Find out more details about the tour and its highlights
Spanning 21,470 km2 (8,290 mi2), Auyuittuq National Park is located on Baffin Island in Nunavut, Canada. Auyuittuq means "the land that never melts" in Inuktitut with good reason. The majority of the territory is covered by the majestic Penny Ice Cap, which has been shaping the landscape since the last ice age retreated.
Chief among the park’s attractions, however, is the celebrated Akshayuk Pass. Adventurous hikers can enter the pass via both the southern and northern sides where the small Inuit communities of Pangnirtung and Qikiqtarjuaq reside. On our backpacking trips, you can choose to hike all or just a part of Akskayuk Pass. There are four different hikes based on your level of endurance.
We'll hike through one of the world's most remote and dramatic landscapes, including tumbling glaciers, mind-bending rock formations, rugged valleys, turquoise lakes, and solitary mountain ranges scoured by the wind. We'll encounter legendary peaks of Mount Thor and Mount Asgard, which was featured in the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me.
This tour is a perfect introduction to the prehistoric world of untouched Arctic nature. "It's like going back to the dawn of creation," Canadian painter and filmmaker Cory Trépanier aptly observed, as reported by National Geographic.
The Auyuittuq Getaway is a 30-km (19-mi) hike that requires no previous backpacking experience. While this trip is designed for beginner hikers, do make sure that you feel comfortable walking on rough terrain with a backpack on your shoulders. First ...)
The Auyuittuq Getaway is a 30-km (19-mi) hike that requires no previous backpacking experience. While this trip is designed for beginner hikers, do make sure that you feel comfortable walking on rough terrain with a backpack on your shoulders. First and last days are in hotels, the days in between, in tents. Airport transfers on first and last days are included in the price.
We meet in Pangnirtung, a tiny Inuit hamlet sitting on the coast of the awe-inspiring Pangnirtung Fjord. Once there, take in the stunning vistas of the surrounding snow-dusted mountains and get acclimated to the North.
The next day, we’ll take a motorboat ride from Pangnirtung, otherwise known as Pang, to Overlord, the main entry into the park. You might find it difficult to turn your back on the vast ridges of Mount Overlord but it’s time to set off on our hiking adventure.
Our journey kicks off with a hike up the Weasel River Valley. Admire the magnetizing turquoise color of Crater Lake, which sits in the shadow Tumbling Glacier. Then, get your camera ready - it's time to take pictures of the Arctic Circle marker! A stunning reward awaits you at Schwarzenbach Falls, the tallest waterfall within the Arctic Circle. This roaring cascade drops 520 m into a valley carved out by glaciers.
We’ll be following Inukshuks - man-made stone cairns - that mark the safest routes across the frozen tundra. These figures bear significant cultural value to the Inuit people since they have used them to navigate the harsh wilderness for many centuries.
Our turnaround point is at Windy Lake, where we make a stop to freshen up and rest. From there a long-day hike will take us to the base of Mount Thor, towering at an elevation of 1,675 m (5,495 ft). Named after the Norse god of thunder, this mesmerizing peak boasts the tallest vertical cliff on Earth! It rises 1,250 m (4,101 ft) at an average angle of 105 degrees. After witnessing the natural grandeur of this unique mountain, we’ll head back to Overlord.
Going back is easier as you’ll have a much lighter backpack. Enjoy the last moments of this unexplored wilderness and take a bagful of unforgettable memories home!
You spend the night at Auyuittuq Lodge before catching your flight to Ottawa.
The Auyuittuq Classic is a 70-km (43-mi) hike along the Weasel River to Summit Lake, the highest point on the Akshayuk Pass, and then back to Overlord, the southern entrance of the park. This backpacking trip requires some hiking experience but reaso...)
The Auyuittuq Classic is a 70-km (43-mi) hike along the Weasel River to Summit Lake, the highest point on the Akshayuk Pass, and then back to Overlord, the southern entrance of the park. This backpacking trip requires some hiking experience but reasonably fit novices might also join us on this unforgettable adventure. First and last days are in hotels, the days in between, in tents.
Our meeting point is at Pangnirtung, a small Inuit community surrounded by the imposing mountains that guard the town against the harsh Arctic winds.
The next morning, we’ll hop on a motorboat and travel through the beautiful Pangnirtung Fjord to Overlord. As we navigate the fjord, enjoy the breathtaking scenery made up of towering peaks.
