One of the largest herds in North America, the 250,000 strong Quamirjuaq caribou herd roams the Barrens west of Hudson Bay. From late August onwards, throughout the autumn, the caribou are spread out over the tundra of south western Nunavut. Experience the reward of autumn colours of the tundra – crimson reds, vibrant yellows and shimmering oranges as a backdrop to caribou with full racks that can, at times, walk within meters of you. The caribou are typically seen in groups of two to twenty. There are mothers with young calves along with males with their fully grown antlers, full of velvet.
This authentically Canadian experience is at the heart of Canada's Wilderness - the Arctic Barrenlands. Caribou, wolves, grizzly bears, over twenty-five species of ducks and more are just some of the wildlife that call the lodge surroundings home.
This is an experience you will never forget. From local guides who know the traditional routes of the caribou, shimmering northern lights in the evening, to the silence of the tundra broken by the hooves of caribou, this late summer/early autumn Arctic experience will surprise and delight at every step. This uniquely Canadian adventure is suitable for adventurous families as well as the professional photographer.
See photos from guests who've experienced the autumn at Arctic Haven. Read our suggested experience itinerary.
Rates are per person, from Yellowknife NWT
All rates are GST applicable
Private charter flight from Yellowknife to Arctic Haven roundtrip is included.
As the autumn colours settle on the tundra, the Qamanirijuaq caribou migrate south for the winter. The migratory caribou spend approximately two months in the vicinity of Arctic Haven, grazing on ripe tundra fruit such as blueberries and cranberries before heading into treeline for winter.
During the Autumn season at Arctic Haven, the northern lights shine brightly. Calm, cool autumn evenings are the perfect backdrop for the aurora borealis.
Wolves, wolverines, grizzly bears, cross foxes and more all call Arctic Haven's surroundings home. Photo: Wolverine eating a caribou carcass.
Fall colours & history:
As the fall colours set on the tundra, the treeline holds unique landscapes - vibrant reds, lush greens, fiery yellows. Archological sites dating to pre-contact dot the area; once home to the "People of the deer", Arctic Haven's surroundings were inhabited by an inuit group that survived almost exclusively from caribou.
Imagine you’re seated in one of Canada’s finest restaurants. The hours gently blend into a pleasant evening as a five course meal is savoured in the soft ambiance of a metropolitan neighbourhood. Now imagine this same feeling transposed thousands of kilometers north of our urban centers. A place where there are more caribou than people, a place of tranquil solitude and wilderness as far as the eye can see. A culinary experience unlike any other, situated in Canada’s Arctic Barren Lands.
New for the fall of 2018, Arctic Haven is offering an exclusive three-day culinary experience for those looking for a dose of adventure. Located in Nunavut on the shores of Ennadai Lake, each evening will feature a refined six course meal inspired by the arctic environment and the harvest of the north. Prepared by an iconic Canadian guest chef, each evening will incorporate and draw inspiration from local ingredients from the land, the lake or the sky.
This culinary experience goes beyond an evening of fine dining and incorporates two days of arctic exploration during the peak autumn’s beautiful display of colours. Like every trip to Arctic Haven Wilderness Lodge, guests will have the opportunity to see the aurora borealis, iconic Canadian wildlife and experience the vast landscape of the Arctic Barren Lands. We hope to see you up there!
Rates are per person, from Yellowknife NWT.
All rates are GST applicable
In early May, with the arrival of spring, the barren-grounds Arctic treeline comes to life. Predatory animals such as wolverines, bears and wolves emerge from a winter of survival. The Qamanirjuaq caribou herd begins to gather together and the call to reach their calving grounds 300 miles to the north drives them northward. The Qamanirjuaq caribou number in the hundreds of thousands and are one of the healthiest herds in Canada. Big lakes such as Ennadai are natural corridors for the migration. Large numbers of Caribou walk up the lake past the lodge.
This arctic photographic safari adventure starts in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories where our private plane flies you to Arctic Haven Lodge on Ennadai Lake.
This spring wildlife and caribou migration is described as a life-altering experience by the biologists and people who have witnessed the wolverines, bears and wolves as well as the caribou migration. Springtime on the barrenlands at Arctic Haven is the best time of the year to see wolves, grizzly bears and wolverines.
