Due to its high latitude and limited wildlife, there has never been any significant human presence within this part of Ellesmere Island. The pass from Tanquary Fiord through to Lake Hazen shows evidence of being used by arctic people since about 5000 years ago. Tent rings and food caches show that the area was visited by pre-Dorset, Dorset and Thule people, the ancestors of modern Inuit.
The east and north end of the island was used as a starting point for various polar explorations. Fort Conger was an early Arctic exploration research base, and is now maintained as a Federal Heritage Building.
Parks Canada maintains warden stations and gravel air strips at Tanquary Fiord Airport, Lake Hazen and Ward Island. Tanquary Fiord and Lake Hazen are the main access points for tourists. Beyond these warden stations, there are no facilities within the park itself. Two backpacking routes are the route between Lake Hazen and Tanquary Fiord, and a loop around the Ad Astra and Viking ice caps, both approximately 100 kilometres (62 mi).