By Road: There are no roads inside the Wapusk National Park, and also no road access to the nearest town of Churchill. The town of Gillam to the south of the park is accessible by Provincial Road 280 from Thompson.
By Train: There is a regular train service going to both the towns of Churchill and Gillam.
By Air: Calm Air provides scheduled direct flights to Churchill and Gillam from Winnipeg and Thompson in Manitoba and there are regular flights to Churchill from communities in Nunavut.
By Licensed Tour Operators: To access the Wapusk National Park you need to make use of a licensed tour operator. Frontiers North Adventures and Wat’chee Expeditions are licensed to offer guided trips in the park and Hudson Bay Helicopters (also known as Prairie Helicopters) and Custom Helicopters for aerial tours.
Things To Do
The Wapusk National Park is one of the best places in the world to view Polar Bears.
Owl River canoe excursions, aerial tours, stargazing and aurora borealis tours can also be undertaken.
Wildlife to See Here
Of course, the approximately 1000 polar bears take centre stage, but there are also arctic foxes and hares, wolves, caribou, lemmings, wolverine as well as more than 200 bird species such as the Great Grey Owls and Ivory Gulls.
There is no permanent accommodation available inside the park itself, only temporary residence in the form of trailer lodges. The lodges consist of large modular 4-wheeled trailers that get towed across the tundra at certain times of the year.
There are various permanent hotels, lodges and inns to be found in the nearby town of Churchill in Manitoba.
The climate here is unpredictable and highly variable, snowstorms, thunderstorms, ice fog and high winds can occur at any time of the year.
In winter the average December and January temperature is -26°C (-15°F). During the summer (June, July and August) temperatures can range from a low of -10°C (14°F) to highs of 35°C (95°F).
History And Size
The park is relatively young having only been established in 1996 and is Canada's 37th national park.
Many of the names come from the Cree language which reflects the heritage of these people in the area. It covers a total area of 11,475-square-kilometre (4,430 sq mi).