In the wild and unpredictable Arctic, weather patterns and wildlife can disrupt even the best-laid plans. All of our itineraries are ‘suggested’– we strive to ensure your visit to Arctic Haven is a trip of a lifetime and showcases the variety of activities and sights Arctic Haven has to offer. Each day’s activities take into consideration the dynamic environment we operate within and may not always reflect the suggested itinerary outlined below.
When booking airline tickets to arrive in Yellowknife, NWT, we have scheduled a 2:00 pm departure for Arctic Haven so guests can arrive the same day if they choose. However, weather can be unpredictable, so it’s best to give a buffer if you are travelling a long way. There are many options for accommodations, restaurants and attractions in Yellowknife.
Depart Yellowknife at 2pm from the Air Tindi hangar where you will board a private charter for the two-hour flight to Arctic Haven. Upon arrival guests will meet the team and be given a short introduction to what can be expected during your stay at Arctic Haven. After settling into your rooms, dinner will be served family style. In the evening there will be time to walk the tundra, unwind in the wood fired sauna and/or take in the northern lights.
Breakfast is served daily at 8:30 am. A water safety briefing will be given prior to going out on Ennadai Lake. Head to the northern reaches of the lake, above the tree-line where the numerous islands are used by migratory wildlife - search for the Qamanirjuaq caribou, wolves, and wolverines. The photo opportunities are unparalleled so be sure to bring your camera. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the beach. Spend the afternoon cruising around the islands and going on short hikes to get a closer look at these majestic animals. Visit archaeological sites where the Ahiarmiut in the area have camped for hundreds of years. Return to the lodge for a gourmet meal, and an informal lecture by Richard Weber on his North Pole expeditions - highlighting his historic (and unrepeated) 1995 unassisted journey. There will be the opportunity to unwind in the wood fired sauna and take in the Northern Lights.
Start the day with a helicopter flight to the top of the Blind Hill esker. Go from the soft, wet blueberry flats to an ancient, dry caribou trail to an open tundra ridge overlooking the lakes and land below. Stop for lunch in a sheltered forest gully. Continue on over rolling terrain to reach an ancient stone Inuit hunting blind. The vibrant changing colours of the landscape are nothing short of breathtaking. A variety of berries - lingon, crow and blueberries cover the ground and guests are welcome to harvest blueberries which our culinary team will incorporate into one of the meals. At the end of the hike, we will return back to the lodge via boat and enjoy the scenery along the lakeshore. After another delicious dinner, there will be a presentation on the Ahiarmiut or “people of the deer” - the Inuit who lived on the shores of Ennadai until the 1950’s.
Board one of the boats and head to the North Arm to explore the far reaches of Ennadai Lake where caribou are most frequently seen on land or swimming between islands. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the sandy beaches of Paradise Island. Arctic Haven has a remote camp in this area - so staying for the night is an option (must be pre-booked in advance). Take a short hike up to Big Bear - the highest point on the lake, where the bedrock is exposed. It’s a fantastic vista. Back at the lodge, Nansen Weber will give an informal lecture on his experiences photographing the Barren Lands. Enjoy a sauna or the Northern Lights before tucking in for the night.
For those interested in experiencing the thrill of landing a grayling on the end of their line, Epic Creek offers amazing fishing and is only accessible by helicopter. Grayling are not only stunning fish, with an impressive dorsal fin, but are also tenacious fighters and highly sought after by anglers. Small but mighty, these energetic fish are known to put up a hard fight. With a pickup and drop-off by helicopter, fishermen can enjoy a full day casting into the steady and even current of the small arctic stream. After a freshly caught fish fry lunch and a full day outdoors, an informal evening presentation on the Mythology and Folklore of the Northern Lights will be given - it is inspired by stories from around the world about the Aurora Borealis.
An active day of fat biking along the expansive northern esker is a great option for a clear sunny day. Eskers are formed by glacial deposition which, after the retreat of the last ice age, left long winding trails of sand. Sitting above the marshy tundra, eskers offer a great vantage point of the surrounding scenery and wildlife. Well drained due to their elevation and sandy composition, eskers are not only perfect for hiking and biking but also a popular location for animals to den. Leaving the lodge by bike and returning to the lodge by boat, guests will enjoy the final evening’s gourmet meal. For those wishing to sea kayak - we also offer the option to kayak amongst the caribou islands on Ennadai Lake. A small series of islands used by caribou to migrate south, the sea kayak excursion is often an excellent place to observe wildlife! Afterwards, your host Josée Auclair will give an informal workshop on local edible tundra sourced items.
On your final day we will take a short boat ride up the Kazan River. Here, the tundra turns to forest and birch, black spruce and tamarack trees dominate the landscape. Moose have been spotted in this marshy forested area, along with tundra swans. A hiking option is available for those who would like to stretch their legs before the afternoon flight home while others might opt to enjoy the peaceful stroll along the Kazan river or fish for grayling.