Northwest Passage Marathon at Arctic Watch
The Northwest Passage Marathon is the Canada’s northernmost marathon! The race course covers 42 kilometres over the tundra of the high Arctic, and with the possibility of seeing muskoxen, polar bears, arctic foxes and more, the Northwest Passage Marathon is unlike any other. As part of a week-long adventure at Arctic Watch, this adventure welcomes runners from across the globe to experience the best of the High Arctic while completing a truly unique marathon. At 74° north, Arctic Watch is not only an incredible location for wildlife viewing but is also a unique and stunning landscape to enjoy on foot.
The Northwest Passage Marathon takes place at Arctic Watch. Located 800 km north of the Arctic Circle on the shores of the Northwest Passage in Cunningham Inlet, Somerset Island, Arctic Watch is the most northerly fly-in lodge on earth. Situated at 74° North and being a marine environment means the weather can change quickly - as much as 10°C in an hour. Normal daytime temperatures range from 8° to 14°C, and warm days can go as high as 21°C.
Wildlife/Nature Sightseeing; Fishing; Hiking & Walking; Water Sports; Cycling & ATVs; Marathon Running
Travel to the high Arctic used to mean a tent on the tundra. The construction of Arctic Watch in 1992 radically changed this - and now both our locations set a high standard for guest accommodation and comfort in Nunavut. In addition to the main complex, there are 16 private guest cabins, each equipped with a toilet and sink. Due to the extremely sensitive natural Arctic environment, private showers are located in the main complex.
As a remote fly-in lodge all meals are provided and prepared on-site from the finest ingredients in the Arctic. Our talented chef bakes breads, yogurts, ice creams and other delights to satisfy you at breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you’re not out exploring the land or on the water, it’s all about great Canadian cuisine. Experience gourmet fare inspired by every province from locally sourced Arctic Char and Baffin Bay turbot to Alberta Organic Beef, Okanagan Valley wines and more.
Any cancellations before 180 days prior to the departure date will receive a full refund less a $500 administration fee, per person. Any cancellations after that are not eligible for a refund. ADD-ON POLICY: If an Add-On trip is cancelled due to weather or insufficient numbers, everyone who signed up will receive a full refund.
As per Canadian Law, all quoted rates are GST applicable at 5%. Prices are in Canadian currency.
In the wild and unpredictable Arctic, weather patterns and wildlife can disrupt even the best-laid plans. All of our itineraries are ‘suggested’– we strive to ensure your visit to Arctic Watch is a trip of a lifetime. Each day’s activities take into consideration the dynamic environment we operate within, your interests, and may not always reflect the suggested itinerary outlined below.
All adventures to Arctic Watch include accommodations in Yellowknife the nights before and after at the Explorer Hotel. Guests arrive into Yellowknife the day before the private charter departs for Arctic Watch.
Fly to Yellowknife, the capital of Canada’s Northwest Territories and spend the night at the Explorer Hotel.
After breakfast, depart Yellowknife on a private charter for the 3-hour flight to Arctic Watch. Guests will land in the Arctic later that afternoon. After an introduction to the lodge and the surrounding landscape by the Arctic Watch team, guests will have time settle into their cabins before dinner is served.
Travel by ATV across the Cunningham River delta, to Muskox Ridge. The scenic trail provides spectacular views of the area and is a great vantage point from which to see muskoxen. From the high ridge, hike down into one of the many depressions where muskoxen often spend the summer months foraging on arctic willow and sedges. After enjoying a picnic lunch on the tundra, head back to the lodge along the River Trail keeping an eye out for birds such as snowy owls, jaegers, rough-legged hawks and more.
Enjoy the views of the Northwest Passage from passenger seat of the four-seater all terrain vehicles. Driving along the west shore of the inlet, stop at historic Thule sites situated along the coast and learn more about the rich history of the area. Turning west at Polar Bear Point, look for wildlife as we drive along the Northwest Passage. A short hike to Nansen’s ridge offers incredible views across the passage and showcases the characteristic Arctic landscape.
Enjoy a leisurely morning at the lodge and begin to mentally prepare yourself for the long run ahead. Enjoy a delicious lunch buffet at the lodge before taking a short afternoon hike to the Triple Waterfalls. This short 5km roundtrip hike will provide the perfect opportunity to stretch your legs and get a feel for the terrain you will be covering the following day.
Race day! Follow the vast and barren coastline of the Arctic Ocean before turning inland through open tundra along our 42 kilometre marathon route in the High Arctic. Cross the finish line back at the lodge where warm showers and a nourishing meal will cap off the day’s events.
Take the fat bikes out for a leisurely ride along the coast of Cunningham Inlet- the perfect way to break down any lactic acid buildup from the day before and move your legs. Watch for Arctic hares, long tailed ducks and beluga whales as they transit down the coast and out to the North West Passage.
Jump back on the ATV’s for an all day outing to Inuksuk Lake. Here you can catch landlocked Arctic char and if you are lucky might see Arctic foxes on your way home. Alternatively, depending on how your recovery is going, join a group headed to the raft put-in on the Cunningham River. Hike the last 6 kilometres through the Badlands and then raft, kayak and/or standup paddle-board the two to three hour river trip back to Arctic Watch.
By now, guests are familiar with the area, and can opt to do an activity that they missed during the week or would like to repeat. There’s lots of time before the flight departs in the late afternoon. Upon arriving in Yellowknife you will spend the night at the Explorer Hotel before your return flight home.
Depart Yellowknife for the return flight home.
Proper preparation and gear for an adventure in the Arctic is key to your enjoyment, comfort and safety. Please read through and make a checklist of the gear required. If you have any questions or concerns, contact us.
Travel Recommendations & Notes
All travellers must purchase travel insurance - even Canadian guests. We recommend trip interruption, cancellation and health insurance that includes air ambulance. If an air ambulance is required to Yellowknife, Iqaluit or Ottawa, all non-Nunavut residents are responsible for the cost.
Baggage allowance on the charter flight from Yellowknife to Arctic Watch is 20 kg per person, including carry-on. If you have additional gear that will exceed the weight limit please let us know in advance.