Located in the high Arctic on the Northwest Territories’ Banks Island, Aulavik National Park rewards its dozen or so yearly visitors with 12,200 square kilometres of rolling lowland tundra, a lush river valley and exceptional wildlife viewing (including the world’s highest density of muskoxen).
Accessible only by air charter for a brief period each summer, the park, which has no developed trails and only one small service cabin, is best known for its arctic canoeing and kayaking. The gentle Thomsen River winds 160 kilometres through Aulavik, passing through a valley with abundant wildlife, from the iconic muskox to grizzlies, Arctic wolves and foxes and dozens of bird species. Hikers can set out on foot to explore the valley and surrounding ridges.
Visitors can also see native artefacts dating back nearly 4,000 years at hundreds of sites, ranging from ancient food caches to tent rings and lichen-covered muskox skulls.