Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge – Discovery Experience
Welcome to the Arctic, a magical and wild frontier for the true explorer. This once in a life time experience based from the Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge is the trip of a lifetime. The lodge offers just 16 cabins in one of the most remote northerly fly-in lodges on earth.
The lodge welcomes clients from early July to mid-August. During the first week of the season a rare window of opportunity exists to take fat bikes out on the Arctic sea ice before the ice floats out to the open waters of the Northwest Passage.
Trip dates are limited and often sells out up to two years in advance; so be sure to add this to your bucket list and start planning now!
Itinerary & Adventure Highlights
Day 1 and 2
On day 1 depart your home city for your flight to Yellowknife, Canada in the Northwest Territories. Spend the night at the Explorer Hotel.
On day 2 after breakfast, depart Yellowknife on a private charter for the 3-hour flight to Arctic Watch Lodge, landing in the Arctic later this afternoon.
Before you settle into your cabin, the Artic Watch team will provide an introduction about the lodge and the surrounding landscape. A short pre-dinner hike up a local mountain will help build your appetite and let you start indulging in the destination as you take in stunning views of the Northwest Passage and the ice formations of the Arctic ocean.
Thick duvets atop queen beds await as you snuggle in for the night. Arctic Watch Lodge has a generator to provide electricity to the cabins from early morning until 11:00 pm. There’s no electricity at night; not that you need it under the midnight sun.
Our form of transportation to cover long distances on the tundra is by ATV. We will do a hands-on introduction of the all-terrain vehicles followed by a short drive to the Cunningham Estuary to watch beluga whales.
Along the way we explore the Somerset’s coastline viewing Archaeological sites and artifacts dating back to Viking times.
Back at the lodge enjoy a delicious lunch before departing for a short afternoon hike to the Triple Waterfalls. This short 5km roundtrip hike gives you an introduction to the plants and animals of the area. It’s not uncommon to have muskox encounter along the way.
Travel by ATV across the Cunningham River delta, to Muskox Ridge. This scenic trail provides spectacular views of the area and offers a great vantage point from to see muskoxen and arctic foxes. From the high ridge, hike down into one of the many depressions where muskoxen often spend the summer months foraging.
After a picnic lunch at Inukshuk Lake, fishing gear will be supplied to catch-and-release arctic char. Head back to the lodge along the River Trail keeping an eye out for birds such as snowy owls, jaegers, rough-legged hawks and more. After dinner, listen to an informal lecture by Richard Weber on his North Pole expeditions, highlighting his historic (and unrepeated) 1995 unassisted journey.
Today we Sea kayak the clear water of Cunningham Inlet while enjoying views of Gifford Point in the distance. Watch for beluga whales passing by your boat as they travel between the open water of the Northwest Passage and the mouth of the Cunningham River.
Venture to the other side of the inlet to Kayak Falls for stunning views of the Northwest Passage, and (with luck!) to spot polar bear. This evening enjoy an informal wildlife photography lecture by Nansen Weber.
Today’s adventure is by Mercedes Unimog, (the ultimate in an off-road vehicle) to the east side of Cunningham Inlet where a number of unnamed canyons offer great hiking opportunities. The afternoon will be spent at the estuary to watch the beluga whales play in the freshwater as it spills into the Arctic Ocean. Packing into the turquoise waters of the sheltered bay, they can be seen splashing and gurgling as they rub themselves on the river stones. This renowned spot, with a close proximately to shore, showcases the high density of the whale population.
Enjoy the views of the Northwest Passage from passenger seat of the four-seater all -terrain vehicles. Driving along the west shore of the inlet, stop at historic 1,000 year-old Thule sites situated along the coast and learn more about the rich history of the area. Turning west at Polar Bear Point, look for wildlife as we drive along the Northwest Passage. A short hike to Nansen’s ridge offers incredible views across the passage and showcases the characteristics of the Arctic landscape.
Today we venture out to raft the Cunningham River. Climb into the all-terrain Mercedes Unimog truck head to the put-in location. Hike the last stretch through the Badlands, a unique landscape with ancient 8,000-year-old bowhead whale skeletons exposed on the tundra. The area is inhabited by muskox, snow geese, and arctic foxes.
Feast on a picnic lunch by the river as the team prepares the rafts, kayaks, and/or standup paddle-boards for the two to three-hour return to Arctic Watch. Take a leisurely paddle as the river narrows into a towering canyon, eventually opening up again into the braided flats in front of the lodge. Upon our return, it’s the final dinner of the adventure. In the evening take the polar plunge!
Your choice today to repeat an activity or catch up on once that might have been missed. Depart for Yellowknife later this afternoon. Upon arriving in Yellowknife you will spend the night at the Explorer Hotel before leaving this magical region.
Depart Yellowknife for the return flight home.
Weather and wildlife in the Arctic can be unpredictable therefore the itinerary is a suggested outline. Most activities will happen, the order however could likely change. Artic Watch Wilderness Lodge is in a remote location at 74 degrees North in Nunavut, Canada.
Per person, price starts at $12, 250USD per person. Subject to change and based on exchange rates of CAD$ to USD$.
Ready to start planning your adventure?
Call us at 1-800-554-9059 or get started by sending us your dream trip details below.