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Arctic Haven Wilderness Lodge, Ennadai Lake

Arctic Haven Wilderness Lodge

Ennadai Lake, Canada

Arctic Haven is located on Ennadai Lake, one of the great northern lakes in the Canadian Barren Lands. Flying from Yellowknife in the lodge's private plane, you will land outside the lodge on Ennadai Lake. The lodge sits on a peninsula overlooking the lake.

The lodge is located on the tree line; go north and there are no trees, go south and it quickly becomes forested, a location rich in wildlife. The lodge is in the path of one of the great caribou migrations — the Qamanirjuaq caribou herd numbers in excess of 350,000 animals. Every autumn the caribou go south into the trees for the winter, and each spring they head north, many of them walking up Ennadai Lake to their calving grounds. Their trails follow the eskers (long thin hills left by glacier in the last ice age) and lakes (when there is ice). Some of their routes are on the eskers right by the lodge but the routes the caribou choose are unpredictable. They can be seen alone, in small groups of 20 to 75 animals and sometimes in the thousands. The migration is truly a wondrous natural spectacle. Wolves and wolverines are also plentiful and there are also barren land grizzly bears, black bears, and many types of birds including tundra swans, golden eagles and jaegers. The lake holds trophy-size lake trout, northern pike and grayling. At different times of the year it is possible to catch all these fish on a fly rod. The lodge is also fortunate to be located at just the right latitude for excellent northern lights viewing.

Arctic Haven opens from April to mid-September and activities, both guided and non-guided, very much match the seasons. During the summer months the lodge offers some excellent hiking as well as kayaking, boating, and world-class fishing. April and May bring opportunities for cross-country skiing, kite-skiing, dog-sledding and snowmobiling. Using the lodge's fleet of aluminum boats you will explore with your guide along the lake and, if you are there during the caribou migration, there should be opportunities to photograph the caribou swimming in the water as they cross the lake or walk along the shore.

The lodge is a beautiful post and beam structure with just 12 guest rooms, each with a full private bathroom, and offers comfortable but simple accommodation in a true wilderness setting. Electricity and internet communications are provided courtesy of a sophisticated solar system which minimizes the use of generators. The staff are passionate, professional, expert and very caring. The food is wholesome, delicious and all homemade. Often local foods such as muskox and Arctic char are served. Every day starts with fresh hot muffins and ends with a hot shower and a glass of wine!

OUR RATING: Simple

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