tuktut Nogait National Park is an unsung Eden, with fewer visitors per decade than Banff sees every minute. It boasts waterfalls, wildlife, canyons and ancient cultural sites, all hugging the shores of the Northwest Passage. Even better, it has exactly zero traffic jams or crowded campgrounds. So leave the lineups, catch a floatplane and come on up.
The park’s most prominent river, the Hornaday, begins placidly enough, sliding broad and gentle through the upland tundra north of Great Bear Lake. Where the river nears the Arctic coast, it goes into overdrive, carving out slot canyons 170-metres high or more, and frothing with Class IV rapids.
While it may be empty today, Tuktut Nogait is packed with evidence of past human occupation. There are more than 300 known archeological sites here, some a thousand years old. You’ll see tent rings, hunting blinds and food caches the Copper Inuit used to store caribou meat – timeless mementos, enduring on the treeless landscape.
Tuktut Nogait’s most photographed landmark is 23-metre-high La Roncière falls, located in the northwest part of the park where the Hornaday River dances down a tiered stone staircase. And here’s what’s even better: Below the falls, brilliant red Arctic char splash in the cool current.
Located well above the Arctic Circle, Tuktut Nogait enjoys bright skies all summer long. Between the perpetual lights and the utter lack of responsibilities or appointments, you’re free to do as you please – trekking, cooking, camping or kicking back any time of the day or night.
Intrigued by our wildest park? Here's more on experiencing Tuktut Nogait.