Northwest Passage Trail

SummaryGetting ThereWhere To StayOutfitters/GuidesTravel InformationResources

Northwest Passage Territorial Trail is not a park in the conventional sense. Located in and around the hamlet of Gjoa Haven on King William Island, it is part of a larger goal to provide an informative tour about the quest by Europeans to find a Northwest Passage and the search for answers concerning the disappearance of the Franklin Expedition that failed to find the passage.

Your Northwest Passage Trail journey begins outside the Heritage Centre. This sign introduces the Nattilik Inuit before their encounter with Amundsen. Enjoy displays on Inuit culture and history during a visit to the Heritage Centre. From the Heritage Centre, walk to the Hamlet Centre to the Northwest Passage sign on the history of the passage, and visit the Amundsen display on the second floor of the Hamlet Centre. Walk along the beach to a rock lined path leading up to the cairn dedicated to Amundsen. At the bottom of the hill, read about the first encounter between Nattilik Inuit and Amundsen and once at the cairn, celebrate Amundsen’s achievements in exploration and the relationships he formed with Inuit at Gjoa Haven.

Early Explorers
Inuit Culture at the Northwest Passage
History of the Northwest Passage
Trade and Commerce
Roald Amundsen
Touring the Trail

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 community of Gjoa Haven can be accessed by air from Cambridge Bay and Yellowknife. First Air operates flights from Yellowknife to Gjoa Haven on Monday to Friday. Kenn Borek Air flies from Cambridge Bay to Gjoa Haven, via Taloyoak and Kugaaruk regularly. Please check with the airlines for schedules and schedule changes.

The more adventurous can also travel by ship along the famed Northwest Passage!

Amundsen Hotel – Inns North
Tel: 867-360-6176
Toll Free: 1-888-866-6784
Fax: 867-360-6283

Mary’s Inn
Tel: 867-360-6032
Fax: 867-360-6018

Gjoa Haven Hunters and Trappers Organization can provide local information about the land, country foods, and arrange for local outfitting.
Tel: 867-360-6028
Fax: 867-360-6913

The Northwest Passage Museum/Heritage Centre includes a miniature replica of Amundsen’s ship, the Gjøa, as well as traditional tools such as uluit (woman’s knives) and kakivait (spears), caribou clothing and water containers, a kayak, and photos taken by one of Amundsen’s crew during his stay in Gjoa Haven. The centre also describes the history of explorers such as Franklin and Amundsen, plus that of the Netsilik people.

Tel: 867-360-6199

Nunavut Parks publishes a wide range of documents and reports on the work it does for each park – ranging from master plans, management plans, maps, brochures and other reports and publications. Many of these resources are available here.

Northwest Passage Trail Editorial [.pdf – 856KB] – This four page editorial offers information on the Northwest Passage Trail

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.