Pangnirtung, Nunavut, aka ‘Pang’. It’s winter almost all year. Harsh, isolated and expensive. Only one hotel. Still it’s a tourist draw.
Pang (pop. 1,325) is an hour flight northeast of the capital Iqaluit. The community is located on the east coast of Baffin Island, nestled on a narrow inlet beyond the mouth of Cumberland Sound. With jagged, frosted peaks — the highest in the Canadian Shield — glacial lakes and summer wildflowers, it’s obvious how Pang gets its nickname.
Wind isn’t the only constant in the fjord where all ice-roads lead to the glaciers and ice fields of Auyuittuq National Park—Auyuittuq meaning “land that never melts”. The breathtaking Auyuittuq National Park peaks of Mt. Asgard (shown in the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me) and Mt. Thor. The Park is accessible in the summer for the adventurous and well-prepared hiker. Polar bears and nasty weather are but two of the challenges.
Auyuittuq Lodge is the 25-room lodge is the only hotel in town. The rate is $239/night.
The most popular outdoor activities in Pangnirtung include hunting, fishing and snowmobile riding, but visitors can also enjoy dog sledding and igloo camping. In early April each year the community stages a day of feasting and music to celebrate becoming a hamlet. In mid-to-late May it holds a very popular annual fishing derby. Pangnirtung is renowned for its traditional Inuit arts and crafts, particularly the excellent quality of its woven tapestries and its lithographic prints. It is also famous for a unique style of crocheted winter hat called the ‘Pang Hat’ that is very popular all across Nunavut.
About 35,000 tourists per year come to Nunavut. But few of these come to Pangnirtung.
Pang offers travelers the opportunity to view a beautiful and remote part of the world. Interest in the community and the natural beauty of Auyuittuq National Park are bound to grow in future years.