Getting to the Western Arctic

Getting to the Western Arctic

By Road
For drivers, the Western Arctic is a bit of a detour from the rest of the Northwest Territories, but it's just a hop and a jump from the Yukon and Alaska. The fabled Dempster Highway begins at Dawson City and rolls 734 kilometres through mountain ranges and alpine valleys to Inuvik, passing through the Gwich'in towns of Fort McPherson and Tsiigehtchic en route. In winter, and ice road extends even further – from Inuvik to Aklavik, beside the Richardson Range. And don't forget the new Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway, which will take you from Inuvik to the Arctic coast.   

Dawson-Inuvik: 747 kilometres
Whitehorse-Inuvik: 1,227 kilometres
Edmonton-Inuvik: 3,213 kilometres
Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk: 140 kilometres

By Air
Inuvik is the region's air hub, with regular flights from Yellowknife, Norman Wells and Whitehorse. From Inuvik, smaller carriers can take you onward to most of the region's other communities, as well to Aulavik and Tuktut Nogait national parks. 

Routes & Airlines: 
Whitehorse-Inuvik (Air North)
Yellowknife-Inuvik (Canadian North, First Air)
Inuvik-Fort McPherson, Tuktoyaktuk, Sachs Harbour, Ulukhaktok, Paulatuk (Aklak Air)
Inuvik-Aklavik (North-Wright Airways)
Yellowknife-Ulukhaktok (First Air)

Our Stories

Intriguing tales from Canada's Northwest Territories

For eons, Fort Simpson has been a gathering place – for Dene, Métis, traders and more. ...

Pull off you shoes and socks and stride across the Salt Plains, nature's very own foot-spa...

Here's how to make the most of a long weekend in the North's Nahanni gateway. 

Why the Northwest Territorties is a cyclist's unsung wonderland.

Driving to Alaska this summer? Don’t let this wild side-trip pass you by. 

Your insider's guide to 13 must-see species.