Paddle through the heart of Aulavik National Park on this arctic canoeing expedition on the Thomsen River, one of the most northerly navigable waterways in northern Canada.
High above the arctic circle, the Thomsen river is the northerly most canoe-able river in North America. Flowing north through Aulavik National Park, the Thomsen provides an arctic oasis for wildlife. Most of the worldʼs population of Muskox can be found grazing near these river banks. Many other fascinating arctic species can be found here including the Peary caribou, snow geese, and the snowy owl. The Thomsen river valley has been used by ancient Inuit cultures for thousands of years. Archeological sites dot the landscape. Some ruins date back more then 4000 years. Rich in history and wildlife, the Thomsen river offers an arctic experience like no other.
This river can only be accessed by air. We will land on a remote airstrip near the centre of Banks Island. Our canoe trip starts near the headwaters of the Thomsen river. We will descend the river using Ally folding canoes to the mouth of the River, at McClure Straight in the Arctic ocean. The route descends almost 200 meters in just over 160 kilometers. The paddling is easy with gentle moving water, a few swifts and some shallower sections. The hiking is easy and accessible. Gentle sloping tundra hills lead you from the river banks to the tundra plateaus above.
Although this is an extremely remote location, the Thomsen River is suitable for the novice arctic explorer. Experienced arctic travelers will still appreciate the exceptional wildlife, the Some arctic camping experience is helpful but not necessary. Advanced canoeing and backpacking skills are not required - just a sense of adventure and reasonable health and fitness for your age.