Torngat Mountains National Park of Canada
Koroc River - Palmer River Loop: Multi-day Hiking Route
What Do I Need to Know to Hike the Koroc-Palmer River Loop?
Hiking party travelling south in the Iberville valley.
© Parks Canada
Hiking parties who are interested in tackling this hiking route will need to
register (before their visit) with Torngat Mountains National Park (Parks
Canada) as well as Parc national Kuururjuaq (Nunavik Parks) since the route
passes through both parks. Visitors are also required to de-register after
they have departed from either of these parks to ensure that staff know they
have left the parks and have been accounted for.
Torngat Mountains National Park
Parc national Kuururjuaq
Torngat Mountains Base Camp and Research Station
This camp is situated in St. John’s Harbour in Saglek Bay. It presently
operates from mid-July until early September. The base camp can provide
support for visitor parties wanting to travel into Torngat Mountains National
Park. Bear guards, Inuit guides, a helicopter, speed boats and longliners
(fishing boats) are generally available for local charter. Arrangements can
also be made for fixed wing access to the Saglek Airstrip (20V 519721 E
6482002 N) from Goose Bay, NL. Please contact the Nunatsiavut Group of
Companies by phone (1-855-TORNGAT (867-6428) ext. 26) or email
for inquiries about base camp.
Nakvak Brook Trek
Type of hike: Strenuous multi-day hike
Distance: Approximately 90 kilometres / 56 miles
Time required: Allow 7 to 8 days
Elevation gain: Approximately 1,050 metres / 3,500 feet
Maximum elevation: 1,128 metres / 3,700 feet
Point of departure: Gravel airstrip in the Koroc River
Valley, Quebec (20V 466085 E 6514837 N)
Alternate point of departure: Tallek Arm, Nachvak Fjord,
Labrador (20V 449265 E 6535450 N)
1. By helicopter or Twin Otter from base camp (45 minutes)
2. By helicopter or Twin Otter from Kuujjuaq (QC) (approximately 1.5 hours)
Twin Otter on the Koroc River valley airstrip.
© Parks Canada
Campsite overlooking Tallek Arm.
© Parks Canada
This challenging trek is a loop that starts and ends at the gravel airstrip
in the Koroc River valley, which is located in the heart of the Torngat
Mountains in the province of Quebec. Alternatively, you can start/finish
this hike from Tallek Arm (Nachvak Fjord) and still complete it as a loop.
This multi-day hiking route offers visitors the opportunity to follow
several variations of the main suggested route to either shorten or lengthen
their hike. There are also countless opportunities for side trips that can
be done as day trips along the way.
The Koroc River and Palmer River valleys are traditional travel routes for
the Inuit of Nunavik (Northern Quebec) and Nunatsiavut (Northern Labrador).
Inuit traditionally used these routes while hunting and travelling between
communities on the Labrador coast and to communities on the coast of Ungava
Bay and vice-versa.
Upon landing at the airstrip in the Koroc River valley, the remoteness and
ruggedness of the land is evident. This wide valley stretches from east to
west and is bound by smooth, rolling hills to the south and rugged sharp
peaks to the north and particularly the northeast, where the highest summits
in the Torngat Mountains are found. From the airstrip, the Koroc River is
very wide and flows slowly to the west toward Ungava Bay.
Even if no wildlife is spotted in the area, their presence is felt through
their tracks, which are found in the sand along the riverbank. This region is
home to an abundance of wolf, black bear and caribou, as well as the odd
All visitors are strongly encouraged to consult the
“General Hiking Information for Torngat Mountains National Park”
document before planning a hike in the Torngat Mountains.
© Parks Canada
Section 1: Koroc River Valley
20V 466085 E 6514837 N to 20V 435182 E 6513136 N
Approximately 32 kilometres
Your time of arrival at the Koroc River valley airstrip will dictate the
distance your party will cover on the first day. Suitable campsites are found
all along the river. As you start your hike and head west, keep in mind that
the north side of the river is ultimately where you need to be hiking in
order to access the Palmer River valley when the time comes (30 km
Gazing down the Koroc valley is very deceiving. What appears to be a smooth
green “carpet” is actually undulating terrain covered in willows
and shrubs – it proves to be very difficult and slow-going for hikers (see
picture above). Take advantage of any areas where the firm riverbank may be
used to increase your speed of travel. It is often much easier to follow the
meandering river than to travel in a straight line through more difficult
The further you move downstream the more difficult it will become with
respect to stream crossings, as each additional tributary flowing into the
Koroc River increases its volume. Be particularly wary about stream crossings
during spring runoff and just after heavy rains. Streams often move much more
quickly than they appear to due to the clarity of the water. Also keep in
mind that many of the streams in this area are fed by snow yearround and are
After traveling approximately 30 kilometres west (downstream) of the
airstrip, you will want to move away from the Koroc River (north) and head
over the height of land to the headwaters of the Palmer River. The UTM point
20V 435182 E 6513136 N corresponds to a suggested campsite on the border
between the provinces of Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador. At this UTM
point is the beginning of the Palmer River valley. The landscape of the
Palmer is characterized by majestic peaks, headwalls, steep ravines, and
Upon reaching your selected campsite at the head of the Palmer River,
remember that you are in prime black bear country. Take all necessary
precautions including cooking at least 50 metres away from your sleeping
area. Store all food away from your sleeping area and be sure to bury all
waste water well away from your campsite.
