Discover Qausuittuq National Park, Nunavut

Welcome to Qausuittuq National Park, an unparalleled wilderness in Canada’s remote Arctic region. As one of the country’s northernmost parks, Qausuittuq offers intrepid explorers a gateway to untouched landscapes and unique wildlife encounters. Situated on Bathurst Island in Nunavut, this pristine park spans over 11,000 square kilometers of rugged terrain, showcasing the raw beauty of the Arctic environment.

Qausuittuq, meaning “place where the sun doesn’t rise” in Inuktitut, presents an extraordinary opportunity to witness the Arctic’s stark contrasts – from endless summer daylight to the ethereal glow of the Northern Lights in winter. With its ice-capped mountains, expansive tundra, and icy fjords, the park promises unforgettable adventures for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.


Top 3 Facts About Qausuittuq National Park


Vast Wilderness

Qausuittuq National Park covers over 11,000 square kilometers of pristine Arctic landscape, making it one of the largest protected areas in Canada’s remote north.


Extreme Isolation

Qausuittuq is one of the most remote national parks in Canada, accessible only by chartered flights or by ship during the brief Arctic summer months. Its isolation contributes to its pristine wilderness status.


Unique Geography

Situated on Bathurst Island in Nunavut, the park boasts a diverse terrain, including rugged mountains, expansive tundra, and stunning coastal fjords carved by ancient glaciers.

Camping and transportation in Qausuittuq National Park

info_iconBackcountry camping permits required for wilderness camping opportunities.

How to Get to Qausuittuq National Park

Getting to Qausuittuq National Park requires careful planning due to its remote location in Canada’s Arctic. Here’s how you can reach this pristine wilderness:

  • Chartered Flights: The most common way to access Qausuittuq is by arranging a chartered flight from Resolute Bay or Cambridge Bay in Nunavut. These flights are typically organized through tour operators or charter companies specializing in Arctic expeditions. Booking in advance and confirming availability is essential, as flights are limited and weather conditions can affect schedules.
  • Arctic Expeditions: Some adventure tour companies offer guided expeditions to Qausuittuq National Park, providing all-inclusive packages that include transportation, accommodations, and guided excursions. These expeditions may involve a combination of flights and Arctic cruises, offering a comprehensive Arctic experience.
  • Private Yacht or Expedition Cruise: During the summer months when sea ice recedes, it’s possible to reach Qausuittuq National Park by private yacht or expedition cruise. However, navigating Arctic waters requires experience and careful navigation due to changing ice conditions and potential hazards. Expedition cruises often depart from larger Arctic communities like Resolute Bay or Pond Inlet.

Places to Stay Near Qausuittuq National Park

Given the remote and rugged nature of Qausuittuq National Park, options for accommodation are limited. However, here are some possibilities for places to stay or camp near the park:

  • Resolute Bay: The closest community to Qausuittuq National Park is Resolute Bay, located on Cornwallis Island. While there are limited lodging options in Resolute Bay, including hotels and guesthouses, it is a common starting point for expeditions to the park. Visitors can arrange accommodations here before embarking on their journey.
  • Arctic Expedition Cruises: Some Arctic expedition cruises include visits to Qausuittuq National Park as part of their itineraries. These cruises often provide accommodations onboard the ship, offering a comfortable base for exploring the park and other Arctic destinations.
  • Camping: Camping within Qausuittuq National Park is possible for experienced wilderness adventurers. However, visitors must be self-sufficient and prepared for the harsh Arctic environment, including extreme cold, strong winds, and polar bear encounters. Permits may be required for camping, and visitors should adhere to Leave No Trace principles to minimize their impact on the fragile Arctic ecosystem.
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Best Time to Go to Qausuittuq National Park



The summer brings relatively milder temperatures to the Arctic, making it the most popular time to visit Qausuittuq National Park. During this season, visitors can enjoy 24-hour daylight, allowing for extended exploration and outdoor activities. Hiking and backpacking are popular pursuits, offering opportunities to traverse the park’s rugged terrain and witness its stunning landscapes, including ice-capped mountains and Arctic tundra. Wildlife viewing is also excellent during the summer, with chances to spot polar bears, muskoxen, Arctic foxes, and various bird species. Additionally, kayaking or boating along the park’s fjords and coastlines provides a unique perspective of the Arctic environment.



