Ivvavik National Park

Location: Yukon Territory
Region: Outside Ontario
Character: Mackenzie Delta

Ivvavik National Park
By Parks Canada

Ivvavik, meaning ‘a place for giving birth, a nursery', in Inuvialuktun, the language of the Inuvialuit, is the first national park in Canada to be created as a result of an aboriginal land claim agreement. The park protects a portion of the calving grounds of the Porcupine caribou herd and represents the Northern Yukon and Mackenzie Delta natural regions.

Ivvavik National Park has great opportunities for the wilderness seeker. Rafting the Firth River provides an exciting route through breathtaking scenery - from wide mountain valleys, to narrow canyons, to coastal plain to the Beaufort Sea. Hikers can follow a similar route along the mountain ranges to the coastal lowlands. With twenty-four hours of daylight for essentially the entire summer, the soft light offers endless photo opportunities.

Babbage Falls is a popular destination with day trip plans for 2011 underway. The Babbage Falls are located on the eastern boundary of Ivvavik National Park. The trip plan includes a flight over the Mackenzie Delta and across the Richardson Mountains providing a great view throughout, landing on an alpine ridge above the Babbage Falls. The group will be guided for a three hour hike along a tundra ridge to the Babbage Falls. Highlights include the amazing scenery including a unique view of the intricate channels, lakes and wetlands of the Mackenzie Delta, one of the world’s largest river deltas. Once landed, the hike features a great sampling of arctic nature including caribou, many birds, wild plants and flowers. One of the most interesting features aside from the falls is the bear stomp. This is a trail is habitually used by bears spanning over many years; you can actually see the prints that the bear makes.

Ivvavik is a unique arctic landscape that is home to a rich variety of animals, birds, fish and wildflowers. With a touch of good timing, a visitor can be a witness to the annual migration of the Porcupine caribou, a herd of 120,000 animals that treks from central Yukon, through the park, to its traditional calving grounds in Alaska.

Keep in mind that this is true wilderness. There are no facilities, services, established trails or campgrounds in the park. Visitors must be entirely self-sufficient and able to handle any medical or weather-related emergency on their own.