Wolf, Grizzly, and Caribou Encounters

Vuntut National Park

in the northern Yukon Territories, was one of 3 national parks I visited this summer. Since there are no roads into Vuntut, my friends and I chartered a helicopter for the 1 ½ hour flight. From our base camp, we explored the British Mountains – deceptively high, crusty topped hills with broad, green valleys in between. Well north of the tree line, the vistas run for kilometers up and down the valleys.

As my friends and I were returning to our camp from an exploratory hike, a blond Grizzly was also approaching our tents, but from the other side. With air horns and bear spray at hand, we stopped and watched as the bear took notice of us. Apparently it wasn’t in the mood to raid our food supply or to confront us. The bear turned tail, and to our great relief it ran away. On another day, 3 very curious wolves came right up to us but decided that we weren’t interesting to whatever their purpose was.

Caribou Migration

Finally, on our way out of the Park, we came upon hundreds of caribou. The Porcupine caribou herd was on its migration south from the calving grounds at the Arctic Ocean. Our helicopter couldn’t pick us up at the designated point because the herd just was too close. Nature gets priority on my expeditions.

See more tempting details of these adventures in the Oak Ridges Trail Association’s winter 2019 Trail Talk magazine. The full story of this grand adventure in Vuntut National Park in my upcoming book “Adventures in the Canadian National Parks”.