This park is Arctic wilderness at its finest. Visitors will be in awe of the stunning river valleys, sheer cliffs, and rugged badlands. The Thomsen River provides more than 93 miles for rafting and canoeing and visitors can expect to see a variety of wildlife, including a population of muskoxen (more than 80,000!) and 750 of the endangered Peary caribou. Within the park, there are more than 230 archaeological sites and evidence has suggested that presence of human life within the park dates back more than 3,400 years.
Visiting Aulavik is truly a step back in time - an incredibly beautiful time.
The park was established in 1992.
When to Visit
Summer is a great time to plan a visit as the sun does not set for much of the season. With longer stretches of daylight, visitors have a rare chance to encounter outdoor activities, like hiking or swimming, at any time of day or night.
Aulavik National Park is located on northern Banks Island, an island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. It is truly isolated wilderness, meaning there are no facilities, campgrounds, developed trails, or road access. Chartering an aircraft is the most practical means of accessing the park and services are available from Inuvik, on the Northwest Territories mainland.
If you are traveling with a small group, you may be able to share a charter flight with other visitors. Another option and a way to keep costs down would be to fly in when another group is flying out. Park staff may be aware of flight sharing opportunities so contact the park directly when planning your trip.
Keep in mind that after being dropped off in the park, you are on their own until the plane returns for pick up. As poor weather can prevent the plane from returning on schedule, be sure to carry extra supplies and plan on at least two extra days in case of a delayed flight.
Fees charged in the park are associated with backcountry camping and fishing. They are as follows:
- Northern Park Backcountry Excursion/Backcountry: $24.50 per person, daily; $147.20 annual
- Fishing: $9.80 per person, daily; $34.30 annual
Things to Do
Aulavik National Park offers unprecedented opportunities for backcountry enthusiasts to experience the Arctic. Paddlers can take a multi-week trip down the pristine Thomsen River while backpackers can explore the vast terrain where hiking is possible almost anywhere.
Wildlife viewing and bird watching are the most popular activities available within the park. The open landscape and continuous light mean you are certain to see a variety of species such as arctic foxes, lemmings, arctic wolves, shore and sea birds, raptors, and of course, herds of muskoxen.
Remember, there are no facilities, services, established trails, or campgrounds in the park. Visitors must be entirely self-sufficient and be able to handle any medical or weather-related emergency on their own.
There are no accommodations or campgrounds in the park. Visitors are required to camp in the backcountry and with no designated campsites, you can camp anywhere you like! Avoid archaeological sites as they are off limits. Also, keep in mind that campfires are not allowed in Aulavik.
Areas of Interest Outside the Park
- Tuktut Nogait National Park of Canada
- Ivvavik National Park of Canada
Aulavik National Park
Sachs Harbour, NWT
Canada X0E 0Z0