Halfway to Heaven - Hiking Trail Information
Halfway to Heaven Trail Map
Located at the northern tip of Yukon—Canada’s first national park formed under an Aboriginal land agreement—Ivvavik merges impressive natural treasures with a rich human story. Since 2012, Parks Canada has been offering fly-in trips to Ivvavik during the summer season, allowing guests to explore these exciting environs from a comfortable base camp.
Imniarvik base camp is set amidst breathtaking scenery. Glassy-clear Sheep Creek flows by with a pleasant white noise. Beyond, spruce trees speckle the muskeg, leading to open alpine tundra dotted with Arctic lupines and forget-me-nots. Lichen-stained shale pokes through as the landscape gains elevation. The British Mountains rise at the edges of the sightlines; treeless massifs that fade from green to rust and, on the highest peaks, to snow that never melts even in the 24 hours of sunlight that summer brings. And the Firth River grinds through the centre of it all, flanked by canyon walls scarred with syncline and anticline rocks. As part of Beringia, Ivvavik was not glaciated during the Ice Ages—proof of this are the park’s signature tors, rock formations resembling the ruins of ancient castles that jab from atop every peak and ridgeline.
“Ivvavik” is Inuvialuktun for “a place for giving birth, a nursery,” as the park provides habitat and breeding grounds for the 197,000-strong Porcupine caribou herd, plus countless grizzlies and other mammals from primordial muskox to frenetic sik-siks. Ivvavik also preserves the Inuvialuit peoples’ right to hunt and fish for subsistence on this land—part of a human history illuminated by every trip’s accompanying Inuvialuit Cultural Host.
Of the various unmarked routes in Ivvavik, the most challenging is the hike to the 800-m peak Halfway to Heaven, which is said to “rise toward the sky like the jagged spine of a dragon.” From base camp at Sheep Creek, visitors can trek to the pinnacle-shaped tors for 360 degree views of the park.
HOW TO GET TO THE HALFWAY TO HEAVEN TRAIL
Ivvavik National Park offers some of Canada’s finest hiking experiences. One trek and it’s easy to see why—virtually all routes are above the treeline, providing nonstop panoramic vistas. Unique Arctic flora, fascinating geology and an expansive landscape only a handful of humans will ever see weaves together an unforgettable tapestry of adventure. Plus, with 24 hours of sunlight, the hiking day is as long as you’d like to make it.
Fly into Sheep Creek airport and begin your hike from base camp.
CAMPING AT THE HALFWAY TO HEAVEN TRAIL
Learn more about camping at Ivvavik here: pc.gc.ca
DOGS AT THE HALFWAY TO HEAVEN TRAIL
Information is unavailable.
TOILETS AT THE HALFWAY TO HEAVEN TRAIL
Information is unavailable.
Contributors to This Trail Guide
Image by Yukon Government / M Berkman