Summer Travel '09: The North - Macleans.ca

Summer Travel ’09: The North

Unspoiled, unforgettable

by

The NorthNunavut

Auyuittuq National Park, Nunavut Auyuittuq, Inuktitut for “land that never melts,” is a national wonder. It’s home to the meeting point of glaciers and sea ice, the Canadian Shield’s highest mountains, and coastal fjords leading to a unique marine shoreline. Visitors can scale the park’s craggy peaks, ski across its icefields, and hike 100 km through the Akshayuk Pass—a walk the Inuit have been making for thousands of years. Located in the eastern Arctic on Baffin Island, Auyuittuq National Park is the perfect gateway to the Arctic experience.

Alianait Arts Festival, Nunavut During the 10 longest days of the year, the Alianait Arts Festival starts early and carries on through the night underneath the midnight sun. This year’s festival will be drawing people from all over the world to participate in art, music, film, storytelling, circus, dance and theatre events. The theme is Arctic winds, and will incorporate such wide-ranging acts as Brazilian drummers, traditional Inuit bands, Canadian folk stars and an African/Québécois circus troupe. The festival takes place in Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut, on Baffin Island near the mouth of the cliff-lined Frobisher Bay. It is an experience rich in tradition, beauty, and diversity.

ALSO AT MACLEANS.CA: Full coverage of Summer Travel ’09

Northwest Territories

See the Aurora Borealis Sitting directly under the auroral oval, the band of energy that creates the aurora borealis, the Northwest Territories is the perfect place to view the late-night spectacle. Visitors and locals alike step outside to watch the ghostly colours dance in the night sky. The northern lights are always breathtaking, whether seen through the steam of a hot tub outside a wilderness lounge, while cutting through the snow on the back of a dogsled, or as they silhouette teepees on the edge of a frozen lake. The entire province is your perfect viewing post for this unforgettable experience.

Monster Fish in Great Bear Lake, N.W.T. The pristine waters of the North are home to some of the world’s biggest trophy catches. The fourth largest lake in North America has already produced one world record catch, a massive 74 -lb. lake trout, and is also home to northern pike, Arctic char, Arctic grayling and pickerel. In the summer, anglers can cast their rods all day and night by the light of an unsetting sun. And there is no need for visitors to stay in one place—there are rocky mountain streams, ice fishing in the winter, lakes in the forest and the Barren Lands, and lodges available year-round. Whether amateur or professional, deep woodsman or high-luxury, there is a fishing adventure for everyone in the Northwest Territories.

Yukon

Dawson City, Yukon The Klondike gold rush is over, but Dawson City lives on. Visitors can stroll the frontier-style wooden boardwalks and feel the true grit of the city that was at the forefront of the great gold grab. The restored buildings and costumed interpreters are a portal back to the muddy horse-turned streets and piano-filled dancehall nights. The card-playing, chew-spitting experience of the Klondike is made even more immersive with a game of blackjack and a show at Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Gambling Hall. The city is home to the Dawson City Museum and the Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre, and serves as a launching point for exploration of the Yukon’s traditions, natural wonders, and First Nations cultural experiences.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.nunavuttourism.comwww.spectacularnwt.comtravelyukon.com

With Tom Henheffer.