Winter transforms Qausuittuq National Park into a serene, snow-covered landscape, offering unique experiences for adventurous travelers. While temperatures plummet well below freezing, winter provides opportunities for activities such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and dog sledding. The long Arctic nights also offer excellent conditions for viewing the mesmerizing Northern Lights, adding a magical touch to the winter wilderness. However, travel during this season requires careful planning and preparation for extreme cold and limited daylight.



Spring marks the transition from winter to summer in Qausuittuq National Park, with increasing daylight hours and rising temperatures. It’s a time of renewal in the Arctic, as wildlife emerges from winter hibernation, and migratory birds return to the region. Spring offers unique opportunities for wildlife photography and observing the park’s flora and fauna as it awakens from the winter slumber. However, travelers should be prepared for variable weather conditions and lingering snow cover, particularly in the early spring months.

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Fall in Qausuittuq National Park brings cooler temperatures and the onset of Arctic winter. While visitor numbers decline during this season, it offers a chance to experience the changing colors of the tundra and witness the transition to winter. Hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities continue, with the added possibility of observing migratory bird species as they begin their journey south. However, travelers should be prepared for colder temperatures and diminishing daylight hours as winter approaches.

Must-See Attractions

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Bathurst Inlet

One of the park’s most iconic features, Bathurst Inlet is a stunning fjord carved by ancient glaciers. Visitors can marvel at the dramatic cliffs and ice formations while exploring the inlet by boat or kayak. The scenic beauty of Bathurst Inlet provides an unforgettable backdrop for photography and wildlife viewing.

Prince of Wales Strait

This important waterway separates Bathurst Island from neighboring Banks Island and offers mesmerizing views of the Arctic landscape. Travelers can witness the dynamic interplay of sea ice and open water and the occasional sighting of marine mammals such as seals and whales.

Mount Pelly

As the highest peak in Qausuittuq National Park, Mount Pelly offers panoramic vistas of the surrounding Arctic wilderness. Hiking to the summit of Mount Pelly provides a challenging yet rewarding experience, with unparalleled views of snow-capped peaks, glaciers, and vast expanses of tundra.

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

Plan Ahead

Plan Ahead

Research the park thoroughly and familiarize yourself with its regulations, weather conditions, and available facilities. Ensure you have all necessary permits and permissions for your visit.

Pack Appropriately

Pack Appropriately

Dress in layers and bring clothing suitable for Arctic conditions, including insulated outerwear, waterproof boots, hats, and gloves. Pack high-energy snacks, plenty of water, and essential survival gear such as a first-aid kit, compass, map, and emergency communication device.

Respect Wildlife

Respect Wildlife

Observe wildlife from a safe distance and refrain from approaching or feeding wild animals. Be especially cautious of polar bears, which are known to inhabit the area. Carry bear deterrents and know how to use them properly.

Stay Informed

Travel With Experienced Guides

Consider joining a guided expedition or hiring experienced local guides familiar with the area. They can provide valuable insights and safety guidance and enhance your overall experience while exploring the park.

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Qausuittuq National Park3 scaled

Frequently Asked Questions about Qausuittuq National Park

While Qausuittuq National Park doesn’t provide facilities like campgrounds, its vast wilderness is a playground for adventurers. You can enjoy wildlife viewing, photography, or hiking across the park’s rugged landscapes. Remember, it’s a remote area, so all activities should be done with careful planning and respect for the natural environment.

To sound like you’re from the area, say ‘Kow-soo-ee-took’ with emphasis on the first syllable. It’s a fun exercise, and locals will appreciate your effort in getting it right!

For a detailed map, you should contact Parks Canada through their inquiry line or email. They can provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date maps for planning your visit.

You won’t find any established camping facilities at Qausuittuq National Park. It’s a completely untouched wilderness, so if you plan to stay overnight, you must be self-sufficient and ensure no trace is left behind.

Prepare for cold weather, even in the summer months. Since Qausuittuq is situated in the High Arctic, temperatures can be quite low, and the weather is unpredictable. Always pack layers and check the latest forecasts before your trip.

In Resolute, which is close to Qausuittuq, expect an arctic climate: long, very cold winters and short, cool summers. It’s an extreme environment, so make sure you’re prepared with the right clothing and gear for cold temperature extremes.

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