Torngat Mountains, Labrador

Torngat Mountains National Park, Labrador
Torngat Mountains National Park, Labrador

Torngat Mountains National Park is a little-visited park on the northernmost tip of Labrador, yet one of the most spectacular national parks in North America.

The park is jointly run by Parks Canada and the Nunatsiavut government. Almost all of the staff who work at the park are Inuit people who live in the region.

To start with, Torngat Mountains National Park isn’t easy to visit. To get there you either have two options: travel by plane from Goose Bay, Labrador, or travel by boat.

Traveling by boat would mean being a passenger on one of the ships which go to the Canadian Arctic or sailing your own vessel to the park.

Torngat Mountains National Park

The plane option lands at a small landing strip just outside the park, which was built during the cold war for a radar installation which was part of the Distant Early Warning Line. From there you can take a boat which will take you to the park base camp, which is your only real option for staying in the park.

Independent camping in the park is discouraged because of danger imposed by polar bears and black bears, but there are options available.

While in the park, there are excursions offered daily, either on foot or by boat.

Torngat Mountains National Park

Things to do while in Torangat Mountains include:

  • Visit the abandoned village of Hebron, a Canadian National Historic Site.
  • Hike along the hills around base camp.
  • Expereince Inuit culture, including drum dancing and throat singing.
  • Enjoy a shore lunch of freshly caught arctic char.
  • Explore the Sajlek Fjord.
  • Photograph polar bears and black bears
  • Visit Inuit archeology sites to learn about ancient Inuit culture.

Activities will be dependent on scheduling and weather.

Torngat Mountains National Park

All inclusive trips can be arranged through the Torngat Mountains Basecamp. Prices range start at CA$5,130 per person, on up.

Torngat Mountains National Park is derived from the word, Tongait, which is of Inuktit origin. This word literally translates to “place of spirits”. This speaks to the cultural tradition and history of the region, which is encompassed within the 9,700 square kilometers park. This vast area is home to polar bears, caribous, mountains, and glaciers. Both the natural formations and the wildlife that inhabit the park have existed for thousands of years.

View the complete list of North American National Parks I visited.

Photo Essay: The Southern Coast of Labrador

The province of Newfoundland and Labrador is politically one region, but in reality is two distinct places. 95% of the visitors to the province only visit the island of Newfoundland. Most people never bother to take the 15km trek across the Strait of Belle Isle to visit the other half of the province. Earlier in 2013 I had the pleasure of visiting the southern coast of Labrador, which is perhaps the most accessible part of Labrador. The purpose of my trip was to visit Canada’s newest UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Red Bay Basque Whaling Station, but I discovered much more.

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Buh Bye Newfoundland

My Route in Newfoundland
My Route in Newfoundland
I’m currently in Guysborough, Nova Scotia as a guest of Authentic Seacoast Resorts. I wish I had more time to spend here because it is a beautiful little town and it would be an excellent place to just come for a short vacation.

My Newfoundland part of the trip is over and even though I still have a quite a lot of driving ahead of me, the stretches shouldn’t be as long as what I’ve had so far. The highlights of my time in Newfoundland would have to be L’anse aux Meadows and Gros Morne National Park. L’anse aux Meadows is the location of the first European presence by Vikings around the year 1,000 AD. Gros Morne is a vastly underrated park which in many ways reminded me of New Zealand, especially Milford Sound. I plan on doing separate posts on each location at a later date.

I spent last night on the ferry from Newfoundland. I took the 5 hour ferry to Port aux Basque to get the Newfoundland and the 15 hour ferry from Argentia to get back. In theory, the ferry had internet, but in reality is was far worse than dial up. I have a hard time complaining, however, about the quality of internet while I’m in the middle of the ocean and the bits are being bounced from geosynchronous orbit and back. Continue reading “Buh Bye Newfoundland”

8 Facts You Might Not Have Known About Newfoundland

Flag of Newfoundland and LabradorAfter a surprisingly pleasant 5 hour ferry ride from North Sydney, Nova Scotia I have arrived on the shores of Newfoundland. It is an interesting place with an interesting history. Here are some facts about Newfoundland you might not know:

1) Newfoundland used to be an independent country. In 1907, Newfoundland was given dominion status by the UK along with New Zealand, Australia and Canada. It remained on an equal status until 1949 when it joined the Canadian confederation.

2) Almost everyone pronounces Newfoundland wrong. On the ferry over we were told by a native Newfie how to pronounce the word. You can know the correct pronunciation by knowing the following simple rhyme: understand Newfoundland. The “land” part is pronounced like “land” not “lund”.
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