Welcome to Churchill, Canada
When To Go
Polar Bears: July - November
Beluga Whales: June - September
Northern Lights: February - March
While in Churchill, take in some of its extensive fur trade history, adventure kayaking, hiking and outstanding cuisine (Arctic Char is a must!). So get set for your once in a lifetime tundra experience in Churchill.
In the summer, white beluga whales surface and plunge in the blue-green waters of the Churchill River. You'll be within talking distance of the most vocal whales in the world. More than 3,000 beluga whales come in early July to feed and calve. Seals can also be seen in the harbour and caribou are frequently sighted along the coast, and polar bears laze in the purple fireweed. Churchill is also a birdwatchers' paradise-some 250 species of birds including the rare Ross Gull, nest or pass through on their yearly migrations.
In the fall, you can see why Churchill is known as the "Polar Bear Capital of the World" as hundreds of bears pass through and around the town on their way out to the freezing Hudson Bay ice. You can watch the bears from the comfort of a heated tundra vehicle, or get up close and personal with the arctic landscape with a walking excursion on the bears' turf. No matter how you do it, a winter northern safari is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
You can see the aurora borealis (northern lights) all year round when they make an appearance in the northern night sky. Blue, green and white in colour, they enchant visitors on clear nights in a performance worth waking up for. According to legend, the northern lights will dance their way down to earth if you whistle at them. Why not give it a try?
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I drive to Churchill?
Unfortunately, no. Churchill is a remote community that sits on the Hudson’s Bay. The only way to get there would be to take the train, or fly. (VIA, Calm Air)
What should I wear/pack for my trip to Churchill?
Fall – During peak polar bear season, be prepared for snow and cold conditions. Several layers of clothing, including an insulated parka or waterproof jacket, insulated boots, thick mitts or gloves, toque (woolen hat), and long underwear are recommended.
Winter – Add a balaclava, quality snow boots that are good to a temperature of -45˚ C (-25˚ F), snow/ski pants, and sunglasses to your fall weather gear.
Summer – A variety of clothing is required as temperatures can soar to above 25˚ C (85 F) and drop to 6˚ C (42 F). A good quality waterproof jacket, hat, sunglasses, hiking boots, shorts, pants, sunscreen, and bug repellent are recommended.
When is the best time of year to visit Churchill?
For Polar Bears – During the fall, typically October/November. This is when the bears are making their trek across the tundra and through the town of Churchill to go spend winter hunting on the frozen Hudson’s Bay. Polar bears can still be spotted on the tundra from July - September.
Beluga Whales – Summertime is the best time of year, around June – September. During this period, nearly 60,000 whales have made their way into the Hudson’s Bay and Churchill River.
Northern Lights – January through March is the best time of year to view the Northern Lights, though they can be seen most nights throughout the year, except durning the longest days (June), and when there is cloud cover.