© Parks Canada
Section 2: Palmer River Valley
20V 435182 E 6513136 N to 20V 449553 E 6526775 N
Approximately 25 kilometres
Although the first few kilometres of travel in the Palmer River valley are
relatively easy-going, the valley quickly narrows as you reach the first of
several lakes that force you to hike along sloped terrain as well as through
sections of thick vegetation (see picture above). It is suggested that you
stay on the east side of the Palmer River for this section of the hike. Make
sure to take the time to carefully plan your route by studying the terrain as
it unfolds in front of you, as this could save you valuable time and possibly
help you avoid an encounter with an unsuspecting bear!
Beyond the lakes, the valley widens and the terrain flattens considerably,
giving hikers a chance to enjoy the views of the surrounding peaks and golden
glow of the land beneath their feet.
At the point corresponding to UTM coordinates 20V 449553 E 6526775 N you will
find an excellent spot to camp, with a striking view of Tallek Arm.
Section 3: The Climb into the Iberville Valley and Return to Airstrip
220V 449553 E 6526775 N to 20V 466085 E 6514837 N
Approximately 33 kilometres
The next section of this challenging trek is the most difficult because of
the altitude gain, the associated change in temperature and your group’s
vulnerability to weather. The initial climb out of the Palmer River valley is
fairly steady and takes a few hours to conquer.
Once at the top of the pass, the route crosses back into Quebec and the Parc
national Kuururjuaq. At this point, you have several options to consider: 1)
keep heading south towards the Koroc River valley or 2) head east to higher
elevation to ultimately reach the Iberville valley, which will bring you down
to the Koroc River valley.
The shorter and easier option is to simply head south at this point to return
to the Koroc River valley and return to the airstrip, with the possibility of
several side trips along the way. Two options for returning to the Koroc
River valley are shown on the map on page 2 as alternative routes.
The longer and tougher option is to head east at the point corresponding to
UTM coordinates 20V 450443 E 6520970 N. You will find a notable campsite next
to a small lake nearby (20V 452733 E 6521348 N). From this suggested
campsite, you will climb gradually for approximately 3.5 kilometres before
descending into the Iberville valley west of Mount Caubvick. All your hard
work will be rewarded with some of the best views of Mount Caubvick and the
glacier that bears its name. Another excellent campsite can be found in the
valley below next to a small lake (20V 456603 E 6524731 N).
From this point on, the remainder of the hike is pretty straightforward.
Follow the large Iberville valley in a southeasterly direction as it leads
you back to the Koroc River valley and the airstrip. Stay on the east side of
the stream at all times. You will travel for approximately 12 km before
reaching the river, and an additional 3 km to reach the gravel airstrip.
Important UTM Coordinates
Landing Sites for Twin Otter in the Area
Koroc River Airstrip
20V 466085 E 6514837 N
The following are suggested campsites based on expected travel distances for
each day, starting at the Koroc River airstrip.
KM 15 – Along Koroc River
20V 451615 E 6512517 N
KM 32 – Height of land on NL/QC border
20V 435182 E 6513136 N
KM 47 – Along Palmer River, near lakes
20V 440426 E 6524749 N
KM 57 – Start of pass leading out of Palmer River valley
20V 449553 E 6526775 N
KM 66 – Campsite next to small pond
20V 452733 E 6521348 N
KM 75 – Next to lake in Iberville valley, below Mount Caubvick
20V 456603 E 6524731 N
Points of Interest
KM 62 – Top of pass leading out of Palmer River valley
20V 449916 E 6522080 N
KM 64 – Entrance to valley leading towards Iberville valley
20V 450443 E 6520970 N
KM 73 – Summit overlooking Mount Caubvick and glacier, Iberville valley
(short hike from suggested campsite)
20V 454812 E 6525875 N