Northwest Passage Marathon

Run the marathon and rest at Arctic Watch

Running along the Northwest PassageRunning on the Northwest PassageUltra-marathoner at Cape Marie on the Northwest PassageMarathon runner on the Northwest PassageUltra-marathoner on the Northwest PassageFinishing the Northwest Passage Marathon!Running on the Northwest Passage with seals in the backgroundBeside the Northwest PassageUltramarathon on the Northwest PassageSmiles beside the ice
Click photo to enlarge.

Program: Northwest Passage Marathon and Ultramarathon
Dates: June 30th - July 7th 2016
Cost: $5,995 plus transfer from Yellowknife, NT, Canada 

The 2016 Northwest Passage Marathon on Somerset Island in Nunavut, Canada, is North America’s most northerly half-marathon, marathon and ultramarathon. This race is held under the 24-hour Arctic sun and against the backdrop of the fabled Northwest Passage.

The Northwest Passage Marathon is a true wilderness route. The 50 km course leaves Arctic Watch, goes north along the shore of the Cunningham Inlet for 10 km to Polar Bear Point. The runners then turn west and run beside the famed Northwest Passage for the next 18 km. The trail follows a series of old raised beaches of sandstone pebbles. There are icebergs on the water and ancient encampments on the shore. During past events, runners saw dozens of beluga whales, many seals and polar bears. At Cape Marie, runners turn south and inland along the Red Valley (so named for the red stone and soil). Muskox sightings in this area are common. The trail then swings back east and climbs gently before dropping back down towards the Cunningham River. The final kilometres are along the river back to Arctic Watch.

This is a rough trail run with no roads, marked with Inukshuks and trail flags. The surface is generally smooth and covered with pebble-sized rocks. There are some shallow creek crossings. There’s no need to carry water, all the water is potable. But expect to have wet feet!

This 8-day experience not only includes the Northernmost running race, but an unforgettable Arctic wilderness experience hosted at Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge.

The Northwest Passage Marathon is a proud member of AIMS (Association of International Marathons and Distance Races)

The mandatory transfer package of $1690 per person includes pre and post hotels in Yellowknife, as well as the private charter flight to Arctic Watch (roundtrip) from Yellowknife. 

Come Experience Arctic watch for yourself, we are now taking reservations for this years trips.

Bookings and Reservations

2015 Tours | 2016 Tours

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I have been to Arctic Watch 4 times and am returning this summer for my 5th visit. If you are a lover of the wilderness, a fan of the North, or just generally curious about the more extreme portions of our planet, Arctic Watch should be number one on your "must visit" list.

there are many ways to see the Arctic but none so unique as Arctic Watch. You don't need to be an athlete or even particularly fit and yet Youspend the day experiencing wilderness at the most intimate level. Then pass your evenings sipping a cocktail, having a delcious dinner and sleeping warmly and comfortably under a down covering. The early Arctic explorers could not have imagined it. 

For wildlife afficianados there is no better way to get up close and personal with Beluga whales, musk oxen snowy owls and even the occasional polar bear. Photographers can have a field day. Gull Canyon alone is worth the trip.

the Weber family and their staff work tirelessly to ensure that their guests are safe, comfortable and having more fun than you'd think possible in such a remote location. There are few travel opportunities that offer a better travel dollar value proposition and I heartily recommend it to any serious traveler.

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Blog Posts

  • “Drone Art: Arctic Wildlife” receives international attention

    Nansen’s newest video, filmed at Arctic Watch recently received international press by CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) and Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet.

  • Season 16 Episode 1 at Arctic Watch: This Land Is Arctic Watch

    Capturing spectacular wildlife moments takes hard work. One needs to take several thousand images to select three or four photographs. Video is even harder - the special moments require a dedicated patience! This past summer, Destination Canada commissioned a video from Arctic Watch photographer Nansen Weber - one that would showcase those special wildlife moments.

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Getting to Arctic Watch


Check Availability

Northwest Passage Marathon
Start Date: June 30, 2016
End Date: July 07, 2016
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Discovery Program 1
Start Date: July 05, 2016
End Date: July 12, 2016
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Discovery Program 2
Start Date: July 10, 2016
End Date: July 19, 2016
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Discovery Program 3
Start Date: July 17, 2016
End Date: July 26, 2016
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Discovery Program 4
Start Date: July 24, 2016
End Date: August 02, 2016
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Discovery Program 5
Start Date: July 31, 2016
End Date: August 09, 2016
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Discovery Program 6
Start Date: August 07, 2016
End Date: August 14, 2016
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See our photography galleries for examples of photos that our guests and staff have taken over the years.

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  • Fresh dinner rolls at Arctic Watch
  • Chocolat crémeux at Arctic Watch
  • Proscuitto, Appenzeller & tundra greens
  • Lunch cheese board at Arctic Watch
  • Baked Arctic char, tomato, gruyere, fresh sprouts and fresh bread
  • Chocolate banane crémeux at Arctic Watch

Visit our Youtube channel to see and experience Arctic Watch through the eyes of a guest.

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We are passionate about the polar regions of the world; the arctic, the North Pole and the South Pole. We plan unique treks to the Canadian High Arcticin places such as Ellesmere Island, Alex Heiberg Island and Baffin Island. We have trekked more often and more successfully to the North Pole than anyone in history. Find out more about at Weberarctic.


If you are planning an arctic trip, you should meet the WeberArctic team. They offer tips on polar travel philosophy, history and geography, climate implications for modern explorers, logistics and navigation, daily routines, travel techniques, clothing, equipment and more.


Developed and tested on hundreds of successful arctic expeditions, Richard Weber products have been developed for superior comfort and performance in extreme weather conditions.

Find out more about Weber Arctic gear.

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