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Backpacking on Ellesmere Island in Northern Canada

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Arctic expeditions for every skill level in Quttinirpaaq National Park


Step into Canada’s northernmost national park and hike under the midnight sun in the company of spectacular Arctic wildlife!


  • Arctic hiking in Quttinirpaaq National Park
  • Experience the High Arctic tundra under the midnight sun
  • Encounter diverse Arctic wildlife up close
  • Have once-in-a-lifetime photography experience
  • Get to know the ancient Inuit culture

Venture off-the-beaten-path into the extreme High Arctic, renowned for its awe-inspiring scenery. Staggeringly beautiful landscapes replete with dramatic mountains, ice shelves, mind-bending rock formations, and hanging glaciers await you. Gaze at Arctic wildlife that has had so little human contact that it’s often unafraid to come really close, offering a plethora of unique photography experiences. Choose how you explore Quttinirpaaq National Park on a full backpacking trip or on day hikes from our base camp at the stunning Tanquary Fiord.

So, grab your backpack and be immersed in nature just a smidge below the North Pole!

  • Small group
  • Expert guides
Availability June
Duration 16 days
Departs From Resolute Bay, NT
Difficulty Moderate / Challenging
Minimum age No limit
Group minimum 6 people
Meet on Location Yes
Pick Up No


18 268
  • Best Price Guarantee
  • International number: +1 778 348 1676

Availability (2024):
Ellesmere backpacking: July 1-18
Price: 27,500 CAD per person

Ellesmere base camp hiking: not available in 2024
July 2025
Price: 24,950 CAD per person

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What's Included


  • Charter aircraft flights between Resolute Bay and Ellesmere Island
  • 3 nights at South Camp Inn
  • Camping equipment (tents, cooking stoves, utensils, etc.)
  • Meals during the trip
  • Safety equipment

What to bring

  • Warm clothing
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Backpack
  • Rain gear
  • Camera
  • Binoculars

Not Included

  • Flights from Ottawa to Resolute Bay (Flights can be included in the package for additional cost)
  • Sleeping bag and pad
  • Personal gear
  • Gratuities

Contact us for more Information about this tour


You can also send an email to info@adventures.com, or use the contact form here below.

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Find out more details about the tour and its highlights


Ellesmere Island glacier view in north canada

Quttinirpaaq means “top of the world” in the Inuktitut language, which couldn’t be more appropriate. Perched on the northern end of Ellesmere Island, Quttinirpaaq National Park is the most northerly land in North America. The park stretches a giant 39,500 km² (15,251 mi²) and is blessed with one of the world’s most isolated and dramatic landscapes.

Quttinirpaaq boasts Barbeau Peak, the highest mountain in eastern North America,  and is home to Lake Hazen, the world’s largest lake north of the Arctic Circle. Interestingly, the area that surrounds Lake Hazen is a thermal oasis, which means that it features exceptionally warm weather conditions. Here temperatures could reach above 20°C (68°F) in the summer, attracting a diverse spectrum of wildlife that is typically uncommon in the High Arctic.

If you have ever wanted to feel like a true explorer, then Quttinirpaaq is the place for you. Since the late 19th century, it has been used as a starting point for various Arctic expeditions and Fort Congeran early Arctic exploration research basecan also be found here.

The fact that early Inuit people crossed these routes on their way to Greenland makes our hikes even more intriguing. Expert guides will share with you stories about early Inuit culture and the archeological sites scattered in the area.

As the sun never sets at this time of year, be prepared to enjoy unique flora and fauna against the always-bright sky. It’s a mysterious realm of ice and rock that will put a spell on you!

This two-week backpacking expedition is a strenuous 120-km (80-mi) hike that requires previous multi-day hiking experience. The route includes some challenging stream crossings, walking on rugged terrain, and navigation between glaciers. As we’ll be hiking most of the days, please make sure that you’re reasonably fit and active.

