Nunavut National Parks: Quttinirpaaq National Park

Located on the northeastern corner of Ellesmere Island in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut, the most northerly extent of Canada and of all the Nunavut National Parks, Quttinirpaaq National Park is the second most northerly park on Earth after Northeast Greenland National Park.

A barren and treeless landscape with almost no darkness, Quttinirpaaq National Park is both immense and intimate. The complex and diverse patterns of rock, frost-cracked ground, willows and wildflowers sit among endless vistas in the clear, dry air and countless ancient glaciers atop mountainsides.

The park lies within the northernmost portion of the Innuitian Orogen, a belt of deformed rocks of Precambrian to early Tertiary age with a rich legacy of cultural history that recounts the story of early human occupation of the area. The park covers 37,775 km2 making it the second largest park in Canada, after Wood Buffalo National Park, and the largest among Nunavut National Parks.

In Inuktitut, Quttinirpaaq means "top of the world", and this spectacular park offers visitors the opportunity to experience hiking, backcountry camping, ski touring and dogsledding. Tanquary Fiord and Lake Hazen are the main access points for adventurers and contain a variety of spectacular routes for hiking and backcountry camping during the short summer season.

Proper trip preparation is essential for those wishing to explore Quttinirpaaq National Park. For more information on Quttinirpaaq National Park check out the Parks Canada page for a complete package of trip-planning information, including a list of licensed guides and outfitters.

Photo by Ansgar Walk