Torngat Mountains National Park in Newfoundland and Labrador
View of South West Arm. (Geoff Goodyear / © Parks Canada / Torngat Mountains National Park)
Canada’s 150th birthday celebration is almost over, but there’s still time to squeeze in one last adventure! With free admission to national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas until the end of the year, there has never been a better time to see all that Canada has to offer. Let’s learn more about one of the wildest and most remote of all the national parks — Torngat Mountains in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Where is it?
Twin Otter plane landing at Saglek. (Heiko Whittenborn / © Parks Canada / Torngat Mountains National Park)
The park is at the absolute most northern part of the province, running along the border with Quebec on the west side and the Labrador Sea on the east. This park is huge — 9,700 square kilometres — and it’s definitely not easy to get to. In the summer, visitors usually take a plane north from the town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay in central Labrador.
Zodiac boat trip in Saglek Fiord. (Pat Morrow / © Parks Canada / Torngat Mountains National Park)
After a 600 kilometre flight to an airstrip at the park’s southern end, it’s a boat trip to the Torngat Mountains Base Camp and Research Station, where there’s camping available. People also charter helicopters — or snowmobiles in the colder months — to tour around the park. It may take some planning, but once you get there you’re in for a spectacular wilderness filled with wildlife and culture.
Kelly Kojak drying some fish. (Pat Morrow / © Parks Canada / Torngat Mountains National Park)
The park gets its name from the word Tongait, which in the Inuit language of Inuktitut means “place of spirits.” Inuit people have lived and traveled in this area for thousands of years and now manage the park with Parks Canada. There are Inuit-led tours and hikes that let you learn more about the history of the area and get to know the people that still make it their home.
What to look for!
The Torngat Mountains. (Lindsey Moorhouse / © Parks Canada / Torngat Mountains National Park)
The park contains several wildly different landscapes to check out. There are the Torngat Mountains, a mountain range with the highest peaks in eastern Canada.
One of the icebergs you might see. (Gary Baikie / © Parks Canada / Torngat Mountains National Park)
It also has rugged cliffs, waterfalls and glaciers. The Labrador Sea borders the park and offers sightings of wandering icebergs and visiting whales.
Hiking the Hills in the Torngats. (Pat Morrow / © Parks Canada / Torngat Mountains National Park)
Hiking is the best way to get to know a landscape with no roads or buildings beyond the base camp. While you’re exploring you might be asked to help contribute to the park’s wildlife sightings database! Animals like caribou, arctic hare, voles, lemmings, wolves and red and arctic foxes are often spotted.