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Prince of Wales Fort National Historic Site

Adventure at the Edge of the Arctic! : A Northern Iconic Experience

York Factory National Historic Site York Factory National Historic Site
© Parks Canada

Take in the sounds and smells of 300 years of history as you arrive at York Factory – do you have what it takes to live a fur trade life? Try your hand at fur trader skills before boarding a bush plane over the boggy green tundra, keeping your eyes peeled for the sight of a polar bear or a caribou.

From the ground, Wapusk National Park stretches before you in every direction: the sky seems to be bigger than you’ve ever imagined. Hike out onto the tundra, escorted confidently by a local bear monitor and watch the purple blooms of the fireweed dance quietly in the breeze.

Journey across the Churchill River estuary, watching for some of the 3,000 beluga whales that gather here each summer, to the mighty Prince of Wales Fort. Feel the power of the Hudson Bay’s waves crashing against the rocks below and touch the cast iron cannons that still stand on guard, as they always have. After a spectacular northern sunset, settle in at your comfortable overnight camp for your last night on the land, imagining how the previous inhabitants lived here.

Prince of Wales Fort National Historic Site

Polar bear

Wapusk National Park

The experience

  • Five days of exploration await you in Wapusk National Park, York Factory, and Prince of Wales Fort National Historic Sites. Here the natural world and the human world are intertwined.
  • Hiking on the open tundra of the park you will be swept away by the vastness of the landscape and wonder at the flora and fauna that inhabit this place. You will explore ancient beach ridges that formed as the land emerged from the sea after the last ice age. See how the permafrost shapes the land and defines it, creating many unusual landforms. At first glance this landscape seems devoid of a human presence but look more closely and a long and rich human story emerges. First Nations people have called this place home for thousands of years.
  • You will visit archaeological sites that attest to this deep human past. At York Factory NHS and Prince of Wales Fort NHS you’ll step back in time to the days of the historic fur trade when British traders and First Nations peoples conducted business on the shores of Hudson Bay. Hear how their hardships, joys, triumphs, and defeats shaped them and the country that would become Canada. Try your hand at some of the skills that would have been essential to an 18th century fur trader and learn how their lives became our history.

What dates are available to book?

July 18-23, 2016

What is the cost?

  • Price: $5,500 per person (+ cost of travel to Churchill)
  • Capacity: Spots are limited to a maximum of eight people.

How do I book?

To book your trip call the Parks Canada office at 1-204-675-8863 or email wapusk.np@pc.gc.ca.

Cancellation policy:
The following cancellation policies apply when booking a trip that involves going into the backcountry. Please ensure that you have read and understand the conditions of these trips. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. If you need to cancel:

  • More than 90 days before July 18 - full refund
  • From 90 to 30 days before July 18 - 50% refund
  • Fewer than 30 days before July 18 - no refund

Parks Canada is not responsible for flight / train delays or cancellations for any reason. No refunds will be provided by Parks Canada for portions of the trip missed due to cancelled, rescheduled or delayed transportation to and from Churchill.

Is this trip for me?

During your adventure there will be several hikes ranging in distance from 4 km to 12 km. The terrain is of moderate difficultly with some wet areas, rocks, and uneven ground. Footwear should be comfortable for all day wear. A waterproof hiking boot is ideal as your main boot. A pair of rubber boots for use at York Factory is also recommended.

Anything else I should know?

Getting to Churchill:

  • There are daily scheduled commercial flights to Churchill from Winnipeg with Calm Air as well as passenger rail service originating from Winnipeg twice weekly with VIA Rail.
  • Cost of transportation to Churchill is your responsibility.

Flight time between sites: The flights between each site ranges from half to one hour in duration.

Accommodations: At York Factory NHS and at the base camp in Wapusk National Park guests will be staying in a basic serviced building with beds, bathrooms, and showers. These are shared, simple, rustic accommodations. At Prince of Wales Fort NHS you will be staying in a well-equipped camp with large tents (shared), cots, and a washroom.

Food: All meals will be provided. If you have dietary concerns or requirements please contact us.

Weather conditions: The weather in northeastern Manitoba can change suddenly with little warning. In July typical temperatures range from 18 to 22oC but can dip as low as 4oC or reach as high as 32oC. Dress in layers to be able to adjust to changing weather conditions. See the suggested gear list for clothing recommendations.

Suggested gear list:

  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent with at least 23% deet and a bug-jacket
  • Rain jacket and pants
  • Waterproof boots that are comfortable for hiking.
  • A lightweight shoe/sneaker for in camp.
  • A comfortable day-pack/backpack
  • Water bottle
  • Warm socks
  • A warm hat
  • Sweater
  • Gloves
  • Long underwear (polypropylene, wool, or silk; cotton not recommended)
  • Pyjamas
  • A week’s supply of any needed prescription medication.
  • A pillow
  • Sun hat or baseball hat
  • Small flashlight or headlamp

Questions?

To contact the Parks Canada office in Churchill for more information or to book your trip, please call 1-204-675-8863 or email wapusk.np@pc.gc.ca.

Do you have a question we haven’t answered? We would be happy to provide you with more details. Get in touch with us!

This is one of Parks Canada's unique Northern Iconic Experiences.
Discover the others here.