Northwest of Rankin Inlet, a large esker snakes across the land, forming a distinct ridge, crowned with sandy blowouts, low tundra, and cobbled ridgetops. To the south lies a chain of lakes, nesting places for loons and long-tailed ducks. Sandhill cranes nest at the edges of sedge wetlands, and prowl the wetlands and adjacent tundra, hunting voles, lemmings and the nestlings of tundra birds. Larger mammals such as arctic fox, arctic hare, caribou, or, rarely, grizzly or polar bears are sometimes seen.
Iqalugaarjuup Nunanga Territorial Park encompasses the esker, part of the chain of lakes, and extends across Iqalugaarjuk (also known as Meliadine River) to the height of land to the north of the river. A park trail extends out the esker to Siksik Lake and almost to Qamanayuk Lake, where a long peninsula extends into the lake. Walking trails also branch from the end of the maintained road, and an Elders’ Cabin and picnic area provides a great view along the esker and over the river and the lakes. Midway through the park, a road branches to the north and ends at the river and at Qamaviniqtalik – a beautiful Thule and modern Inuit site located at rapids on the river.
No roads lead to Nunavut; our Territory is accessible only by air and sea.
First Air and Canadian North both fly regular daily schedules to Iqaluit from four main southern airline ‘hubs’: Ottawa, Montreal, and Edmonton (via Yellowknife and Rankin Inlet). Flights from Winnipeg (via Churchill and Rankin Inlet) are also available.
The hike to Iqalugaarjuup Nunanga is a long, though not uncomfortable, trek of about 10 kilometres; and another four kilometres to the elder’s facility. Fortunately, though, the road along the top of the esker is well-drained, allowing for easy walking. The breeze at this height keeps the hordes of mosquitoes at bay.
Crossing from the south to the north side of the Meliadine River is no easy feat, but there are locations where the river can be crossed with proper foot wear. Most visitors prefer to leave the north side of the river to the plants and wildlife, and to enjoy the view from the south.
Nanuq Lodge will help arrange local trips to Iqalugaarjuup Nunanga Territorial Park, or Marble Island. Dogteam rides and tours are also sometimes available.
Siniktarvik Hotel & Restaurant
Email Tara’s B&B
Alt Tel: 867-645-3214
Aqiggiaq Hunters and Trappers Organization
Aqiggiaq Hunters and Trappers Organization can provide local information about the land, country foods, and help arrange for local outfitting
Come Along Tours & Outfitting
Email Tumi Tours
The Matchbox Gallery was created as a cross-cultural arts workshop. In addition to being a display and production centre, it also provides training for community artists and residents. You can also purchase Inuit ceramics, Inuit art, paintings and Rankin Inlet stencil prints.
Email Matchbox Gallery
If you’re planning a trip to Iqalugaarjuup Nunanga Territorial Park, start by contacting Nunavut Tourism at the Kivalliq Regional Visitor Centre currently housed in the Rankin Inlet Airport and open throughout the year.
Kivalliq Regional Visitor Centre (Rankin Inlet Airport)
Iqalugaarjuup Nunanga Territorial Park Editorial [.pdf – 932KB] – This four page editorial offers some information about the park.
Iqalugaarjuup Nunanga Elders Cabin Rental Form – [.pdf – 147 KB] Fill out this form and submit to the parks email address if you have a function or event that you would like to host at the Elders Cabin.
Visitor information is available from the Visitor Information section of the website, and at relevant visitor and information centres throughout Nunavut. Contact Nunavut Parks for any additional information you may be looking for.