In the great outdoors of Nunavut, where playful pods of belugas sing and massive herds of caribou wander, fantastically far away from most human habitation, are some magnificent wilderness lodgings. After sea kayaking near icebergs, taking pictures of lounging walruses, fishing for arctic char in rapid crystal clean waters or hiking by jagged cliffs teeming with birdlife, it is a sweet retreat for Nunavut visitors to the comforts of home in the wild.
The Inuktitut word ‘illuralaaq’ is how to say ‘cabin’ up here.
Wilderness adventure lodges in Nunavut are situated in remote locations specifically chosen for a wide variety of outdoor activities in superbly scenic arctic environments. They all come with expert local guidance, include maximum safety preparations and provide a high degree of personal service. Depending upon the season, visitors might arrive to the lodge by floatplane, boat, dogsled or snowmobile. There are no formal roads to follow in most parts of Nunavut — just good routes!
From one High Arctic wilderness adventure lodge, situated 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of Resolute Bay, near the Northwest Passage through Lancaster Sound, visitors can explore the surrounding wilderness area in kayaks or inflatable rafts, by mountain biking, hiking, or cruising across the rolling terrain on an ATV. Guided by local experts, day-trip excursions can take visitors to witness muskoxen roaming the tundra valleys, to see belugas swimming through the sound and — from a safe distance — to watch polar bears wandering through the Cunningham River delta area.
Situated in the Kitikmeot region, in the westernmost part of Nunavut, there are several lodges. The area near Bathurst Inlet is one of Nunavut’s wilderness lodging paradises. In this pristine arctic hinterland, the wilderness lodging experience is tailored to suit a visitor’s desired degree of self-reliance and personal freedom. All Nunavut lodges are reached by bush plane, to comfortable cabins set up for canoeing, fishing, wildlife viewing, esker trekking and cross-country skiing adventures. The lodge can also be fully catered with meals and service. Summer days can include bush plane trips to terrific waters for fly-fishing, or special areas for filming migrating caribou herds as seen from above. In the springtime, when there is lots of snow and long sunny days, visiting couples, families and groups who enjoy these warm, secure lodges are supplied with snowmobiles or dogsledding teams — whichever they prefer.
When staying at a wilderness lodge in Nunavut, visitors will always have the opportunity to cook their own meals, if they so wish. Perhaps to feast on some fresh fish that was caught that day. Lodges are equipped and stocked for good cooking and dining purposes. However, if visitors prefer, they can also be served hot meals after their days of arctic adventure. This might include a variety of local foods prepared in some very tasty and interesting ways, such as roasted racks of muskox, barbecued caribou burgers, smoked char, sashimi or chowder and freshly made bannock. Good food makes for good times in good company!