The sheer definition of a remote trail.
I’ll be hiking the Arctic Circle Trail from August 15th till August 28th 2020. As internet connection is limited and expensive in Greenland, I’ll most probably won’t be updating on my experience until returning back to Belgium end of August. Follow me on Instagram or subscribe to my newsletter to not miss anything.
Introduction to the Arctic Circle Trail
Greenland’s Arctic Circle Trail is often listed as one of the best long-distance hikes in the world. The trail stretches up to 200 kilometers (124 miles) from the edge of the ice cap to the fishing town of Sisimiut on the West coast. While 85% of Greenland is covered in ice, there’s a narrow strip along the coastline that’s actually green! And red. And purple. And yellow.
As I’m getting closer to my Arctic Circle Trail solo hike in August 2020, I started to collect different posts and information in preparation. I will be attempting a thru-hike of the Arctic Circle Trail, starting from Sisimiut and finishing in Kangerlussuaq. After that, I will spend some time exploring Ilulissat and Kangerlussuaq. I had to cancel my first attempt in June 2020 because of a viral infection (and went on to hike the Kumano Kodo in Japan) and had to change my 2020 on a weekly basis because of Corona, so I’ll highlight both the preparations for my first and second attempt. So here’s all there is to know about my Arctic Circle Trail solo hike.
Why you'll love the Arctic Circle Trail
I guess pretty much like Antarctica, Greenland has had a timeless attraction to many adventurers over the years. It’s amazing nature, animals and it’s remoteness. It might very well be that you won’t see any other human for days and that the only living creatures you’ll meet are arctic foxes, birds and arctic hares. Many who have hiked the trail say that the trail grows on you and that by the end of the trail, you’ve bonded with nature in unprecedented ways and feel connected with the trail forever. I can imagine that – I am very much looking forward to be on my own for 8 straight days in the wilderness.
Preparation and planning for an Arctic Circle Trail solo hike
As the Arctic Circle Trail is mostly a truly solo hike with no opportunities to re-supply during your trek, it requires quite some planning when it comes to food, weather (!), clothing, your shelter … euh, and what to do when you encounter a polar bear. Also, the decision on which direction to hike the trail (more in the next paragraph) is an important one.
Activities before and after the Arctic Circle Trail in Greenland
I made the deliberate decision to start from Sisimiut. I wanted to avoid -for whatever reason- to be delayed and to miss my flight from Sisimiut to Kangerlussuaq. That is why I decided to start from Sisimiut and walk to Kangerlussuaq.
With a few spare days, I considered several options (there is just soooo much to do in Greenland) but eventually settled on Ilullissat – to visit the Eqi glacier, do some kayaking, and to stay the night at stunning Ilimanaq lodge.
Sources I've used while preparing for the Arctic Circle Trail
I think I’ve hardly encountered such a vibrant and welcoming trail community as the Arctic Circle Trail community. Much is gathered around the active ACT Facebook community, where both local tourism authorities and trail legends like Huw Thomas and Iris Steigemann are happy to share their experience.
More on the Arctic Circle Trail
All my posts on my Greenland visit and Arctic Circle Trail solo hike:
- Day planning for Greenland / Arctic Circle Trail solo hike attempt 1 (June 2019) – the full day planning of my trip, including my visits to Ilulissat and Ilimanaq, based on a 5/6-day thru-hike.
- Day planning for Greenland / Arctic Circle Trail solo hike attempt 2 (August 2020) – the full day planning of my trip, including my visits to Ilulissat and Ilimanaq, based on a 7/8 day thru-hike.
- Planning and preparation for my Arctic Circle Trail solo hike – a full post following my preparations for the trail.
- Weather information on the Arctic Circle Trail – the weather is a big factor on the trail – so how to keep up to date without cellphone connection?
- What to do when encountering a polar bear.
- Food on the Arctic Circle Trail – how I plan to get food and eat on the trail.
- Solo hike packing list for the Arctic Circle Trail – my continuously updated packing list.
- Greenlandic words for hiking in Greenland – some words that might prove useful when encountering locals.
- Ah, and the city of Copenhagen, the gateway to my Greenland adventure (I will be flying in from Brussels).
- All my Greenland tips collected.
And more general preparation for the trail …
All posts on the Arctic Circle Trail
Feel free to browse through all the posts or use the button to see the category view.