Resolute Bay is at the south coast of Cornwallis Island in Canada's far north. It's named after HMS Resolute, one of the ships searching for Franklin's lost expedition of 1845, that became stuck on ice, was rescued by American whalers, returned to Queen Victoria, and ultimately became the wood source for the famous "Resolute Desk" inside the White House's Oval Office. Cornwallis Island was one of the last known places circled by Franklin, before his expedition sailed southward and disappeared forever. Beechey Island, the Franklin Expedition's first wintering location, and the burial place for their first casualties, is about 100 km east.
This Inuit hamlet was established in 1953 in order to secure Canadian claims over its Arctic areas during the Cold War. The government made various promises to induce some Inuit to come, and has been accused of breaking most of them. The area is too cold and barren for even Inuit to survive without regular shipments of supplies from further south. In 2008 the Canadian government formally apologized for the relocation policy and the harm it did.
The weather in Resolute can be summed up in two words: freezing cold. Average temperature is −13.3°C (8.1°F); only briefly during the summer do temperatures climb above freezing. Like most other places in the Arctic, the climate is very dry. Most snowfall occurs during the summer.
- Canadian North, toll-free: , firstname.lastname@example.org. A regional airline primarily operating flights in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, and flights travelling between that region and a few large cities in Canada. Flights Tu Th F from Iqaluit (4-6 hours), starting at $1935 roundtrip, via Arctic Bay. Flights W F from the even more remote community of Grise Fiord. Also offers charter flights.
- Kenn Borek Air offers charter flights
Walking or snowmobiling. There are no taxis. Hotels offer shuttles to the airport.
- 1 Beechey Island, 100 km east. The expedition's first wintering location, and the burial place for their first casualties. The grave markers seen are replicas; the originals are on a Yellowknife museum. The site was not discovered until 1851, and in 1993, five archaeological sites on Beechey Island and nearby Devon Island (the Franklin wintering camp of 1845–46, Northumberland House, the Devon Island site at Cape Riley, two message cairns, and the HMS Breadalbane National Historic Site) were designated as the Beechey Island Sites National Historic Site of Canada.
Resolute outfitters offer Arctic adventures like a five-day igloo camping journey over the frozen ice to the community of Grise Fiord, and snowmobiling expeditions onto the frozen sea ice of the Northwest Passage. Dog team trips and polar ice cap tours are also available.
Resolute Bay is an excellent location for marine wildlife watching. Pods of beluga and narwhal can be seen from Resolute's beach as they head to their summer feeding grounds. Ellesmere National Park Reserve and Polar Bear Pass National Wildlife Area are both easily accessed from Resolute Bay.
Buy, eat and drink
There are no restaurants, so you'll be eating at your lodgings, or from the Co-op store.
Several lodges are also available for rent.
Cell service provider Telus has 4G LTE internet coverage in Resolute and its immediate surroundings.
- Qausuittuq National Park -- one of Canada's newest and most remote national parks.