Our hike will take us along rugged Weasel River valley, which curves to the top of the pass. We’ll reach Crater Lake, an old glacier moraine that formed a lake, before crossing the imaginary line of the Arctic Circle - the perfect reward for all of your efforts! A particular Inukshuk - Inuit man-shaped cairns - marks this line that is located at latitude 66°33’ North.
As we continue with our journey, prepare to encounter the tallest waterfall known to humans within the Arctic Circle, Schwarzenbach Falls. Take a few moments to admire this solitary cascade that will take your breath away.
Later, we’ll pass Windy Lake before reaching fascinating Mount Thor, the sight of which will send shivers down your spine. This gargantuan mountain holds the record for the tallest vertical cliff on the planet! It rises 1,250 m (4,101 ft) and the slope is even steeper than the vertical with an angle of 105 degrees.
Finally, we reach our turnaround point, Summit Lake. The highest point in the park is an ideal place to contemplate the uncanny beauty of the Canadian Arctic. If the weather is favorable for a day-hike, we’ll head to the Turner Glacier to catch a glimpse of Mount Asgard. This cylindrical peak with an elevation of 2,015 m (6,611 ft) looks like some kind of mythological creature and is the most famous of the Baffin Mountains.
Our backpacking adventure ends in Pangnirtung where you spend the night at Auyuittuq Lodge before catching your flight back to Ottawa.
The Auyuittuq Traverse is a strenuous 97-km (60-mi) hike through the entire Akshayuk Pass. We start with a boat ride from Qikiqtarjuaq, the northern entrance to the park, and end in Pangnirtung. First and last days are in hotels, the days in between,...)
The Auyuittuq Traverse is a strenuous 97-km (60-mi) hike through the entire Akshayuk Pass. We start with a boat ride from Qikiqtarjuaq, the northern entrance to the park, and end in Pangnirtung. First and last days are in hotels, the days in between, in tents.
This backpacking expedition is designed for experienced hikers and includes challenging river crossings and walking on uneven terrain. Do make sure you’re fit and feel comfortable with multi-day hiking. While this trip might require a little extra effort, it also provides once-in-a-lifetime travel moments at every stage of the journey!
We meet at Qikiqtarjuaq, formerly known as Broughton Island, where we spend the night at Tulugak Hotel.
Next day, we’ll take a motorboat ride through the Northern Pangnirtung Fjord to the mainland of Baffin Island. As the surrounding waters of Qikiqtarjuaq are abundant with marine wildlife, keep your eyes peeled for whales, narwhals walruses, and seals.
We travel up Owl River Valley, packed with rarely traversed landscapes until we find ourselves between Glacier Lake and Summit Lake. Shortly after, the magnificent Mount Asgard will come into view. Girded by ancient glaciers, this mountain has two flat top cylindrical peaks and a saddle-like rock formation that connects them. The unique mountain towers up 2,011 m (6,598 ft) and is certainly a worthy home for the mighty pantheon of Norse gods.
After passing Summit Lake, our descent through the Weasel River Valley begins. Prepare for another awe-inspiring sight. Mount Thor with the steepest vertical cliff on Earth, up to 1,250 m (4,101 ft), will stretch your imagination. Continuing with our hike, we'll pass Windy Lake and a bit farther, we'll cross the Arctic Circle.
Finally, we reach Crater Lake and carry on towards Mount Overlord, the final waypoint of the Akshayuk Pass. Here the hiking part of our trip ends. A boat ride through Pangnirtung Fjord will take us to Pangnirtung. Here you spend the night at Auyuittuq Lodge before catching your flight to Ottawa.
This backpacking expedition is analogous to Auyuittuq Traverse, but is 2 days shorter and requires intermediate hiking skills and stamina. The direction of the hike is reversed. We begin our hiking adventure at Overlord, the southernmost entrance to ...)
This backpacking expedition is analogous to Auyuittuq Traverse, but is 2 days shorter and requires intermediate hiking skills and stamina. The direction of the hike is reversed. We begin our hiking adventure at Overlord, the southernmost entrance to the park, and end at Northern Pangnirtung Fjord. First and last days are in hotels, the days in between, in tents.
We'll ascend the Weasel River Valley and explore Summit Lake and the Glacier Lake region, where the majestic Mount Asgard soars up. Then, we'll hike down the Owl River Valley to our final hiking point at Northern Pangnirtung Fjord. This concludes our adventure and you come back home with unforgettable experiences, to say the least.
At this time of year, temperatures run around 10-20°C (50-68°F) on average. That said, expect clear and sunny days, but as Arctic weather is always changing, do make sure that you prepare for rainy or windy days as well. Group camping equipment and...)
Park fee of $150 per person applies to all trips