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Sirmilik National Park backpacking trip in Arctic Nunavut

This tour offers a rare opportunity for a backpacking adventure into Bylot Island's Sirmilik National Park, one of Canada's newest national parks. Sirmilik National Park offers some of the best hiking in the Arctic. Ice-capped towering mountains, lush tundra valleys, glaciers and unique eroded formations known as "Hoodoos", showcase the incredible variety the island has to offer. Containing fifty different species of birds (of which thirty are known to breed) this island sanctuary is also has more than three hundred species of plants. Most hiking will be over grassy and mossy tundra; some rocky moraine fields and the route chosen will involve several stream and small river crossings.

The expedition is within Sirmilik National Park (the place of glaciers). Established in 2001, the park encompasses over 22,000 sq. km. The park has 3 distinct regions - Oliver Sound, a long narrow fjord bounded by high cliffs and glaciers, an area of river valleys and plateau on Baffin island's Bordon Peninsula and most of Bylot Island, a complex area of mountains, ice fields and glaciers, with a coastal lowland.

The route of the expedition is on Bylot Island 30 km to the north of Pond Inlet. With mountains rising 2,000 meters out of the surrounding waters, the area marks the northern terminus of a Precambrian mountain range that forms the backbone of Baffin Island. Bylot has fascinating eroded rock formations called Hoodoos. Bylot has been a migratory bird sanctuary since 1965 with thousands of birds nesting on the cliffs. The park supports caribou, arctic fox, arctic hare and wolves. When the sea ice melts polar bears retreat to Bylot Island for the short summer. The surrounding seas are a summering area for narwhals and beluga whales. Seals and walrus may be observed. Icebergs may still be seen in the channels in August.

$6395.00 CAD
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There is a 5:1 guest to guide ratio on this trip. Your guides carry a deep appreciation and respect for the land and are sensitive to its demands and needs.  They are very experienced and professional and will ensure you experience a safe and comfortable trip.

On most expeditions there will be an assistant guide as well. The guides are always ready to provide coaching and helpful advice on any aspect of the trip and will attempt to maximize the spirit of adventure for each individual. Your safety is their prime concern and your guide will make decisions with this in mind. We must stress that listening carefully to instructions and directions given by the guide is your responsibility and in the best interest of you and the group.



Some previous experience is expected. This trip is suitable for the adventurous hiker, in good health with some previous wilderness camping and hiking experience. There are no trails and there may be considerable elevation change. There may be some challenging stream crossings. The trip is in an area of extreme isolation. If you were injured or became ill it may some time, even days, before you receive outside medical treatment. Anyone with recurring medical issues or chronic injuries should consult their physician before applying for this expedition. At the campsite everyone pitches in with setting up tents, preparing meals, telling stories etc. The guides co-ordinate things and are always ready to assist you in any tasks. They will provide expert coaching and lots of personal attention.


Requirements: Backpack, sleeping bag, $150 national park fee.


Trips originate and end in Pond Inlet on Baffin Island.  Pond Inlet is accessible by air from Ottawa. Charter flights between Ottawa and Pond Inlet can be added to the package for an additional cost.


The route is classified as having a Polar Maritime Climate. In the 24 hour darkness of mid winter the average day time low is a punishing -38°C. In mid August it is light during the day and things have warmed up considerably. Nonetheless this is one of our coldest summer destinations. Expect the day time high to average something like 9°C (45°F) with night time lows of perhaps 2°C (36°F). The record highs and lows range from +18°C (64°F) to -6°C (21°F) during the dates of the expedition. Winds can make it feel colder. The average wind speed is 10 km/h. Expect some wind every day. It rains on average 1 out of 3 days but the total precipitation in August is about 1/3 of Toronto or New York City. It snows once in August on average. It is light about 12 hours a day with bright sun perhaps 6.5 hours per day. 


All camping and expedition equipment, tents, motor boat transfers, safety equipment.


Warm clothing to suit a variety of weather conditions.  Warm coat, long underwear, hiking boots, hat, gloves, fleece underclothes, rain gear, wool socks.  Suggested clothing list is available upon request.


Camera, daypack, sunglasses, sunscreen, water bottle.


First and last night accommodations are in a hotel in Pond Inlet.  During the trek accommodations are in comfortable tent campsites. Hotel accommodations in Pond Inlet are not included in the price and will be about $200 per person per night.



Meals are included from lunch on Day 2 to lunch on Day 10 plus a farewell dinner in Pond Inlet on Day 11. All other meals while in Pond Inlet are not included in the price.

Meals are cooked over camping stoves from a combination of fresh, dried and freeze-dried products. Our light weight ovens allow us to bake breads, muffins and desserts. Breakfasts generally consist of fruit, cereal (either hot or cold) and main course such as blueberry pancakes or breakfast burritos. At lunch you will enjoy a selection of breads (rye bread, bagels, tortillas) with cheese, dried salami, tuna salad ... and of course, good old peanut butter and jam. This would be followed up by granola bars or dried fruit. Dinner consists of hors d'oeuvers, followed by a main course then dessert. Main courses may be a pasta-based dish such as Pesto-Pine Nut Fuselli, or a rice based meal such as an Oriental Stir Fry. On cooler days, a hearty mug of steaming soup is always available, as well as tea, coffee, hot chocolate and cold drinks.

We encourage participants to contribute as much as you wish to meal preparation. The guides are more than happy to share their expertise around the campfire kitchen ... it is always a fun part of the day and an opportunity to share thoughts, ideas and stories. If you have a food allergy or a significant dietary restriction you must inform our office. You may be required to assist in your food planning and preparation. Given the remoteness of the route, the implications could be profound if you could not eat the food or became seriously ill.


Aug 06, 2019 - Aug 19, 2019
$6395.00 / per person - CAD

Pricing does not include: 5.00% GST.

A 25% deposit is required to hold your reservation.

Balance of payment is due 60 days before trip commencement.
Cancellations up to 61 days, deposit refundable minus $100. From 31 - 60 days we retain 50% of the fee. From 15 - 30 days we retain 75% of the fee. From 0 - 14 days we retain 100% of the fee.

Aug 06, 2019 - Aug 19, 2019

Day 1

Monday, August 4, 2014 Flight North to Baffin Island - Arrival 9:15 AM flight from Ottawa to Pond Inlet, via Iqaluit. Arrive at 5:40 PM. Greeted at the airport and transported to hotel for welcome supper. Hotel  accommodation. Group talk and gear check. Evening spent relaxing or exploring some of the community.

Day 2

Expedition Departure
Breakfast. Morning departure from Pond Inlet by motorboat to Bylot Island (Sirmilik National Park) Set up camp, short 'shake down hike'.

Day 3

Days 3-10:

Hiking Expedition
Hiking and Exploring Bylot Island

Day 11

Return to Pond Inlet
Afternoon pick up from final campsite - motorboat transfer back to Pond Inlet. Check into hotel, showers, supper.

Day 12

Friday, August 15, 2014 Departure - Flight South to Ottawa.
Breakfast. 8 AM flight from Pond Inlet to Ottawa via Iqaluit, NU. Arrive in Ottawa at 4:50 PM