Nunavut is the largest of Canada’s provinces and territories, making up almost 20% of Canada. But only about 35,000 people live in Nunavut. Visiting the remote locations throughout Nunavut can be challenging. There are no roads leading in to Nunavut, and no roads connect the different communities throughout the territory. Most travel will need to be done by air, although boat travel is possible in summer months.
Although you will need to work to visit Nunavut, there is a lot to see. The landscape is beautiful and you will come away with many memories and photographs. This page lists several of the best locations throughout Nunavut for photography. The interactive map below shows these locations. We plan to update this page in the future, so please feel free to leave suggestions in the comments section with any other places that you think should be included.
Baffin Island is the largest island in Canada and the 5th largest in the world, at over 500,000 square km. About 6,000 square km is covered by the Barnes Ice Cap. It is separated from Greenland by the Baffin Bay. The Hudson Strait separates Baffin Island from Quebec. Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut, is on Baffin Island. The climate of the island is very cold, with snow possible at any time of the year.
This remote location is ideal for seeing the northern lights. It also offers plenty of wildlife (including polar bears). The best way to get to the island is by plane. Cruises are available for a very limited time in the summer.
Pond Inlet (accessible by plane), on the northern side of Baffin Island, is a beautiful location. The Eclipse Sound separates Baffin Island (at Pond Inlet) from Bylot Island. This area is filled with natural beauty.
Auyuittuq National Park
Auyuittuq National Park is located on Baffin Island. It features stunning fjords, glaciers, and ice fields. Hiking Akshayuk Pass provides some amazing views for photos. The park also features mountain streams and meadows with wildflowers. Most visitors fly from Iqaluit and then into the park by boat. It is certainly not an easy park to reach or see, but the landscape makes it appealing for photographers. Mount Thor is a popular feature of the park. It features a cliff overhand with a vertical drop of 1,250 meters.
Katannilik Territorial Park
Katannilik Territorial Park is near the southern end of Baffin Island. The Itijjagiaq Trail (a 120 km trail) is one of the main features.
Qausuittuq National Park
Qausuittuq National Park is on Bathurst Island in far northern Canada. The park was just established in 2015, so it is one of the newer parks. Due to its northern location, summer temperatures only reach up to about 5 degrees Celsius (40 degrees Fahrenheit). Peary caribou are common here. The park is only open June through September, and difficult to reach at any time.
Grise Fiord, Ellesmere Island
Ellesmere Island reaches the most northerly point in Canada. This mountainous island is the third largest island in Canada. It is separated from Greenland by the Nares Strait. Despite its size, Ellesmere Island is home to only about 150 people, mostly in Grise Fiord. There is an airport in Grise Fiord.
Quttinirpaaq National Park
Quttinirpaaq National Park is on Ellesmere Island. It makes up about 20% of the island, in the northeast corner. It is the most northerly park in Canada. The landscape is a polar desert, made up of rock and ice. Barbeau Peak, within the park, is the highest mountain in Nunavut. The park has sparse vegetation, and as a result, a limited amount of wildlife. The Tanquary Fiord Airport is one of the best ways to access the park.
Sirmilik National Park, Bylot Island
Sirmilik National Park is on northern Baffin Island, as well as Bylot Island. There are 3 separate units of the park. This remote, but beautiful, location is home to mountains, glaciers, and fjords, as well as some hoodoos. Visitors can fly to Pond Inlet or Arctic Bay and then enter the park through a local outfitter.
Ukkusiksalik National Park
Ukkusiksalik National Park is south of the Arctic Circle and Repulse Bay. The park can be accessed by a seven-hour boat trip from Repulse Bay in July and August, or by snowmobile other times. The park includes tundra, rolling hills, and coastal mudflats. The area is home to a lot of wildlife, including polar bears and grizzly bears.
Kugluk/Bloody Falls Territorial Park
Kugluuk (or Bloody Falls) Territorial Park is in western Nunavut, near the town of Kugluktuk. The park features rapids of the Coppermine River and Bloody Falls, and is known for being the location of the Bloody Falls Massacre of 1771. The river and surrounding cliffs are the most striking feature of the landscape. Visitors can access the park by boat, all-terrain vehicle, or by hiking.
Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park
The Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park is only about 1 km away from Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut. Frobisher’s Strait, Sylvia Grinnell River, and waterfalls are among the attractions of the park. There are hiking trails in the park that provide excellent views.
Qaummaarviit Territorial Park
Qaummaarviit Territorial Park is on a small island near Iqaluit. It features a rocky landscape and many historic artifacts. In the summer months you can get to the park by boat. At other times a snowmobile is the best way to get there.
Ovayok Territorial Park
Ovayok Territorial Park is a small park that can be accessed by gravel road from the nearby town of Cambridge Bay. The park includes a few lakes. The most noteworthy features are three hills, including Ovayok, which is the largest. The park includes a few hiking trails that give you the best opportunity to see and photograph.
The Belcher Islands are a group of islands in the Hudson Bay that technically are a part of Nunavut. Most of the inhabitants live on Flaherty Island, but there are more than 1,000 islands that make up the Belcher Islands. There are no trees here, but there are some cliffs, as well as wildlife.
Somerset Island is a large uninhabited island. The Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge is located on the island and provides visitors with the chance to see arctic wildlife. The Cunningham Inlet on Somerset Island is one of the best places to see beluga whales (in summer)