Ellesmere Island is largest island of the Queen Elizabeth Islands, Nunavut territory, Canada. It is located off the northwest coast of Greenland and north of Baffin Island. The island is about 300 miles wide by 500 miles long (500 km wide by 800 km) and is the most rugged in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, with towering mountains (especially in the north), vast ice fields, and a deeply indented coastline. Cape Columbia is the most northerly point of Canada, and Barbeau Peak, at an elevation of 8,583 feet (2,616 metres), is the highest mountain in Nunavut. Settlements, all quite small, include Eureka, Grise Ford (Aujuittuq), and Alert, a weather station and military outpost that is the northernmost community in North America. Opposite to Eureka is Axel Heiberg Island, a remote and extraordinarily beautiful island where there are musk ox, wolves, and Arctic hares. At Skraeling IslandSkraeling Island, an extensive archeological site has yielded a wealth of artifacts from the Dorset and Thule cultures.
Tanquary FjordTanquary Fjord in the northwest of the island is home to Ellesmere Island (Quttinirpaaq) National Park, which contains Canada's northernmost land (Cape Columbia) and eastern Canada's highest peak (Barbeau Peak 8,583 feet).
The island is believed to have been visited by Vikings in the 10th century. It was discovered in 1616 by the explorer William Baffin and was named in 1852 by Sir Edward A. Inglefield's Expedition after the 1st Earl of Ellesmere.
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