Our meeting point is at Resolute Bay where we’ll spend 2 nights at South Camp Inn. We’ll explore the surroundings and discuss the upcoming adventure.

Next, we’ll catch our flight to Tanquary Fiord where our backpacking adventure begins. The route will take us around Ad Astra Ice Cap with plenty of opportunities to spot diverse Arctic wildlife in the flesh.

We kick start our hike at the picturesque Tanquary Fiord, one of the main access points to Quttinirpaaq National Park. Girded by towering mountains, the fjord will take your breath away. This stunning gorge has been covered in glacier ice for thousands of years and to witness its pristine beauty feels like discovering a lost world.

As we ascend huge river valleys, get your camera ready - as some of the world’s most wild and hauntingly beautiful landscapes will come into view. Dramatic peaks, glaciers of various shapes and forms and tumbling waterfalls reign in the region. We’ll pass glistening Arctic lakes and penetrate the rugged landscape to witness the majestic Air Force and Fiala Glaciers.

Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for muskox, known as the world’s largest goat, fuzzy arctic hares, and Peary caribou, which are the smallest North American caribou and was named after the American explorer who some believe was the first person to reach the North Pole. If we’re lucky, we might even encounter the mysterious arctic wolf!

Our Arctic expedition ends in Resolute Bay where you spend a night at South Camp Inn before catching your flight to Ottawa (can be requested at additional expense).

red tents in Ellesmere Island in canada

This base camp tour is the perfect introduction to the extreme High Arctic for those who don’t want to embark on a full backpacking trip. We start our adventure at Tanquary Fiord and set up a base camp there. From there, we’ll be going on daily hikes to explore the surrounding area.

Our meeting point is at Resolute Bay where we’ll spend two nights at South Camp Inn. You’ll have some free time to explore the town of Resolute and the surrounding area.

Next, we catch our flight to Tanquary Fiord. Each day we’ll choose a different photography-oriented route, either along Mcdonald River Valley or along the coastline of the fjord. The park’s landscape is dotted with wide valleys, granite peaks, tumbling glaciers, and ice-capped mountains. Prepare to be awestruck by infinite stillness, punctuated by rare Arctic wildlife.

Spectacular animals such as muskox, arctic wolf, and rare Peary caribou await you here. Bird lovers should always keep their binoculars at hand as various species of birds will cross our paths. Hike through fields of lichen and capture the fleeting beauty of precious Arctic wildflowers.

As Quttinirpaaq National Park is illuminated by the midnight sun at this time of year, you’ll have the most satisfying photography moments. Also, you’ll have plenty of time for journal writing or sketching.

Our base camp & photography tour ends in Resolute Bay where you spend a night at South Camp Inn before catching your flight to Ottawa.

Expect 24-hours of daylight. Be prepared for cold and dry temperatures and make sure to bring warm outdoor clothing. A recommended packing list will be provided upon booking.

Cost is based on a minimum of 6 participants.

Early booking prices for reservations made by October 31, 2022

Price will increase for reservations made starting on November 1, 2022

Payment Details


  • Pricing does not include: 5.00% GST.
  • Pricing does not include $150 Park fee.
  • A 25% deposit is required to hold your reservation.
  • Balance of payment is due 90 days before trip commencement.
  • If booking within 90 days or less, full payment is required.

Cancellation Policy:

  • If you cancel 91 days or more before the start of the trip any funds submitted will be refunded as follows: 70% refund plus a 15% credit to be used on another trip with the same operator in that season or the next operating season. In addition, a $200 CAD administration fee will be deducted
  • If you cancel 90-61 days or before the start of the trip any funds submitted will be refunded as follows: 10% refund plus a 15% credit to be used on another trip with the same operator in that season or the next operating season
  • If you cancel 60 days or less before the start date there is no refund or credit. We highly encourage that you purchase trip cancellation insurance so that you are covered for any unexpected change in plans.