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When to go to Arctic Canada

The best time to go is the summer months between May and September, depending on what you would like to experience. The Canadian Arctic is a place of sheer extremes and dramatically changing seasons. Short summers and long, cold and dry winters, with temperatures plummeting to a biting -35C.

If you want to see the polar bears on the pristine ice and snowy landscape, October through November is better, however be prepared for bitter temperatures.

WHA St Arctic Canada Killer Whale
ARC St Arctic Canada Single Polar Bear Churchill Manitoba Don Laidlaw

Talk to an Arctic Canada Specialist

The best time to visit Arctic Canada

  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Polar night engulfs the Arctic at the turn of the year, with the sun remaining below the horizon, a complete lack of daylight does mean that the Northern Lights are fairly common in January, but due to the lack of other activities available, we strongly recommend searching for the auroras at a different time.

May - September

Summer is the most popular time to visit; when the fascinating geology and wildlife of the area is most visible. Temperatures are at their highest and most comfortable, making this the time that the majority of expeditions operate. Camp on the floe edge between May and July, snorkel with narwhals and even track polar bears on foot surrounded by the beautiful summer colours. In July and August beluga whales congregate at Hudson Bay in their thousands and in June narwhals migrate through the north-west passage to their summer feeding grounds.

If you want to see polar bears

October and November is the time to go to see the bears out on the snow and ice, watching them gather along the Hudson Bay coast to wait for the ice to freeze. May through to September you can see the bears on the colourful tundra, but there is only one week in March you can watch the new-born cubs coming out of their dens.

If you want to see the Northern Lights

At their most impressive from January through March when skies are clearer, Churchill is one of the three best places on the planet to witness the natural phenomenon of Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), caused by the interaction of charged particles from the sun with atoms in the upper atmosphere.

Things to do in Arctic Canada

Witness the Northern Lights

The Canadian Arctic is one of the best places on Earth to witness the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). Head to destinations like Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, for optimal viewing opportunities during the winter months.

Arctic Wildlife Viewing

The Arctic is home to a variety of wildlife, including polar bears, Arctic foxes, caribou, muskoxen, and a variety of bird species. Consider wildlife safaris, guided tours, and birdwatching expeditions.Churchill, Manitoba, is known as the "Polar Bear Capital of the World."

Visit Inuit Communities

Learn about the indigenous Inuit culture by visiting communities like Iqaluit in Nunavut, where you can engage with locals, explore art galleries, and engage in cultural activities and experiences, including traditional Inuit arts and crafts, storytelling, and performances. Visit museums and historical sites to learn about the exploration, history, and heritage of the Arctic region.

Hiking and Trekking

Explore the Arctic landscapes on foot by taking guided hiking and trekking tours. Options include exploring the tundra, fjords, and glacier areas