Herschel Island–Qikiqtaruk Territorial Park lies 5 km off the north coast of Yukon in the Beaufort Sea. This 116 km2 island protects important natural and human heritage. Between land and sea, its dry polar climate is home to a unique array of arctic plants, animals and sea life, including the largest colony of Black Guillemots in the Western Arctic.
This is a living park. It is the home of the Inuvialuit, who have used the site for thousands of years. Signs of their old dwellings are still visible on the island. In the late 1800s, American whalers established a station at Pauline Cove. Several historic structures are still standing. Inuvialuit families use the area for traditional activities and researchers come from around the world to study the island's changing wildlife, geomorphology and climate.
Park rangers manage the park, welcome visitors and share stories of the past. From mid-June to mid-September, you can charter aircraft out of Inuvik, NT (250 km southeast). Boat charters may operate out of various Mackenzie Delta communities. The island is often shrouded in fog, particularly in late summer, and flights can be delayed for hours or even days. Be prepared with sufficient gear and food. If you are rafting or kayaking the Firth River on the Yukon mainland, you can end your trip at Herschel Island–Qikiqtaruk Territorial Park. However, you must make prior arrangements for return travel. A Park Permit is required to land an aircraft or commercial boat on the island.