Iqaluit dog sledge tour and excursion by ATV
June 8-9, 2014
Are you looking for tours in Iqaluit? The unspoiled nature surrounding Iqaluit, in the southern part of Baffin Island in Canada, provides opportunities for interesting tours, which include ATV excursions at Sylvia Grinnell national park, dog sledge expeditions over frozen sea, boat trips, hiking and much more, depending on the season and the condition of the ice.
Iqaluit offers the possibility to have different tours & activities in the surrounding, depending on own interests and time of the year. During my free time in Iqaluit, after a guided city tour, I go for an ATV excursion in Sylvia Grinnell national park, driving off road over the tundra.The tours presented in this report, including the ATV excursion and the dog sledge trip, can be booked through Tour Iqaluit / Arctic Kingdom
which offers also various additional options.
Sylvia Grinnell national park is home to typical Arctic fauna, which includes rare wolves of which I can only see the footprints in the mud created by the snow just melted.
The ATV is a powerful and reliable vehicle, perfect for exploring the rugged soil typical of the tundra. Driving the ATV doesn't require special skills and a short introductory drive is given before leaving from the base. In the picture to the right, an image of a license plate of Nunavut.
The rigid polar climate makes its victims, before preserving the remains for very long time.
Pictures of Sylvia Grinnell river that runs through the national park. At the beginning of June, the river shows an unusual greenish color due to ice still present at depth.
Sylvia Grinnell national park has a series of shelters and huts that can be used by everybody in case of need, as the doors are never locked.
Another exciting excursion in Iqaluit available almost year-round is the classic dog sledge trip across Frobisher Bay, over the sea ice. The sledge is carefully prepared and each dog is tied depending on its exact role in the team.
Before we leave, we check what is going on with this mother, since the night before she gave birth to new puppies.
The ride by dog sledge is now starting: my guide first give the orders to the dog, then will jump over the sledge "on-the-fly".
At the beginning of the summer, the Arctic offers incredibly bizarre landscapes, which can change dramatically in a matter of hours. In fact, an heavy rain that lasted a few hours during the night, has melted almost all the snow, exposing the blue underlying sea ice.
A young sled dog follows us untied throughout the journey.
The melting snow has created some puddle, but this is absolutely no problem for dogs and wooden sleds (actually, in such condition, dogs can be much more reliable than snowmobiles or ATVs).
Some rest off Frobisher bay, enjoying the odd landscape made of pack ice.
The dog sledge tour continues among the odd landscape created by sea ice without snow on top.
Picture of dog sledge.
Left picture: standing still on the sled at these temperatures (certainly not extreme at the beginning of summer, but still chilly) may require from time to time to warm up by moving a little bit, and this can be done by just running together with the dogs. In the right picture, a puddle in the pack, negotiated by the dogs without having to give them exact orders.
After returning to base, the dogs certainly deserve a good meal.
I say goodbye to the dogs, before going back on the land through a frozen beach.