Tuktoyaktuk: A Hidden Gem in the Northwest Territories

Tuktoyaktuk, also known as Tuk, is a small community located in the Northwest Territories of Canada. It is situated on the shores of the Arctic Ocean and is only accessible by plane or ice road during the winter months. Despite its remote location, Tuktoyaktuk is a popular destination for tourists who are looking for an authentic Arctic experience.

Attractions and Natural Wonders

Tuktoyaktuk is home to several natural wonders and attractions that are unique to the Arctic region. Here are some of the must-see places in Tuk:

  • Pingos: These are cone-shaped hills that are formed by the freezing and thawing of underground ice. Tuktoyaktuk is home to the world's largest concentration of pingos, and they are a popular attraction for tourists.
  • Tuktoyaktuk Community Hall: This is the heart of the community and is a great place to learn about the local culture and history. The hall hosts several events throughout the year, including the annual Tuktoyaktuk Winter Festival.
  • Arctic Ocean: Tuktoyaktuk is the only community in Canada that is located on the shores of the Arctic Ocean. Visitors can take a dip in the icy waters or go on a boat tour to see the local wildlife, including beluga whales and seals.
  • Tuktoyaktuk Point Lighthouse: This historic lighthouse was built in 1921 and is still in operation today. Visitors can climb to the top for a stunning view of the Arctic Ocean and the surrounding landscape.

Parks, Lakes, and Trails

Tuktoyaktuk is surrounded by pristine wilderness and is home to several parks, lakes, and trails. Here are some of the best places to explore in the area:

  • Pingo Canadian Landmark: This national park is home to several pingos and is a great place to learn about the geological history of the area.
  • Tuktoyaktuk Winter Road: This ice road is only open during the winter months and connects Tuktoyaktuk to Inuvik. It is a popular route for snowmobilers and is a great way to experience the Arctic landscape.
  • Tuktoyaktuk Lakes: There are several lakes in the area that are great for fishing and boating. Visitors can catch Arctic char, lake trout, and other fish species.
  • Tuktoyaktuk Community Trail: This trail is a great way to explore the local landscape and is suitable for hikers of all skill levels.

Festivals and Events

Tuktoyaktuk is a vibrant community that celebrates its culture and history through several festivals and events throughout the year. Here are some of the most popular events in Tuk:

  • Tuktoyaktuk Winter Festival: This annual festival celebrates the winter season and features traditional Inuvialuit games, dog sled races, and other cultural activities.
  • Tuktoyaktuk Sunrise Festival: This festival celebrates the return of the sun after the long winter months. It features traditional drumming and dancing, as well as a community feast.
  • Tuktoyaktuk Fishing Derby: This annual event is a popular attraction for anglers from all over the world. Participants can catch a variety of fish species and compete for prizes.

History of Tuktoyaktuk

Tuktoyaktuk was established in the early 20th century as a trading post for the Hudson's Bay Company. The community was officially incorporated in 1970 and has since become a hub for Arctic research and tourism. The Inuvialuit people have lived in the area for thousands of years and have a rich cultural history that is celebrated throughout the community.


Tuktoyaktuk is a hidden gem in the Northwest Territories that offers visitors a unique Arctic experience. From the world's largest concentration of pingos to the pristine wilderness and vibrant community events, there is something for everyone in Tuk. Whether you are looking to explore the natural wonders of the Arctic or learn about the local culture and history, Tuktoyaktuk is a destination that should not be missed.


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  • Northwest Territories Tourism. (2021). Tuktoyaktuk.
  • Tuktoyaktuk Community Corporation. (2021). About Tuktoyaktuk.
  • Tuktoyaktuk Winter Festival. (2021). About the Festival.
  • Visit Inuvik. (2021). Tuktoyaktuk.
  • Yukon, North of Ordinary. (2021). Tuktoyaktuk.