The vastness of Canada’s north can hide some fantastic sights, even massive rocks that would be considered a national treasurer elsewhere.
Qarlinngua is a rock formation way way way north, and is almost certainly the least famous sight that will end up on this list, unless it goes viral this year.
I’m also going to skip trying to do only Creative Commons photos for it, since there are so few photos of it online. However, the spectacular and photoshopped-looking arch is in fact real, as confirmed by CBC. It’s been known to Inuit for thousands of years no doubt, and scientists for a while, but to Johnny Popculture down south, it’s new.
From the right angle it looks the arch looks like an impossible formation, a huge solid stone structure towering over a barren beach, but when looking back from the water you can see it’s part of the cliffside, but stands out by several meters, allowing for some tricky photos to create this weird standalone idea.
When CBC first got photos of Qarlinngua, they weren’t sure what to think and reached out to confirm that they weren’t getting photoshopped pics, and it took a little while to confirm, but yes, that’s an actual thing that exists — in Canada.
The surrounding rocks are interesting too; coastal hoodoos, which I didn’t expect to exist on the ocean’s shore due to exposure, but they also tower over the beach.
These are all the photos I could find of the huge arch; if you’re able to find more, let me know. The hunter, Max Kalluk, who took the photos estimates it to be 50 m tall.
Getting there, unsurprisingly, is difficult, and will rival all other sights for cost and length of time. The nearest community of any sort to Qarlinngua is Arctic Bay, which does have expensive scheduled flights (we’re talking around $2,000 just to get from Iqaluit, and it’s usually around $2,000 to get to Iqaluit from the south in the first place). Once you spend the $4k on plane tickets, there’s accommodation and food to worry about, which is pricey due to how far north you are. I’m not sure how much it’s all going to cost, but I doubt you’re getting this photo for less than $6000, and that’s if you already own all the necessary gear.
Unfortunately, I’m not sure of the exact location of arch, so this just shows where Arctic Bay is and then you have to imagine a five hour boat ride from there.
Anywho, once all that’s done, you’ll have to hire a boat out of Arctic Bay, because you still have four or five hours in a boat. The area is visited by hunters occasionally, but there’s no ‘official’ guides, as far as I can tell, offering any sort of flat rate or regular trip.
There’s not much more to say about it. There’s no official website for it, it’s not a historic site and no travel sites have an info about it. If that changes I’ll try to update this post.
Editor’s Notes —This is an updated version of the post I published last year when I took the first swing at this project.