Wapusk National Park

Wapusk National Park, in the far north of Canada, is a world where nature is displayed in its purest and wildest state. This reserve protects one of the highest densities of polar bear maternity dens in the world and offers visitors a unique experience of wildlife observation. We invite you to immerse yourself in this guide to discover all you need to know before embarking on this mighty adventure.

Wapusk National Park

Location and How to Get There

Nearest city: Churchill

Located in the province of Manitoba, Wapusk National Park is situated about 45 km south of the city of Churchill, the closest city and the gateway to the park. The park’s geographic coordinates are: 57°46′26.04″ N, 93°22′17.04″ W. It lies on the shores of Hudson Bay, in northeastern Manitoba.

Transportation to the Park

There are no roads leading to the park, so most visitors arrive by plane to Churchill and then take a small plane or an all-terrain vehicle from there.

History of Wapusk National Park

Creation and Park Design

The Wapusk National Park was established on April 24, 1996, after years of negotiations between the federal and provincial governments and local communities. The park was designed with a focus on wildlife conservation, particularly polar bears.

Cultural Importance to Indigenous Peoples

The area that is now Wapusk National Park has been used for thousands of years by Indigenous peoples, including the Cree and the Dene. For these groups, the park holds deep cultural significance and is seen as a place of great spiritual importance.


Diverse Landscapes

The geography of Wapusk National Park covers an area of 11,475 square kilometers and offers a variety of captivating landscapes. From vast tundra expanses to dense boreal forests, this park will immerse you in the natural beauty of northern Canada.
Here, you will find vast open tundra plains stretching as far as the eye can see. These open lands are dotted with wetlands, lakes, and crystal-clear rivers that give the landscape a unique charm. Additionally, you can explore the lush boreal forests, filled with towering trees and a diversity of flora and fauna.

Hudson Bay Coast

Wapusk National Park also boasts a coastal location along the Hudson Bay. Along its coast, you can contemplate vast sandy beaches and marvel at the mightiness of the ocean on the horizon. This coastal area plays a fundamental role in the polar bear’s life cycle as it provides them with the sea ice they need for hunting and survival.
Exploring the varied landscapes of Wapusk will allow you to immerse yourself in the grandeur of nature at its mightiest. From the expansive tundra plains to the lush boreal forests and captivating coasts, this park invites you to enjoy and appreciate the natural beauty in every corner.

Climate in Wapusk and Best Visiting Seasons

The climate in Wapusk is subarctic, with very cold winters and short, relatively warm summers. The best time to visit is between July and September.
It’s essential to consider that the climate in northern Canada can be harsh and unpredictable. Visitors may encounter snowstorms, severe thunderstorms, freezing fog, and strong winds at any time of the year. Being prepared for adverse weather conditions and considering the risk of hypothermia is crucial to ensuring safety during your visit to Wapusk National Park.

Winter Climate

Winter extends from late October to early May, with average temperatures in December and January around -26°C (-15°F) and possibly dropping to -45°C (-49°F).

Summer Climate

During the summer months, June, July, and August, temperatures can range from -10°C (14°F) as the minimum to as high as 35°C (95°F) as the maximum. It’s important to note that temperatures can vary drastically within a short period, sometimes decreasing up to 20 degrees in less than an hour.
Intermediate Seasons: In May, temperatures usually range from -10°C (14°F) to 20°C (68°F). September and October are typically stormy months, with temperatures ranging from -25°C (-13°F) to 15°C (59°F).

Remember to be well-prepared for various weather conditions, ensuring a safe and enjoyable visit to the park.

Biodiversity of Wapusk National Park


The park is a mosaic of ecosystems, including tundra, boreal forest, and wetlands, each with its distinctive flora.


Polar Bears and their Conservation

Wapusk is renowned for its polar bear population, using the region as a birthing place. It is one of the few places in the world where you can witness these mighty animals in their natural habitat.

Other Important Animals

Apart from polar bears, Wapusk is home to reindeer, arctic foxes, and a variety of migratory birds.

Attractions and Activities

Hiking and Exploration

The park offers a wide range of opportunities for hiking and exploration, but it is essential to be accompanied by a guide due to the presence of polar bears.

Photography and Wildlife Observation

Photography enthusiasts and wildlife observers will find an ideal setting for their passion in Wapusk.

Guided Tours and Park Education

To learn more about Wapusk’s ecosystem and its wildlife, we recommend taking a guided tour. Local guides will provide valuable information and help you appreciate the park even more.

Helicopter Ride

If you are looking for a unique and thrilling experience in Wapusk National Park, we recommend considering an exciting helicopter ride. This adventure will allow you to appreciate the impressive landscape and wildlife from a privileged perspective.
During the helicopter ride, you will have the opportunity to contemplate the vastness of the park, covering over 11,475 square kilometers of transition between boreal forest and arctic tundra. From above, you can admire the beauty of landscapes composed of vast tundra areas, forests, wetlands, and the Hudson Bay coast.

You will be able to spot a variety of wildlife, including the majestic polar bears, arctic foxes, arctic hares, wolves, caribou, and wolverines, as well as 200 species of birds that call Wapusk their home.

Regulations and Safety Guidelines

Visiting and Conduct Rules

It is important to remember that you are visiting a natural habitat and must respect the park’s animals and plants. Leave the environment as you found it, so others can also enjoy it.

Safety Precautions

Given the presence of polar bears, taking safety precautions is essential. It is always recommended to explore the park with a local guide.

Impact of Climate Change

Observed Effects in the Park

Climate change is affecting Wapusk’s tundra and fauna. The decline of Hudson Bay sea ice is directly impacting polar bears and their hunting capabilities.

Adaptation and Conservation Strategies

Conservation efforts in the park are focused on adapting to climate change and protecting vulnerable ecosystems and species.

Resources and Services in the Park

Facilities and Accommodation

Accommodation in Wapusk National Park is limited, and there are very few facilities. However, there is accommodation available in the city of Churchill.

Visitor Services

Visitor services include orientation, interpretation programs, and guided tours. Visitors should plan ahead to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.

Webcam Video

Planning Your Visit

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Wapusk National Park is between July and September when the weather is warmer, and wildlife is more active.

Useful Tips for Visitors

Remember that it is essential to wear appropriate clothing for the weather, respect the park’s rules, and, given the presence of polar bears, never explore the park without a guide.

Photo Gallery