Peterson's Point Lake Lodge

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Autumn in the Barrenlands – A Hikers & Photographers Arctic Oasis

The Barrenlands. It may sound lonesome, and over the winter there is some truth to that sentiment as the vast expanse of snow looks deserted. However, in the summer life erupts as the daylight grows and the warmth of the sun returns as do many animals and birds. The landscape transforms into a blanket of green and blooming flowers.

Although the summers are brief, the daylight hours are long, and the flora and fauna that live here, even temporarily, take full advantage of the conditions. Every aspect of growth is expedited in the barrens, one could almost say the plants race to fulfill the innate purpose to germinate, propagate, and spread their seeds to prepare before the end of the arctic summer. 

The same goes for the animals, to have and rear their young before the night returns and temperatures drop; life stages, birth, maturity and hibernation or death happens so much faster than their southern cousins.

As the Arctic summer wanes, the ground cover bursts into a deep crimson, specked with yellows, golds and oranges. It makes for incredible landscape photography and it’s the perfect time of year to capture wildlife with the fall drapery as a backdrop. The different shades of blue from the sky and lake also provide an incredible canvas of natural colours that contrast rich colours of fall.

Escape to the Barrenlands

Getting here takes some effort – it’s off the beaten path. However, there is a remote lodge, Peterson’s Point Lake Lodge, that provides access, comfortable accommodation, transportation, expert guides and warm hospitality for those seeking the unique riches of the barrenlands. Spectacular fishing, incredible hiking and tremendous photography opportunities are some of the experiences that are relished here.

Imagine flying 200 miles north of Yellowknife on a float plane, while watching the treeline disappear and seeing a wilderness lodge situated on the shore of a mile long sand beach; it’s a haven in the middle of these glacial swept lands that stretch as far as the eye can see, with undulating hills and steep cliffs. 

Birds come to have their young and wildlife like the iconic caribou migrate through the area. Trophy lake trout lurk in the waters below, waiting to be caught and starlit skies are the backdrop to the northern lights. With access to incredible outdoor experiences (fishing, hiking, northern lights viewing, nature, wildlife and photo opportunities) right outside your cabin door it’s no wonder that people looking for an authentic northern experience are drawn to come here

Barren ground Grizzly Bear taking a rest by sitting down on the barrens fall colours NWT barrenlands

Located in a land beyond the trees where there is no manmade groomed trail system there are limitless hiking opportunities. The time-honoured traditional caribou routes have carved out trails that provide good hiking as do the sand eskers and rolling landscape.

Endless Adventures In The Arctic. There are great hikes starting right from the lodge while other ‘trail heads’ if you will, require a boat ride. A number of the hikes have been picked out for their stunning surroundings and interesting geological features, such as an aufeis. They also provide incredible viewpoints to watch for wildlife. The hikes range in length and guides will accompany you for their wildlife spotting skills, safety and sharing their personal first-hand knowledge of the area.

This is grizzly bear country, and guides are on the lookout for bears in addition to other commonly sighted larger animals, such as the caribou, moose, wolf, wolverine, smaller animals such as sik siks and weasels. There are a variety of birds, from raptors like the peregrine falcon and eagle to waterfowl, songbirds, seabirds and grouse. 

The guides carry a firearm with them as part of their equipment, it’s a normal part of the routine just as are lifejackets. Guests are reminded to keep watch and look up with regularity if they stop to pick from any of the numerous berry patches that naturally grow here (blueberries, crowberries, cloudberries and, the locally sought after cranberry). 

Each type of berry typically ripens at different times, some overlapping. The picking season often starts in August so they can be enjoyed throughout the autumn. The lodge will happily supply you with a container so you can pick berries as you trek over the barrens to enjoy as a snack along the way, bring them back to the cook where she’ll prepare something delicious for you or take them home with you.

While hiking there are innumerable ground level (macro) photo opportunities. Look closely and you will see minute flowers, dwarf shrubs, mushrooms, colorful lichens and mosses all jumbled together into a mosaic of intricate beauty. Upon closer look you may even find a bird’s nest, animal scat, providing clues to their proximity, including evidence of their last meal, in addition to pieces of history, ancient and hidden artifacts from peoples and explorers that travelled through this area long ago. 

The terrain changes throughout the 70 miles over which Point Lake spans providing you a new experience each day. This large waterway is part of the legendary Coppermine River System, it provides access to explore the surrounding area while looking for wildlife.

Guests can enjoy a diverse menu of activities during Peterson’s Point Lake Lodges’ Explorer’s Package and there’s no need not worry about keeping pace with everyone in the group while on hikes. Participants will naturally group based on energy levels, pace, and interests.  Lunch breaks and end of the day rendezvous points/times are designated and often participants may have the opportunity to meet before returning to the lodge.

Several of Peterson’s Point Lake Lodge trips have expert guides that accompany the regular guide team who share their knowledge and offer professional tips. Whether you are interested in improving your photography skills while focusing on wildlife photography, landscape photography and/or northern lights photography (such as in their Arctic Photography Workshop and Aurora Experience) or learning about the unique flora and fauna as offered in the Barrenland Naturalist Tour, the guide team is happy to share. 

Capture The Aurora In The Heart Of The Barrens 

At night, the photographer’s adventure doesn’t end. The Barren Lands are an ideal spot to witness the Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis. Light pollution doesn’t exist in these parts. Beneath the sprawling sky that has no beginning or no end you can learn the perfect way to photograph this natural phenomenon. 

Experiencing fall on the Northwest Territories tundra with Peterson’s Point Lake Lodge will leave you wanting more. The possibilities of what you may find are endless – you may have up close and personal encounters, where you will be treated to moments that typically are only witnessed in nature documentaries. 

Equally as rewarding is spending time with people that share similar interests and the profound feeling you can only get from time spent in the barrens, it’s barely palpable and hardly describable, for some it’s a calling that will lure you back again. Join Peterson’s Point Lodge’s this year and become immersed in the barrens. Book your Arctic adventure with Peterson’s Point Lake Lodge today.

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