Nunavut National Parks

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There are 5 national parks in Nunavut. Each of them is very remote and difficult to access. Some parks may get fewer than 10 visitors per year.

Nunavut National Parks Placeholder
Nunavut National Parks
  • Auyuittuq National Park
  • Sirmilik National Park
  • Quttinirpaaq National Park
  • Qausuittuq National Park
  • Ukkusiksalik National Park

Auyuittuq National Park

Akshayuk Trail, Auyuittuq National Park
Akshayuk Trail, Auyuittuq National Park © Parks Canada

Pronounciation: Ah-You-A-Tuck

Auyuittuq National Park is the most visited national park in Nunavut being the southernmost park on Baffin Island and gets several expedition ships which visit the park each summer. Annual visitors were 200 in 2016-17 and 709 in 2017-18. The park is noted for Mount Thor, which is the largest single vertical drop at 4,101 feet (1,250 m). The park was originally established as Baffin Island National Park Reserve in 1972 but had its name changed to reflect the local Inuit community in 1976. It was upgraded to full national park status in 2000.

The park has its headquarters in the town of Pangnirtung, Nunavut, which is the closest community to the park.

Most visitors to the park will be visiting on expedition trips to the Arctic. You can, however, do a land-based visit with outfitters in the towns of Pangnirtung or Qikiqtarjuaq.

Sirmilik National Park

Iceberg on Eclipse Sound off the southwest of Bylot Island, Sirmilik National Park
Iceberg on Eclipse Sound off the southwest of Bylot Island, Sirmilik National Park © Parks Canada / L. Narraway

Pronounciation: Sir-ma-lik

Sirmilik National Park is the second most visit park in Nunavut with 494 visitors in 2017-18 and the second largest national park in the territory at 22,200 km2. Sirmilik is one of two parks on Baffin Island, located approximately 500 miles (850 km) north of Auyuittuq National Park. As with Auyuittuq, most of the visitors to the park come on expedition ships in the summer.

The park headquarters is located in the town of Pond Inlet Nunavut which is located near the park. Guides and outfitters for the park can be found in Pon Inlet and Arctic Bay.

Quttinirpaaq National Park

Tanquary Fiord, Quttinirpaaq National Park
Tanquary Fiord, Quttinirpaaq National Park © Parks Canada/Ryan Bray

Pronounciation: koo-tin-ir-pa-ak

Quttinirpaaq National Park is the third most visited national park in Nunavut with 33 visitors in 2017-18. It is the largest national park in Nunavut and the northernmost national park in Canada. It is located about 500km north of the northernmost permanent human settlement in Canada.

In the summer, there is a ranger station in Tanquary Fiord which has a runway but has no regular human population outside of the summer months.

The park can be reached by charter plane from Resolute Bay to Tanquary Fiord, which is 500 miles to the south.

Visiting the park requires a great deal expense to get there, and a great deal of organization for your stay, as there are no support facilities in the park. Parks Canada is organizing 2 trips to Quttinirpaaq National Park in 2019 with a limit of 8 people in each group.

Qausuittuq National Park

Humphery Hills, Qausuittuq National Park
Humphery Hills, Qausuittuq National Park. © Parks Canada

Pronunciation: Kow-soo-ee-tooq

Qausuittuq National Park is located on Bathurst Island, Nunavut. It is one of the least visited parks in the entire Parks Canada system. Annual visitor counts are so low they haven’t been formally reported the last few years. There are no guides or outfitting services which will regularly take visitors to the park.

The park represents the Western High Arctic Natural Region of Canada. The park is very dry getting less than 130 mm (5.1 inches) of precipitation each year. It is best known for its heard of Peary caribou, and for being on the route of the Northwest Passage.

Ukkusiksalik National Park

Aurora borealis near Wager Bay, Ukkusiksalik National Park
Aurora borealis near Wager Bay, Ukkusiksalik National Park © Parks Canada / L. Narraway

Pronounciation:ooooo-koo-sik-sa-lik

Also one of the least visited parks in Canada, Ukkusiksalik National Park surrounds Wagner Bay, which is an inlet along northern Hudson Bay. The headquarters for the park is in Naujaat, aka Repulse Bay, Nunavut. It is a 7-hour boat trip from Rankin Inlet which is the closest “major” settlement with regular flights.