Discover Ivvavik National Park, Yukon

Welcome to Ivvavik National Park, a pristine expanse of untouched wilderness nestled in the rugged beauty of Canada’s Arctic. Located in the northern reaches of Yukon, Ivvavik National Park stands as a testament to the raw and untamed beauty of the Canadian landscape. Spanning over 10,000 square kilometers, this remote park offers a breathtaking panorama of towering peaks, winding rivers, and vast expanses of tundra, providing visitors with an unparalleled opportunity to immerse themselves in the heart of the Arctic wilderness.

Established in 1984, Ivvavik National Park is a protected sanctuary for a diverse array of wildlife, including grizzly bears, caribou, Dall sheep, and migratory birds. The park’s remote location and limited accessibility ensure that its pristine ecosystems remain largely undisturbed, offering a rare glimpse into one of the last untouched wilderness areas on the planet.

Whether embarking on a backcountry hiking expedition, paddling down the scenic Firth River, or simply soaking in the awe-inspiring beauty of the Arctic landscape, visitors to Ivvavik National Park are sure to be captivated by the untamed splendor of Canada’s northernmost frontier. Join us as we delve into the wonders of Ivvavik National Park and discover the untamed beauty of Canada’s Arctic wilderness.


Top 3 Facts About Ivvavik National Park


Arctic Wilderness

Ivvavik National Park is located entirely within the Arctic Circle, making it one of Canada’s northernmost national parks. Its remote location and extreme climate contribute to its pristine and untouched wilderness, offering visitors a rare opportunity to experience the Arctic’s raw beauty.


Midnight Sun

Due to its high latitude, Ivvavik National Park experiences the phenomenon of the midnight sun during the summer months. This means that the sun remains visible around the clock, providing extended daylight hours for outdoor activities and exploration. Visitors can witness stunning sunsets and sunrises painting the Arctic landscape in hues of gold and pink, creating a surreal and unforgettable experience.


Cultural Heritage

Ivvavik National Park is situated within the traditional territory of the Inuvialuit people, who have inhabited the region for thousands of years. The park’s name, “Ivvavik,” means “nursery” or “birthplace” in the Inuvialuktun language, reflecting its importance as a breeding ground for wildlife.

Camping and transportation in Ivvavik National Park

info_iconBackcountry camping permits required for wilderness camping opportunities.

How to Get to Ivvavik National Park

Getting to Ivvavik National Park involves careful planning due to its remote location in Canada’s Arctic. Here are the primary methods of transportation to reach the park:

  • Fly-In: The most common way to access Ivvavik National Park is by flying in via chartered aircraft or bush plane. Flights typically depart from Inuvik, Northwest Territories, and may include stops at remote airstrips such as Sheep Creek or Old Crow. Charter flights offer a scenic aerial view of the Arctic landscape and provide direct access to the park’s remote wilderness.
  • River Expedition: Another option for reaching Ivvavik National Park is by embarking on a river expedition down the Firth River. This journey typically begins in Old Crow, Yukon, and involves paddling through the scenic canyons and valleys of the Firth River before reaching the park boundary. River expeditions require careful planning, experience in whitewater paddling, and adequate supplies for remote camping.
  • Guided Tours: Some outfitters and tour companies offer guided trips to Ivvavik National Park, providing transportation, equipment, and logistical support for visitors. These guided tours may include chartered flights, river expeditions, or combination packages that allow visitors to experience the park’s wilderness with expert guidance.

Places to Stay Near Ivvavik National Park

Given the remote and wilderness nature of Ivvavik National Park, there are limited options for lodging or camping nearby. Here are some potential options for accommodations or camping near the park:

  • Dempster Highway Campgrounds: Along the Dempster Highway, which provides access to Ivvavik National Park via Inuvik, there are several campgrounds and roadside pull-offs where visitors can camp. These campgrounds offer basic amenities such as pit toilets and fire pits, providing a rustic camping experience amidst the stunning scenery of Canada’s Arctic.
  • Inuvik: As the largest community near Ivvavik National Park, Inuvik offers a range of lodging options including hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts. Visitors can find accommodations with modern amenities such as restaurants, shops, and tourist services. Inuvik serves as a convenient base for exploring the surrounding area before or after visiting the park.
  • Camping Along the Firth River: For adventurous paddlers embarking on a river expedition down the Firth River to reach Ivvavik National Park, camping along the riverbanks is a common practice. There are numerous designated camping areas along the Firth River, offering opportunities for backcountry camping amidst the Arctic wilderness.
  • Old Crow: Located in the northern Yukon, Old Crow is a small community accessible by air or river. While there are limited lodging options in Old Crow, visitors may find accommodations at local lodges or guesthouses. Old Crow serves as a potential starting point for river expeditions to Ivvavik National Park.
  • Guided Tours and Expeditions: Some outfitters and tour companies offer guided trips to Ivvavik National Park, providing accommodations, equipment, and logistical support for visitors. These guided tours may include camping in remote wilderness areas or staying at designated base camps along the route.
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Best Time to Go to Ivvavik National Park



Summer is the most popular time to visit Ivvavik National Park, offering long daylight hours and relatively mild temperatures. From July to August, the tundra bursts into bloom, with vibrant wildflowers carpeting the landscape. Visitors can enjoy hiking, backpacking, paddling, and wildlife viewing amidst the stunning beauty of the Arctic wilderness. The Firth River, a designated Canadian Heritage River, becomes navigable, providing opportunities for adventurous paddlers to explore the park’s remote interior. However, summer can also bring occasional storms and mosquitoes, so travelers should come prepared with appropriate gear and insect repellent.



