Nunavut and NWT

Discussion in 'GPS Tracks - Alaska & Canada' started by Icewalker, Nov 9, 2006.

  1. Icewalker

    Icewalker Conundrum

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    Anyone know of any maps Fugawi/Ozi ex that shows Nunavut and all of the NWT? Also do the Ice roads show up?

    Thanks

    Jeff
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  2. Drif10

    Drif10 Accredited Jackass

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    Garmin Topo doesn't show ice roads, neither does Metroguide, thought that one does show ferries in and around Iqualuit.
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  3. CGH

    CGH Polluting the ether

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    Are you looking for interest's sake, or are you thinking you can ride there?

    I can't help you with the GPS info, but I can tell you that there are no roads into Nunavut (NU) (and only three into the Northwest Territories {NT}) and only a few roads that are local within various communities. The only exception is the winter road from Yellowknife, NT to the Lupin gold mine in NU (link).

    Most ice roads are privately owned and are for the sole purpose of access and supply to industrial sites: mining, oil & gas, etc. Most of them are radio controlled as they are usually narrow and treacherous and there's a lot of really nasty traffic on them. Even with a radio you can be taking your life into your hands. DAMHIK :yikes :bluduh

    The SW corner of the NT (where it borders Alberta and BC) has many ice roads, but, again, these are almost exclusively oil & gas exploration roads. Very few of these roads are mapped as they are generally abandonded once the heavy equipment moves out. Even the companies that 'own' the roads often don't know exactly where they are ... they can change from year-to-year depending on environmental conditions.

    I've done a lot of driving in that part of Canada and while I enjoyed it a lot it can be a very treacherous place to travel. Here's a link for more info. on the NT.
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  4. Icewalker

    Icewalker Conundrum

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    I'm organizing another trip up that way. I did the Ice Road from Inuvik to TukTuk Feb 05 (actually drove all the way across Canada from NH) in the Land Rover - so want to do a few more of the trails up that way - A few of the folks I know worked in mining and on the rigs and have mentioned about a few un-mapped trails from Yellowknife out towards Echo Lake and Repulse bay - so I'm thinking of doing some of those in the next year or two.

    Wouldn't think of doing it on two wheels though - but my truck is built to take it :D

    Jeff
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  5. CGH

    CGH Polluting the ether

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    That would be a great trip up to Tuk, and kudos to you for driving all the way from NH. I worked in Inuvik one summer and then flew up for a visit as there is no year-round road.

    I lived in Yellowknife for three years so I do know a bit about the area. The only road leading away from Yellowknife for any distance is the Ingraham Trail. It was part of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker's "Road to Resources" plan, which also included the Dempster Highway.

    The Ingraham Trail was supposed to encircle Great Slave Lake (deepest N.A. lake, ~2,000 ft.), but they only made it about 70 km before construction was halted. It terminates at Tibbitt Lake and near the end of the road is where the winter road to Lupin that I mentioned above begins. The winter road is for commercial use only and is patrolled. Even if you could drive on it (I have for about 80km), the traffic is pretty nasty as they move about 6,000 loads (usually large ... in some cases, VERY large) in an average ~60-day period. Here's another link that shows some of the history and dangers of the road.

    You are correct in that there are a lot of unmarked trails in the north ... the trick is to know which ones you can travel on without getting killed. Not to sound harsh, but anybody who went out on them without someone with local knowledge is a very good candidate for a Darwin award, IMHO. And not to diminish your trip to Tuk, because it is a feat of long-distance driving to do it, but the road to Tuk is a government maintained, public road that, while remote, is 'well' travelled and has services at both ends.

    One of the biggest concerns on the various trails up north is when you are crossing water, which around Yellowknife is about 85% of the time (see the links previously provided and look at some topo maps). As I mentioned, I have done a LOT of winter-road driving and water crossings are always tricky ... even on the well maintained roads. If it were me, I wouldn't attempt travel off the well-travelled trails with a wheeled vehicle ... YMMV.

    I don't want to sound like I'm trying to discourage you, but just trying to provide some information. If you are planning a trip to Yellowknife and area (which I highly recommend) and want to do some exploration along the way, you might want to look at going north through Ft. McMurray, AB, and then up the winter road through Ft. Chipewyan, Wood Buffalo National Park (where you might see the largest free-roaming bison herd in the world), and on to Ft. Smith, NT (Parks Canada link). Just be prepared to abandon your vehicle. :lol3 I would love to do that route ... I have done the trip up the east side of Alberta to Yellowknife literally hundreds of times, so it would be neat to go the other way.
    #5