Explore Tuktoyaktuk and the Beaufort Sea

Rate this Adventure 158 Navy Road

Find yourself in one of Canada's most northerly communities, the remote and isolated Tuk. Whales and tundra and the wide-open Beaufort Sea.

Tuktoyaktuk is an isolated hamlet on the east side of the Mackenzie Delta surrounded entirely by Arctic wilderness. For almost its entire existence, it has only been accessible by boat or airplane, or an ice road in the winter—but in 2017 an 187 km all-weather road was completed connecting it to Inuvik and the Dempster Highway. 

If you need guidance on how to get to Inuvik, check out my cycling guide from the Klondike Highway. You can see the new route from Inuvik to Tuk on Google Maps. The new all-weather road is raised gravel on permafrost. Bring a spare tire and drive according to weather conditions. Keep an eye on the road conditions on the Government of Northwest Territories highway conditions webpage

I don't know how Tuk will change with increased tourism following the construction of the all-weather road. As of now I can recommend Tundra North Tours and Arctic Tour Company for tours guided by knowledgeable locals with stories and histories to share. Tundra North also offers tours from Inuvik via boat or airplane.

If you're interested in exploring on your own, here are some things not to miss. First of all, check out the pingos of Pingo Canadian Landmark. A pingo is a massive mound formed over a core of permafrost ice—and Tuk has one of the highest concentrations of pingos in the world. Secondly, stop by the traditional wooden shelter (near the Northern store) and the Our Lady of Lourdes Schooner (near the coastline), both important pieces of local history. Visit the sole grocery store and compare the prices to the food you're used to. Finally, walk along the shoreline and look for whale bones and ocean-smoothed pebbles while climbing over Mackenzie River driftwood. 

This adventure isn't so much a clear guide as it is me pointing out that isolated and beautiful Tuk is there, the home of hunters and snowmobiles, windswept on the edge of the Arctic Ocean. It's worth the trek.  

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Warm clothing 
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RT Distance 116.2 Miles
Elevation Gain 119 Feet
Activities Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back


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