Winter in Ivvavik National Park offers a true wilderness experience for adventurous travelers seeking solitude and serenity amidst the Arctic landscape. From October to April, the park is blanketed in snow, creating a pristine and otherworldly atmosphere. Winter activities such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing are popular, allowing visitors to explore the park’s rugged terrain and frozen rivers. The long Arctic nights provide opportunities for stargazing and viewing the aurora borealis, or northern lights, adding to the magic of the winter landscape. However, winter travel in the Arctic requires careful planning and preparation, as temperatures can be extreme, and travel conditions may be challenging.



Spring in Ivvavik National Park brings a dramatic transformation as the Arctic landscape awakens from its winter slumber. From late May to June, temperatures begin to rise, and the sun returns, bathing the tundra in golden light. Spring is an excellent time to visit for those seeking solitude and tranquility, as visitor numbers are typically lower during this season. Wildlife emerges from hibernation, with migratory birds returning to nest, and newborn animals exploring their surroundings. However, travelers should be prepared for variable weather conditions, including snow, rain, and wind, as spring transitions into summer.

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Must-See Attractions

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Firth River

The Firth River is a designated Canadian Heritage River and one of the most iconic features of Ivvavik National Park. Flowing through rugged canyons and wide valleys, the Firth River offers stunning scenery and challenging whitewater opportunities for adventurous paddlers. It is a must-see destination for those seeking a true wilderness experience in Canada’s Arctic.

Mount Ivvavik

Standing as the park’s namesake, Mount Ivvavik offers spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Hiking to the summit of Mount Ivvavik provides visitors with an unforgettable vantage point to admire the vast expanses of tundra, mountains, and rivers that characterize the Arctic wilderness.

Arctic Wilderness

Ultimately, one of the most compelling attractions of Ivvavik National Park is the opportunity to experience the raw and untouched beauty of the Arctic wilderness. Whether hiking through expansive tundra landscapes, paddling down remote rivers, or camping beneath the northern lights, visitors to Ivvavik National Park are sure to be captivated by the pristine beauty and solitude of Canada’s northernmost frontier.

Helpful Tips: Making the Most of Your Adventure to Ivvavik National Park

Plan Ahead

Plan Ahead

Ivvavik National Park is remote and facilities are limited. Plan your trip well in advance, including transportation, accommodations, and necessary permits. Consider the season and weather conditions when planning your visit.

Pack Appropriately

Pack Appropriately

Be prepared for the Arctic climate and rugged terrain. Pack warm clothing, waterproof layers, sturdy hiking boots, and essential supplies such as food, water, and navigation tools. Bear-proof food containers may be required for backcountry camping to prevent wildlife encounters.

Respect Wildlife

Be Wildlife Aware

Ivvavik National Park is home to a variety of Arctic wildlife, including bears, caribou, and wolves. Keep a safe distance from animals and observe them from a distance. Store food and scented items securely to avoid attracting wildlife to your campsite.

Stay Informed

Obtain Permits

Camping permits are required for all overnight stays in the park, whether in campgrounds or backcountry sites. Make sure to obtain permits in advance and familiarize yourself with park regulations and Leave No Trace principles.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Ivvavik National Park

Access to Ivvavik National Park is primarily by chartered aircraft, bush plane, or river expedition. Flights typically depart from Inuvik, Northwest Territories, or Old Crow, Yukon, while river expeditions may start from Old Crow.

Yes, permits are required for all overnight stays in the park, whether in campgrounds or backcountry sites. Permits can be obtained in advance through Parks Canada.

Yes, Ivvavik National Park is home to a variety of Arctic wildlife, including grizzly bears, caribou, Dall sheep, wolves, and numerous bird species. Wildlife viewing opportunities abound throughout the park.

Yes, Ivvavik National Park offers excellent opportunities for viewing the aurora borealis, or northern lights, especially during the winter months when the nights are long and dark.

Yes, Ivvavik National Park offers a network of hiking trails ranging from short day hikes to multi-day backcountry treks. Trails traverse diverse landscapes including tundra, mountains, and river valleys.

Weather in Ivvavik National Park varies depending on the season. Summers are relatively mild with long daylight hours, while winters are cold and dark. Visitors should be prepared for rapid weather changes and extreme temperatures.

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