See photos from past guests who've witnessed the migration.
Rates are per person, from Yellowknife
All rates are GST applicable
Private charter flight from Yellowknife to Arctic Haven roundtrip is included.
As spring arrives, wolverines, bears and wolves begin to roam near Arctic Haven. Utilizing camera blinds, specific locations on foot and snowmobiles, we strive to offer our guests the best opportunities to photograph these animals.
Arctic Haven has a fleet of snowmobiles, cross country skis and snowshoes which we utilize to travel on the Arctic tree line in search of wildlife.
The spring melt brings the migration of the Qamanirijuaq caribou past Arctic Haven. Utilizing snowmobiles and snowshoes, we travel over the frozen lake ice of Ennadai Lake to track and follow the caribou herds.
Arctic Haven Wilderness Lodge utilizes a combination of wind and solar power. At twelve private rooms, a common area, dinning room and more, this isn't camping! Comfortable hotel like accomodations, sauna, gourmet dining and guides who expertly know the tundra await!
Arctic Haven is the only facility on Ennadai Lake. One of the largest inland lakes (nearly 100km long) of Nunavut; Ennadai offers unfished waters that are home to Arctic grayling, lake trout and northern pike. Guides who know the lake well and a custom fleet of boats - your Arctic fishing experience awaits!
Fishing at Arctic Haven is offered from May to September annually.
At Arctic Haven, we prefer to customize fishing experiences; every angler has their preferences on perfect fishing!
The protected coves and coastline of Ennadai Lake provide great opportunities for fly fishing. Grayling, Northern Pike or Lake trout!
Our custom fleet of fishing crafts are fishing ready - aluminum, custom casting platforms, (downriggers available), depth sounders and more! Six 18 foot aluminum crafts, two larger 21 foot crafts and three 25 foot vessels! Let our guides show you the best
Arctic Haven is pleased to offer tailored options for both private individuals and groups.
We offer personal guides at Arctic Haven for photographers with specific requirements. If you wish to capture images of specific wildlife, or simply do not wish to participate in the daily group guided tours, personal guides are available for hire. Privately guided excursions include all equipment and the same delicious food offered on our regular tours. To let us know how we can meet your needs, photographers should contact us via telephone (+1-819-923-0932) or email. See our photography galleries for examples of photos that our guests have taken over the years. Visit our gallery or see Arctic Haven on Flickr.
Arctic Haven can provide fully customized programs lasting a minimum of three days—or as long as you wish. We can also provide meeting facilities for corporate groups and associations, including speakers. Arctic Haven provides unique experiences for special tour groups and family getaways, and allows you and your companions to explore the Arctic safely. Let us know how many people and the kind of activities that would interest your group.
To discuss your private booking, please contact us through our request for information or telephone at +1-819-923-0932. We look forward to hearing how we can create your experience.
Proper preparation for a trip to the Arctic is key to your enjoyment and safety. Please take a few moments to read through the gear list below, take a look at our list of Recommended Reading materials and read our list of Frequently Asked Questions. If you have any concerns, please contact us, or call us at +1 (819) 923-0923, and we’ll be happy to provide the answers and information you need.
These are a new option to the traditional “rubber” boot. They have neoprene uppers and a neoprene/polyurethane foot. There is no insulation to get wet and they are comfortable to walk in. The best brand is Muck Boots, which are available on-line at www.muckbootcompany.com.
A sturdy full-leather waterproof/water-resistant pair of comfortable lightweight boots is useful but can be replaced with the Muck Boots provided.
Again for cooler evenings. (Yes, even in 24-hour light the nights are colder.) A warmer jacket is essential.
A couple of comfortable pairs of pants are useful. Try to choose “quick dry” fabrics made from tightly woven, wind-resistant material. No cotton or silk content please.
It is the Arctic, so bring a couple of sets of long underwear. Synthetic or wool material, no cotton or silk content please.
You need this to carry your extra things, e.g., a camera and clothing, while on a day’s outing such as walking, sea kayaking, fishing (with waterproof storage compartments) or when travelling in our boats. We recommend Osprey Backpacks.
Bring your toiletries, camera, sunglasses and other personal items.
If you enjoy fishing and prefer your own gear, please bring it.
