Theoretically, this community in the middle of the Mackenzie Delta was abandoned more than 35 years ago when the government built Inuvik , but don’t tell that to the 700 Dene and Inuvialuit who call Aklavik, 58 kilometers (36 miles) to the west, home.
Wooden sidewalks, a legacy of Aklavik’s one-time importance, link the original Hudson’s Bay Company post and a mission church (now a small museum) to newer structures, built before the big move east was announced. Many large houses still stand, testimony to the fortunes made by prosperous traders in days gone by.
Trails lead in all directions from town, inviting the curious to explore this small delta island.
Most people arrive in Aklavik as part of a tour from Inuvik with Arctic Nature Tours (867/777-3300). On clear days, the 20-minute flight is awe-inspiring. For independent travelers, this company will arrange flights and advise on accommodation in the town’s only hotel, or contact Aklak Air (867/777-3777, www.aklakair.ca ).