Self-Guided: Arctic Circle Trail
A journey for the independent adventurer
Albatros Arctic Circle is pleased to provide you with helpful information to assist you in planning a self-guided hike along the Arctic Circle Trail. This is the perfect opportunity for experienced hikers looking for an adventurous self-guided hike and independently explore the area.
Before you leave
The Arctic Circle Trail stretches from Kangerlussuaq to Sisimiut. Most hikers commence the adventure at Kangerlussuaq, but you can also begin in Sisimiut and head eastward along the Arctic Circle. Keep in mind, the trail gains elevation from east to west.
The route meanders through a changeable landscape from the rounded, moraine hills and parched interior of Kangerlussuaq to the hilly terrain, high mountains and coastal climate near Sisimiut. Roughly half of the trail passes through the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Aasivissuit - Nipisat.
Prepare well and stay safe
This demanding hike is roughly 165 km (102 mi) and you should not venture into its wilderness, unless you are well-prepared. It is essential that you take the sufficient preparatory steps to mitigate any unforeseen circumstances such as disorientation, bad weather, or the need for rescue in the event of a worst-case scenario.
Along the trail between Kangerlussuaq and Sisimiut, nine cabins are available for overnighting. However, we recommend you bring a tent since these cabins cannot be booked in advance and there are no guarantees that space will be available upon your arrival. It is also important to note, for some hikers, more than a day’s hiking will pass between these cabin locations. Due to the region’s quick-changing weather, a tent will be indispensable, if no other shelter is available.
When is the best time
Summer (June-August) and early autumn (late August-September) are the best seasons to hike the trail. The Arctic Circle Trail is located entirely north of the Arctic Circle, which means you will experience 24 hours of daylight (better known as the “midnight sun”) during the high summer, and will never have trouble spotting the guiding cairns that are marked by red semi-circles.
Duration of hiking the trail
Some hikers manage to complete the journey in a week, but 9-11 days is the typical duration. We suggest you plan accordingly for 9-11 days, giving you the flexibility to alter plans in the event of poor weather or a deviation or two while underway. In addition to safety and preparedness, it is most important that you have the ability to maintain a relaxed pace, allowing you to truly absorb the Arctic mountain world around you.
A more detailed description is available in English, Danish and Greenlandic on the website for Arctic Circle Business.
We also suggest reading the 12 hiking commandments and trail description on the website of the official tourist board, Visit Greenland.