This is primarily for protection against the wind and rain A rain/wind jacket is a necessity to wear when walking on cool days. Your jacket must be waterproof and seam-sealed. We recommend goretex coats such as Arcteryx Alpha SV or equivalent.
Light shoes for wearing around the lodge are useful. For those who enjoy a morning jog/walk, bring your trail shoes. Nearby caribou trails offer great opportunities for exploration on foot.
A fleece jacket is always useful and good for wearing around the lodge.
A wool toque (cap) or fleece hat made of a material that dries easily is necessary.
Gloves or mittens with a wind-resistant outer fabric are good for cold days or those ATV rides.
A few pairs of good wool or wool-synthetic blend socks are essential. Remember that socks are small to pack and wonderful to wear! We have Smartwool socks available for sale. (No cotton or silk please)
The summer sun at Arctic Haven is extremely strong - we recommend packing sunscreen.
We have the following gear available for you to use when doing the applicable activity: ATV helmets, fishing gear, paddling dry jackets and pants, life jackets (PFDs) and more. Please feel free to contact us for specific gear questions.
No, no special vaccinations are required.
A topographical map Ennadai Lake is available from several sources. The government of Canada has a web site at http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/site/english/toporama/index.html. It is possible to zoom in on Ennadai and print yourself a map. The lodge is located at 60° 45’ 57” north latitude and 101° 41’ 25” west longitude. For a 1:250,000 map the NTS numbers are 65F and 65C. Maps are available from World of Maps in Ottawa (613 724-6776) or online at www.worldofmaps.com
The charter plane from Yellowknife to Arctic Haven is either a Dash-8, a 38-passenger turbo-prop aircraft, Dash-7, a 40 passenger aircraft, or a Dornier 228, a 19-passenger turbo-prop aircraft.
Yes, you do. A good set of rubber boots, particularly a pair that you can wear for walking, is the single most useful piece of gear. Rubber boots are the best footwear for the ATVs or boating. When hiking or walking, there are often small streams and wet areas to cross. We recommend Muck Boots (Wetland model).
In the winter, spring and fall you will need long underwear. The temperature can vary greatly. Winter (April) expect -20°C (-4°F) at night to +5°C (41°F) in the day. Spring and fall (May, June Aug, Sep) expect -2°C (28°F) to +20°C (68°F). Summer (June, July) expect +5°C (41°F) to +25°C (77°F). Please do not bring cotton or silk underwear; only polypropelene or merino wool.
The snow is mostly gone by the end of May. The ice on Lake Ennadai is solid into early June. The first snows return in October.
The lodge runs on 110-volt electricity throughout the building. All rooms have standard running water and heating.
Barren land grizzly bears are very unpredictable solitary animals. We tend to see them in one particular area, particularly in the late spring.
For temperatures please anticipate: Winter (April) expect -20°C (-4°F) at night to +5°C (41°F) in the day. Spring and fall (May, June Aug, Sep) expect -2°C (28°F) to +20°C (68°F). Summer (June, July) expect +5°C (41°F) to +25°C (77°F). Autumn (Aug, Sep) expect -2°C (28°F) to +20°C (68°F).
The biting insects come out in early June, get fierce, but are gone by mid August.
We have 12 rooms for guests. Normally we have double occuancy but we can arrange for single occupancy.
No, all the gear you will need to go sea kayaking is at Arctic Haven, including dry tops, paddles and PFDs.
No, most of the kayaks are for two people (doubles). If you have no experience, we will put you with a guide or someone with experience. The boats are extremely stable. If conditions are windy or wavy, we will not go out.
Alcohol is available for purchase at the lodge. If you wish to bring any alcoholic drinks of your own, please do so, it’s your vacation. We do ask that you respect the other guests.
All the food at Arctic Haven is flown 800 km from Yellowknife. Although the nearest grocery is that far away, we can provide vegetarian meals if requested. For those with special diets, such as “gluten free,” please notify us upon booking. Please be sure to let us know of your requirements well in advance.
While we do recommend a minimum age of 8 years old, the Arctic is a special experience for children, one that we encourage all families to undertake. Please do contact us if you are planning on bringing your children to Arctic Haven. We'd love to hear how we can create a unique experience.