If you just can’t get enough of winter, head northeast to Nunavik where winter keeps right on going right through spring.
The longer days of March and April mean that you get more time outdoors, while Nunavik’s proximity to the Arctic Circle keeps the snow and ice fresh well into June. The region’s national parks offer incredible winter experiences and each has something you have probably never done — or even seen — before.
Parc national des Pingualuit
Ski the Arctic tundra with an Inuit guide who will pass along both geographical information and cultural tradition. The terrain is expansive and glittering; some feel a spiritual connection with the Earth after the expedition. The trek takes you to an amazing meteorite crater, snow- or igloo-camping along the way. Plus, the total lack of light pollution in the open tundra makes it the best place to experience the Aurora Borealis.
Explore the meteorite crater, stay with an Inuit family, view thousand-year-old petroglyphs and dogsled to a mussel feast — after you’ve watched them get harvested from beneath the ice. Gathering food in national parks is a privilege offered only to Inuit or other native people. This is their gift to you.
Even those that have only a long weekend to spend in the park can arrange a snowmobile adventure to the crater or the Puvirnituq River Canyon. Perhaps your guide will explain why the Inuit named the river “smells like rotten meat?”
Parc national Kuururjuaq
Base camp in Kuururjuaq is 160 km from the nearest village. Accordingly, your visit to the park begins with either an exciting ride on a small plane or a longer, chilly journey over snowfields by snowmobile. Fortunately, base camp is in the picturesque Koroc River Valley and they will greet you with stewed caribou and a warm fire.
This is an adventure many people dream of their entire lives. Follow wildlife tracks, explore rivers or just experience the mountains — on snowshoes. Camp in the snow and check out the foothills and nearby river while you wait for the perfect time to snowshoe up the peaks of the Torngat Mountains. Even the less-hardy will find plenty of adventure at lower elevations without actually reaching the summit. Polar bears use this as a migratory route and lucky campers will spot one, hopefully from quite a distance. (Fencing protects base camps.)
Parc national Tursujuq
In the transition area between tundra and boreal forest, this park is home to two herds of migratory caribou and numerous land-locked seals. Beluga whales frequent the mouth of the river in the summer and hundreds can gather at one time. Tursujuq has only been a park since July of 2013 and the area is rustic and wild. Contact the park administrators to arrange a guide for skiing, snowshoeing or dogsledding in the springtime and get ready to feel like you are an Arctic explorer.
Parc national Ulittaniujalik Project
Not yet a park, the Ulittaniujalik region was once the basin of a glacial lake. The George River was a major travel route for Inuit and Naskapi as well as caribou. Contact Nunavik Parks to inquire about a ski-trek through the region. The area is not monitored and only extremely fit and well-prepared adventurers should consider this.
Parc national de la Baie-aux-Feuilles Project
Another park-in-the-making, this one may best be viewed from the water, provided the coast isn’t locked in ice. Early summer is the start of sailing season in the north, although still a bit chilly for many. Winds are usually light, but temperatures are often below freezing well in to May. Book an excursion or travel with very experienced sailors to see the dramatic coastline and fiords of this park-in-the-making.