Bathurst Inlet Lodge Excursions
This sample itinerary is a good overview, but not exact. We have nearly 50 years of experiencing adapting our daily agenda to meet the interests of our guests and the local conditions. The Bathurst Inlet Lodge excursions mentioned might be delivered on days different than those that appear here.
Please note: 2017 is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Canada. Bathurst Inlet Lodge will be marking the occasion June 30 to July 7, 2017.
Sample Itinerary: A week under the midnight sun
Friday, Day 1
We transfer you from a Yellowknife hotel to the airport for the included charter flight to Bathurst Inlet Lodge. [We recommend that you arrive in Yellowknife on Thursday to ensure you don't miss the Friday charter flight.]
Included flight-seeing: For 2.5 hours, fly over the amazing Barren Lands. The name is a misnomer given by European explorers that failed to appreciate the abundant flora and fauna that grows above the tree line. If weather permits you will have aerial views of diamond mines and Arctic rivers. Keep your camera handy, we may get a good view of a caribou herd!
If the flight occurs mid-day, you will enjoy a boxed lunch in the air.
Welcome and dinner at the lodge where you spend the night.
After dinner, there is often an informal presentation on the history of the community and the people that call the Inlet home. You are introduced to the Copper Inuit, Arctic explorers, fur traders, missionaries, miners and politics.
Saturday, Day 2
The coffeepot is on by 7:30 AM. Breakfast is served at 8 AM. Birders are welcome to take early morning walks before the coffee is ready!
After breakfast, from the ingredients laid out, you pack a lunch to take with you on the day-long excursion we have planned.
A boat trip is usually the first activity. Bathurst Inlet is an extension of the Arctic Ocean, so boat trips are at sea. Early in the season, there may still be ice on the inlet. We'll cruise the ice edge looking for wildlife. Later in the season we might visit a cliff-nesting site to watch Peregrine Falcons, Rough-legged Hawks or Golden Eagles feed their young.
Boat trips usually include landings, where we enjoy informative hikes. Most day activities end around 5 PM, just in time for light refreshments.
If weather permits, you'll tour the community on foot after dinner. There will be plenty of light for photos, as the sun never sets during the summer months.
Still energetic? Sign out a canoe, and take a paddle under the midnight sun.
Sunday, Day 3
Breakfast and dinner are served at the time every day. Once again, lunch is self-serve to take with you on the daily adventures.
: An island cruise with landings for hiking, on the western side of the Inlet. This is the excursion for avid birders. Bring your camera in case you encounter caribou. There will be wonderful displays of wildflowers.
Young Island is the location of superb tundra flowers, Golden Plovers, nesting Rough-legged Hawks and. maybe, caribou.
FON Island (named for the Federation of Ontario Naturalists) is home to shorebirds (Least Sandpipers, Semi-palmated Plovers, and occasionally Baird’s Sandpipers). Keep your eye open for nesting Peregrines and Red-throated Loons. We have spotted them on FON before. The geology of FON includes good basalt intrusions. Traditional meat caches can be found on FON too.
Hidden Lake Island is a red sandstone island with well-defined glacial rebound beaches and an interior freshwater lake with nesting Red-throated Loons and other waterfowl, including three species of scoters, oldsquaws, Lesser Scaup, Northern Pintails, and sometimes White-fronted Geese.
Seal Cache Island is so tiny that it is hard to believe there’s much there, but it is one of the jewels of the Inlet, offering superb wildflowers, including an uncommon tiny hawksbeard and abundant legumes. It also offers ancient Thule tent rings and meat caches, kayak racks, and huge algal limestone stromatolites.
Every evening after dinner
you are invited to enjoy one of our learning activities. Subjects range from Arctic history - especially that of Sir John Franklin - to diamond mining and the culture of the resident Inuit. These evening excursions can be held outside, inside or during a hike.
Monday, Day 4
: The Bathurst Ridge. Our guests often want to climb to the top of the Bathurst Ridge, a huge diabase sill (381 meters or 1250 ft. in elevation) to the south of the community. We can either do this from the lodge or we may go by boat.
We might hike past an old inukshuk game drive system, with diverse displays of flowers. Birds include Ptarmigan (either Willow or Rock), Lapland Longspurs, Northern Pipits, Redpolls, Golden Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, Ravens, and more. We may spot musk oxen from the top of the ridge, or see passing caribou.
Tuesday, Day 5
: Burnside Delta. This area between the snye and the main channel of the Burnside is a fascinating mixture of old sand dunes, oxbow lakes, thickets of willow, and level open tundra on the flat sandy deposits of an older delta. It provides excellent nesting habitat for a number of birds, including Tundra Swans. Caribou wander the low dunes, and red foxes and wolves are frequently seen. Hiking on the delta is a surprise package; one can seldom foretell what will be seen. Marsh harriers and short-eared owls hunt low over the willows, and golden eagles and peregrine falcons also hunt the area. Red-necked Phalaropes nest on the tiny tundra ponds.
Early in the season, sea ice may prevent us from travelling far on the sea, but the rich variety of wildflowers and abundance of caribou, often cow-calf herds, makes the shorter trips well worthwhile. Musk oxen are more abundant close to the shore early in the season, as they feed selectively on the new leaves of the willows as they emerge.
Wednesday, Day 6
Burnside Delta - a fascinating mixture of old sand dunes, oxbow lakes, willow thickets and open tundra. The delta is perfect nesting habitat for Willow Ptarmigan, Red-throated loons, Yellow-rumped warblers, White-crowned sparrows, and tundra swans, to name only a few species.
Caribou wander the low dunes. Red foxes and wolves are known to prowl an area that offers surprise after surprise for the observant traveller.
Thursday, Day 7
Excursions for Weather Days:
Occasionally, local conditions produce too much wind to safely use our big pontoon boat, or ice movement curtails our plans. We have a number of alternate activities planned should "weather days" arise.
On Day 7, we continue with our selection of excursions. The evening program is shorter however, perhaps a casual slide show of some of winter activities in the North, or a review of the wildflower bloom for the week.
Friday, Day 8
After breakfast, board the charter plane for the return flight to Yellowknife. We encourage you to book a night in Yellowknife before departing for home, just in case there are weather delays.
Optional Yellowknife Stopover Packages
- 2 nights in Yellowknife - one the day before you transfer to the lodge; and the other the night of Day 8
Cost per couple $585
- 3 nights hotel lodging, 2 pre and 1 post visit to the Lodge
- A guided walking tour of Yellowknife
- A half day activity
Cost per couple $1,397.50