As of April 1, 1999, the giant area previously known as the Northwest Territories became two separate territories. The eastern portion is now Nunavut. Nunavut is an Inuktitu word for “our land.”
Note that you cannot drive your RV (or any vehicle) to Nunavut as there are no roads into any or between any of the communities. While the Northwest Territories has some highways that keep it connected to the south, there are no roads connecting Nunavut to the rest of Canada. There are cars in Nunavut, but these can only travel on the roads within communities. In Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut, there is only one paved road and there are no traffic lights. This paved road is the only one in the whole territory - a territory that makes up one-fifth of Canada's land mass.
This one territory has 40% of Canada’s coastline. It’s the emptiest, loneliness, grandest part of the nation. (The land belongs not to the federal government, but to the Inuit themselves.)
It is gorgeous, but not in the way you might usually think about nature. It’s mostly tundra, so no trees. But there are fantastical fjords and ice formations, mythic narwhals, and roaming caribou.
- The original people of this land call themselves Inuit, which simply means “the people.”
- Viewing the stunning Northern Lights, dog sledding and cross-country skiing are ideal winter activities.
- Community events and gatherings with homespun food, storytelling, dancing and good times with the locals are all part of the warm experience you can expect in Nunavut.
Iqaluit is the only Canadian capital that isn't connected to other settlements by a highway so you won't be able to take your RV there. Located on an island remote from the Canadian highway system, Iqaluit is generally only accessible by aircraft and, subject to ice conditions, by boat. But it's still a very worthwhile detour from your motorhome road trip!