Explore Tuktoyaktuk and the Beaufort Sea

Details

Distance

116.2 miles

Elevation Gain

119 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Added by Jonathon Reed

Find yourself in one of Canada's most northerly communities, the remote and isolated Tuk. Whales and tundra and the wide-open Beaufort Sea.

Tuktoyaktuk is an isolated hamlet on the east side of the Mackenzie Delta surrounded entirely by Arctic wilderness. For almost its entire existence, it has only been accessible by boat or airplane, or an ice road in the winter—but in 2017 an 187 km all-weather road was completed connecting it to Inuvik and the Dempster Highway. 

If you need guidance on how to get to Inuvik, check out my cycling guide from the Klondike Highway. You can see the new route from Inuvik to Tuk on Google Maps. The new all-weather road is raised gravel on permafrost. Bring a spare tire and drive according to weather conditions. Keep an eye on the road conditions on the Government of Northwest Territories highway conditions webpage

I don't know how Tuk will change with increased tourism following the construction of the all-weather road. As of now I can recommend Tundra North Tours and Arctic Tour Company for tours guided by knowledgeable locals with stories and histories to share. Tundra North also offers tours from Inuvik via boat or airplane.

If you're interested in exploring on your own, here are some things not to miss. First of all, check out the pingos of Pingo Canadian Landmark. A pingo is a massive mound formed over a core of permafrost ice—and Tuk has one of the highest concentrations of pingos in the world. Secondly, stop by the traditional wooden shelter (near the Northern store) and the Our Lady of Lourdes Schooner (near the coastline), both important pieces of local history. Visit the sole grocery store and compare the prices to the food you're used to. Finally, walk along the shoreline and look for whale bones and ocean-smoothed pebbles while climbing over Mackenzie River driftwood. 

This adventure isn't so much a clear guide as it is me pointing out that isolated and beautiful Tuk is there, the home of hunters and snowmobiles, windswept on the edge of the Arctic Ocean. It's worth the trek.  

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🥈 Contributor

over 1 year ago

Tuk

The road to Tuk is very unique! I was really lucky to see some wildlife (moose). The land is so beautiful and very green! You can see Arctic cotton and lupine from Alaska! One of the best experience in Canada! Big thanks to Tundra North Tours! They made my dream come true!! I recommend drive to the Arctic Ocean and fly back to Inuvik! It’s one of the best things I have done in Canada!

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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