Ivvavik National Park of Canada
Hiking Near Sheep Creek. © Parks Canada
With its open terrain and abundant wildlife, Ivvavik is an ideal setting for an arctic hiking experience. Wildlife viewing, photography and birding are all popular activities for park visitors traveling on foot. As you travel from the rolling mountains to the river valley to the coastal plain, the vegetation and wildlife changes in step with the changing landscape. By the end of the journey, you are likely to see some of the natural inhabitants of the park, such as caribou, grizzly bears, wolves, foxes, muskoxen, gyrfalcons, and golden eagles.
While there are no designated trails in Ivvavik, the hiking opportunities are endless. All hiking takes place by following approximate routes, directions leading from one general area to another, and following unmistakable landmarks such as creeks, rivers, valleys, lakes, eskers, and hills. Your intended hiking route should be thoroughly investigated using topographic maps and, if possible, air photos. Contact the Park Office to discuss your plans. You must supply a detailed description of your planned route on 1:50 000 scale before your departure to the park.
Air access points for hiking include Sheep Creek, Margaret Lake, Komakuk Beach and Stokes Point.
Babbage Falls © Parks Canada
Babbage Falls is a popular destination with day trip plans for 2011 underway. The Babbage Falls are located on the eastern boundary of Ivvavik National Park. The trip plan includes a flight over the Mackenzie Delta and across the Richardson Mountains providing a great view throughout, landing on an alpine ridge above the Babbage Falls. The group will be guided for a three hour hike along a tundra ridge to the Babbage Falls. Highlights include the amazing scenery including a unique view of the intricate channels, lakes and wetlands of the Mackenzie Delta, one of the world’s largest river deltas. Once landed, the hike features a great sampling of arctic nature including caribou, many birds, wild plants and flowers. One of the most interesting features aside from the falls is the bear stomp. This is a trail is habitually used by bears spanning over many years; you can actually see the prints that the bear makes.
Babbage Falls tours are currently in the planning process. For more information on tours offered in the summer of 2011, please contact Parks Canada at (867) 777-8800.
The hiking season extends from mid-June until mid-August. A particularly beautiful time to visit is the end of June and early July, when the tundra is carpeted with wildflowers and the caribou are migrating through the park. Hikes can be extended into the third week of August when the autumn colours are at their peak. However, hikers who are enroute that late in the season must be prepared for winter-like conditions and delays due to heavy fog.