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NUNAVIK: "THE GREAT LAND" DELIVERS GREAT ADVENTURE
 
(2023 - Spring/Summer Issue)

Writer: JOSEPHINE MATYAS



The Nunavik region of Québec’s Far North is a nature lover’s dream come true. This Arctic landscape sits above the 55th parallel: a backcountry wilderness of alpine tundra, gravity-defying mountains, remote coastlines, friendly Inuit communities and four Québec national parks.

To polar bears, muskox and caribou, the tundra, tumbling waterways and craggy shores are their homes. The Inuit people have journeyed and settled on this land for more than four millennia. Today, they guide excursions into the inviolable grandeur of the Nunavik Parks, marrying unspoiled adventure with rich cultural experiences and the magical northern lights. 

Pingualuit National Park  

A backcountry trip to Pingualuit goes to the park’s signature feature—the almost perfectly round crater filled with clear blue rainwater, formed when a meteorite slammed into the tundra 1.4 million years ago. The nearby base camp at Lake Manarsulik is the jumping-off point for explorations into the surreal beauty of the parklands. Visitors arrive at the Inuit community of Kangiqsujuaq, nearby the Hudson Strait, to meet their Inuit guides before travelling 120 km (75 mi.) to the crater site by panoramic flight. Adventurers paddle Lake Manarsulik and hike the crater rim with vistas over the treeless Arctic tundra. nunavikparks.ca/en/parks/pingualuit

Kuururjuaq National Park 

Climb Québec’s highest summit, Mont D’Iberville, and hike the foothills of the Torngat Mountains, Canada’s tallest peaks east of the Rockies. Its superlatives include:  spellbinding vistas of rolling tundra, spiritual treks through ancient boreal spruce forests and camping in traditional Inuit tents while the Northern Lights play overhead. The headwaters of the Koroc River flow from the Torngats, a place the Inuit call “The Land of Spirits,” a navigable waterway for whitewater paddling. The welcoming community of Kangiqsualujjuaq is the home base for expeditions where experienced Inuit guides share the love of their Arctic homeland and the richness of their culture and history.  nunavikparks.ca/en/parks/Kuururjuaq

Tursujuq National Park 

Wilderness adventures into Tursujuq—Québec’s most massive park and an ancient crossroads where Inuit and Cree have coexisted for more than 3,000 years—begin in Umiujaq, a tight-knit Inuit community on the shore of Hudson Bay. Guided excursions start at the thundering waters of majestic Nastapoka Falls, a spot renowned for its plentiful wildlife. Hike the Hudson coastline’s signature cuestas, and paddle campsite-to-campsite while sea kayaking on the inland sea that is the vast Tasiujaq Lake. Or journey to Lake Wiyâshâkimî, the second largest lake in Québec. With its sandy beaches, rocky hills and plateaus, it is an ideal place to explore on a fat bike. At night, nature may pull out all the stops with a showy display of Northern Lights while visitors gather in the tupik (the traditional Inuit tent) to listen to guides tell of how the land and culture are intertwined in rich Inuit traditions. nunavikparks.ca/en/parks/Tursujuq 

Ulittaniujalik National Park

Ulittaniujalik National Park is the newest park in Nunavik, offering opportunities to embark on a canoe-camping expedition down the legendary George River and hiking around the park’s iconic Pyramid Mountain. It also provides a sanctuary for caribou calving grounds. nunavikparks.ca/en/parks/ulittaniujalik

Fantastic Arctic Wildlife

Nunavik is also the realm of amazing Arctic wildlife, on which rules the revered polar bear, a remarkable marine mammal that can be observed in its natural coastal habitat. It is also possible to observe the great caribou migration of one of the largest herds in the world. Exclusive encounters with the muskox, a prehistoric specimen straight out of the Ice Age, as well as with other members of the Arctic fauna, such as the elusive tundra wolf, are also among the highlights of a journey to Nunavik.  

World-class Fishing 

This pristine land presents countless lakes and majestic rivers, where swarms of salmonidae and other plus-sized fish species swim in its clear waters, all worthy of great fishing tales. The famous Arctic char and big Atlantic salmon will be sure to give fishing enthusiasts an exciting challenge at the end of their line, not to mention other great catches such as giant lake trout, frisky brook trout or delicious speckled trout. A true fishing adventure awaits. 

A Vibrant Inuit Culture

A friendly people of many legends, it’s with your Inuit hosts that you will discover this Far North region of Québec. Proud of their unique ancestral heritage, the Inuit of Nunavik are more than happy to share their way of life with visitors keen on discovering their vibrant culture. Whether you visit the national parks, track wildlife or fish with them, head out on the land to sleep in a tupik beneath the northern lights, or simply visit one of their tight-knit communities, you’re in for a truly authentic experience. Their elders’ stories, mesmerizing throat songs and legends coming to life in soapstone will offer you a lifetime of memories.

Travel Planner

Nunavik Parks offer a variety of all-inclusive packages with the Inuit people that include transportation from Montréal, meals and accommodations. For details, see nunavikparks.ca or call Voyages FCNQ toll-free 1-800-463-7610.  For more travel information about Nunavik and for a listing of additional Nunavik tour operators and fishing outfitters, visit nunavik-tourism.com

 
 
 
 
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