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An essential guidebook for hiking the Arctic Circle Trail. At just over 100 miles long, and taking 7 to 10 days to complete, the Arctic Circle Trail crosses the largest ice-free patch of West Greenland. This splendid backpacking route, lying 25-30 miles north of the Arctic Circle runs from Kangerlussuaq to Sisimiut - both with airport access.
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The Arctic Circle Trail is unusual in that it is mostly along a trodden path from start to finish, equipped with basic huts at regular intervals and ‘wild’ tent pitches wherever you can find a suitable space on the ground.
Anyone taking advantage of all the huts will spend nine days on the trail. The distance can be extended to run all the way from the ice cap to Sisimiut.
The Arctic Circle Trail is very remote, with few other hikers on the trail, so it is not recommended for a first-time hiker, but it suitable for anyone who has previous experience of being self-sufficient for several days on a trail.
Trekking in Greenland offers all the information experienced hikers will need to walk this waymarked route.
Fire on the trail
Late in August 2016 there was a fire in the middle of the Arctic Circle Trail, spreading from the Ikkatooq hut. There were rumours that one, possibly two huts has been burnt to the ground. This is not true. No huts were burnt. However, the tundra vegetation was destroyed over a very wide area and will take a long time to recover.
There is an ATM at the airport at Kangerlussuaq.
Page 45. A youth hostel is available at Kangerlussuaq, operated by Erik Lomholt-Brek, who also runs the youth hostel at Sisimiut. Henry, the warden at Kangerlussuaq, has walked the trail a number of times and is reported as being a good source for information about current conditions on the trail. Details at www.kangvandh.gl/en/. On the map on page 44, the new hostel is located at a crossroads between KISS and the Church.
Page 77. The Ikkattook hut was painted red on 12th August 2012, to match the other huts on the trail.
(Photo courtesy of Paul Alderson)
Page 82. Just to reinforce how to ford this river. Please note that if you follow the trail straight across the river, the water will be very deep. Please look upstream for a safer and shallower point to ford. It is also worth reading notes in hut visitor books before reaching the ford, to check the experience of the most recent trekkers.
Page 83. Just to reinforce how to use the bridge. Please note that it is very boggy on the way to the bridge, and the bridge is difficult to spot until close at hand. It may not turn out to be an 'easy' option. Again, hut visitor books will tell you whether recent trekkers thought it was worth using the bridge.
Page 84. Water was reported to be flowing in the river beyond the Eqalugaarniarfik hut in 2012, but this can only happen when the dam further upstream overflows.
Page 107. Erik, the warden at the Sisimiut youth hostel, has some useful free leaflets about local walks, for those who have a few days to spend around town at the end of the trail.
|The ice cap|
|Plants and flowers|
|Travelling to Greenland|
|When to go|
|Health and safety|
|Food, drink and fuel|
|Trekking in Greenland|
|What to take|
|Waymarking and access|
|Using this guide|
|THE ARCTIC CIRCLE TRAIL|
|Preamble – Ascent of Sugar Loaf|
|Optional Extension – Ice Cap to Kangerlussuaq|
|Day 1 Kangerlussuaq to Hundesø|
|Day 2 Hundesø to Katiffik|
|Day 3 Katiffik to Canoe Centre|
|Day 4 Canoe Centre to Ikkattooq|
|Day 5 Ikkattooq to Eqalugaarniarfik|
|Day 6 Eqalugaarniarfik to Innajuattoq|
|Day 7 Innajuattoq to Nerumaq|
|Day 8 Nerumaq to Kangerluarsuk Tulleq|
|Day 9 Kangerluarsuk Tulleq to Sisimiut|
|Post-amble – Ascent of Kællingehætten|
|APPENDIX A Route summary table|
|APPENDIX B Language notes and glossary|
|APPENDIX C Useful contacts|