Exploring Canada's remote Ellesmere Island

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of April 11-18, 1996
Biking and hiking in Nevada
Utah's Fishlake National Forest
Camping in the Hawaiian Islands
Exploring Canada's remote Ellesmere Island
Low-budget snorkeling in the Florida Keys
A family vacation in Jamaica

Exploring Canada's remote Ellesmere Island
Question: Can I get dropped off on Ellesmere Island and roam around for a few days? Do I need permission? Check-in or get a permit? Thanks in advance.

Larry Mishkar
Minocqua, WI
[email protected]

Canada's remote Ellesmere Island is home to the white Arctic wolf
Adventure Adviser: Not surprisingly, there's no permit required to explore the tip-top of Canada; there's little need for crowd control since so few people actually make it up there. Number one deterrent, obviously, is cost: Getting "dropped off" means taking a twice-weekly flight from Resolute to Grise Fiord via Kenn Borek Air for a reasonable $485 round-trip (819-252-3845). Getting from there to Ellesmere National Park--a remote (understatement, to say the least) swath of parkland on the island's northern tip--is another ball game altogether. You will need to pick up a park permit from headquarters (819-473-8828); allow an hour for permit registration and be prepared to shell out $100 for a three-day pass. That's nothing compared to the bags of money--$8,000 to be more exact--you'll have to shell out for a round-trip charter from Resolute to Lake Hazen, the park's main fly-in point (it breaks down to a mind-boggling $1,000 dollars an hour for a four-hour, one-way flight). Once you're there, brace yourself for a mind-blowing range of terrain--everything from sand dunes to ice fields to fjords--and an equally impressive lineup of wildlife: musk ox, arctic wolves, caribou, to name a few.
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