Discover our community


Formerly known as Coppermine

Kugluktuk: “place of moving water”

Population: 1,491

Nunavut’s westernmost community if situated at the mouth of the Coppermine River as it empties into the Coronation Gulf. The waterway got its name because it was a historic source of copper to the Inuit, who used the metal to fashion tools.

The Coppermine has exceptional fishing with Arctic grayling, whitefish, Arctic char, pike and trout.

The river is an inviting place to canoe, kayak, go rafting, boating or swimming on a hot summer day. A Canadian Heritage river, it is popular for experienced paddlers. Adventure canoeists start their journey in Yellowknife and finish in Kugluktuk. Others start a little closer to Kugluktuk but can still take two weeks to complete this challenging trip. Along the way you’ll see the taiga forest, transitioning to the tundra, although dwarf willow, birch and spruce trees endure. You’ll pass by the red-tinged granite cliffs of Rocky Defile Canyon and you may spot muskox, caribou, the occasional moose, and many species of birds; although the bugs may annoy you!

Berry picking is prolific around Kugluktuk. Cranberries, blueberries, cloudberries and crowberries all grow wild. These juicy treats are tasty raw, or in baked goods, and jams. Keep your eyes peeled for grizzly bears, as they too enjoy berries.

Fifteen kilometers from Kugluktuk is Bloody Falls Territorial Park. Named after a historic violent battle between the Inuit and Dene, archeological clues can still be found including past camps and homes. While currently only accessible by boats, ATVs, and snowmobiles in winter, discussions are underway to build a road to the park, making it accessible by truck.

The Ulu shaped Kugluktuk Visitor Heritage Centre opened in 2014. There are many Inuit artifact exhibits on hand. One of the most striking displays is a five-metre-long caribou skin kayak. Arts, crafts and other souvenirs are for sale at the heritage Centre including the sought-after muskox qiviut. This soft spun wool from the hide of muskox is very warm and is provided through a locally owned company.

Photo Credit: Bill Williams

For more information on Kugluktuk’s services, contact the Hamlet office at 867-982-6500.