On Ellesmere Island, less than 800 kilometres (500 miles) from the North Pole, Quttinirpaaq is the world’s northernmost national park. Its 37,775 square kilometres (23,463 square miles) of high Arctic terrain include ice caps, glaciers, rugged peaks, tundra and a rare thermal oasis. Accessible only by charter plane from Resolute Bay, 720 kilometres (447 miles) away, it is wilderness sparsely populated by Arctic hare, foxes and wolves, muskoxen and Peary caribou.
Parks Canada has two base camps – inland on Lake Hazen, and on the coast at Tanquary Fiord, where most visitors begin and end their journey.
If heading into the park, it is essential to be self-sufficient and experienced. Individual travellers are welcome, though most visitors arrive with an outfitter for one or two weeks of outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, mountain climbing or traversing ice caps and glaciers.