Ivvavik National Park, located in the far north of Canada, is a wilderness paradise that is as remote as it is beautiful. Originally known as Northern Yukon National Park, it was given an Inuvialuit name in 1992, Ivvavik, which means “place of giving birth and raising young” in reference to the Porcupine Caribou herd that has its calving grounds along the Beaufort Sea coast. Established in 1984, this 9750 km² / 3764.5 mi² park is located about 800 km / 497.09 mi northwest of Whitehorse, YT, or 200 km / 124.27 mi west of Inuvik, NWT, and is only accessible by charter aircraft from Inuvik.
One of the unique aspects of Ivvavik National Park is that it is Canada’s first park established through a native land claim settlement and is one of the least visited national parks in Canada. The park is also contiguous with the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to the west.
The Firth River is the park’s centerpiece, renowned for its beauty, wild whitewater rafting, archaeological sites, and abundant wildlife. The park includes part of the British Mountains, Canada’s only extensive non-glaciated mountain range. These are rounded treeless mountains cut by smooth sweeping river valleys. The treeline runs through this section of the park, which also harbors Canada’s most northerly populations of moose and Dall sheep.
The Porcupine caribou herd is found within the park for much of the year. The park also has a wide variety of other wildlife, such as polar bears, grizzly bears, black bears, gyrfalcon, and muskox. The rivers in the park, particularly the Babbage River, are important Arctic char spawning areas. However, many of the most critical spawning areas are outside current park boundaries.
The park’s remote location and relative inaccessibility make it a true wilderness experience. With its towering mountains, wild rivers, and vast tundra, Ivvavik National Park is a place where you can truly escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with nature. Whether you’re a hiker, wildlife enthusiast, or just looking for a truly remote wilderness experience, Ivvavik National Park is a destination not to be missed.
Did you know about Ivvavik National Park?
- Ivvavik National Park is located in Yukon, Canada, and was initially named “Northern Yukon National Park” before being renamed in 1992.
- The park was renamed Ivvavik, which means “nursery” or “birthplace” in Inuvialuktun, in reference to the area’s importance as a calving ground for Porcupine caribou.
- Ivvavik is the first national park in Canada to be established due to an aboriginal land claims agreement.
- The park contains the British Mountains, which run east to west, parallel to the Arctic coast, and merge into the Brooks Range in Alaska.
- The Firth River is the centerpiece of the park and is considered one of the great rafting rivers of the world.
- Ivvavik contains many cultural sites of continuing importance to the local indigenous people, both Inuit and Indian.
- Ivvavik National Park allows only a minimal number of people to visit per year to protect the calving grounds of the Porcupine caribou herd.
- The park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including grizzly bears, black bears, wolverines, Dall sheep, gyrfalcons, muskoxen, and more.
- The park is adjacent to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska and shares similar wildlife populations.
- Ivvavik National Park is best accessed via charter aircraft from Inuvik, and activities such as rafting, fishing, wildlife viewing, camping, and hiking are available in the park.
Google Maps of Ivvavik National Park
This embeddable Google Map generated for free on Canada Maps.com