Whether you want to come as a angler companion, book a custom/self-directed experience, register for our Arctic Photography Adventure or simply come to bear witness to the natural beauty; the animals; the living landscape and display of northern lights will leave you awestruck.
The scenery is incredible, in the summer, this is the land where the sun never sets and in the autumn the aurora dance in the sky. The beauty of the barrens captivates all who travel the distance to experience it.
Quite the contrary to the definition of 'barren' and notion that the barren lands is flat and lifeless! Peterson's Point Lake Lodge (PPLL) is located on the south-west end of Point Lake where the taiga shield meets the barrens (southern arctic ecozone). Stunted forests grow in sheltered areas and valleys until they merge with the rolling hills created from glacial retreat. This unique eco-system provides the environment for many animals, birds and fish species to call home, some only inhabit the area seasonally, like us! Thankfully, not much has changed since the glaciers moved over this area to create this awe-inspiring landscape.
Every summer Barren-ground caribou migrate from the calving grounds near the Arctic coast toward the treeline. PPLL lies in the midst of their southward migration route. Travelling along time-honoured trails, caribou pass through the Point Lake area each season. Seasonally, wolves inhabit the area, their dens can be seen in the sand eskers where they have their pups. Caribou are their primary sources of food and they can been seen following the caribou on their migration. Wolverine and grizzly are both opportunist animals found in the area and, we aim at keep these sightings from a distance. Although less commonly seen, moose can be sighted foraging in the treed area and amongst the dwarf willows and shrubs.
There are variety of migratory birds seen throughout the season around the Point Lake including: peregrine falcons; bald eagles; tundra swans; ptarmigan; jaegers; sparrows; the yellow warbler and more.
For a list of common wildlife sightings, see our checklist - download PDF.
By mid-August the daylight hours have diminished sufficiently and after spending the day on the lake or hiking the hills photo-shooting you can enjoy nature's night show in the evening. This visual phenomenon occurs within a band of latitudes known as the auroral oval and, happens when fast moving particles from the sun interact with oxygen and nitrogen in the earth's upper atmosphere. Collisions between with incoming particles and the gas molecules release energy in the form of light. Never the same, the aurora is displayed in bands; ribbons and curtains and exhibits various colours: green, red and purple.
If you think that your 'arctic safari' is based solely on the animals and solar activity of a dark northern sky, just look below your feet to see a miniature world bursting with life. Intensely rugged, the dwarfed trees, plants, shrubs, mosses and lichens are beautiful. They withstand such harsh winter conditions it's amazing that they survive and their lives sustain and provide nourishment to the animals that call this area home. Offering seasonal guests, like us, the enjoyment of their fruits (cranberries, blueberries and crowberries to name a few) and leaves for cooking, making blends of teas, and/or medicinal uses. As you can see, all of these species create this living landscape, each one as important as the other and, they paint the tundra in shades of greens, crimson, yellow pending the season - making it a magical place.
Arctic Photography Adventure
Anyone interested in exploring the barrens and viewing nature with a camera has a unique opportunity to capture spectacular images and improve their photography skills during our annual Arctic Photography Adventure under the guidance of professional Canadian Nature Photographer and biologist, Robert Berdan.
Suitable for all level of photographers, participants will learn tips and techniques for photographing wildlife, through practical experience and presentations. During your daily excursions, where you will be hiking and/or travelling by boat to various locations to scout for wildlife, Robert will offer advice to fit the ever-changing wildlife and weather conditions, and work with you one-on-one to help you focus on your own photographic interests. If you want to know more, Robert is there to guide and assist you with your camera. Participation is voluntary and guest who prefer a more self directed shooting are welcomed.
Daily workshops cater to all levels of photographers, including: macro and landscape photography; wildlife and aurora photography; editing and critique sessions are all part of the discussion. In addition to learning about the science and art of photography, participants will also have the opportunity to learn about this history of the area. Our small group size makes learning enjoyable. Sessions are relaxed.
"A fabulous stay. The tundra and its critters were remarkable. The aurora breathtaking and the hospitality warm and inviting. After visiting the Arctic multiple times in the past 30 years, this was a highlight. "
Dr. Wayne Lynch, Calgary, AB
Dr. Robert Berdan is passionate about outdoor nature photography. His work has been featured by Canadian and National Geographic magazines, his pictures have won international awards (Banff Mountain Photography) and his articles and images have been published in science journals, books, magazines and websites (Photo Life, Outdoor Photographer Canada, Canadian Geographic, National Geographic, and UpHere, Bragg about Creek).
Robert's passions include: macro-photography, astrophotography, wildlife, panoramic-photography, time-lapse and spherical panoramic photography. He loves to teach and has been instructing at various Universities and colleges for over 20 years. Originally, he worked as an Alberta Heritage scholar at the University of Alberta but he left to start his own business called Science & Art in order to spend more time pursuing his passion for nature photography. Check out his web sites: canadian nature photographer and www.scienceandart.org.
Robert is also a web developer, Photoshop instructor and operates candian nature photographer e-zine where you can find many of his photography articles and images in the gallery section. Robert specializes in Canadiana photography.
Itinerary in Brief
Day 1 - 2 - Yellowknife, NT
Explore Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories and surrounding area with local experts where you will learn about the building of this gold mining town to the diamond capital it is today. You will also see local art and learn about the history and culture of the people that make this area unique. Enjoy a boating tour on Great Slave Lake and fish fry or guided hike on the Ingraham Trail. Evenings are designated to photographing the northern lights, including one night at Aurora Village.
Day 3 - 8 - Peterson's Point Lake Lodge
Get excited as you fly 200+ miles north of Yellowknife to Point Lake, over the treeline to the barrens. Landing just shy of the Arctic Circle, the flight itself rewards you with breath-taking views. During the daily excursions keep your eyes open for wildlife sightings, hone your photography skills, take in a presentation and learn about the history of the area. Although our kitchen is well stocked with choices of caffeinated beverages you may be running on adrenaline staying awake for evening aurora photography and rising early to capture the spectacular morning sunrises, which can reward those who push through the blurry eyed tiredness from staying up late. On the last day, you will board your flight back to Yellowknife where you will be provided a transfer to the airport, downtown or booked accommodation.
Please note that this trip is 100% weather dependent and adjustment to flights and daily activities may occur as a result of inclement weather and/or other uncontrollable factors.
Download the Arctic Photography Flyer PDF