Kangerlussuaq’s weather and airport radar station has amazing views and one of the best opportunities for spotting wildlife close to town
What you can expect on the trail
Tacan is home to Kangerlussuaq’s weather station and airport radar (TACAN stands for TACtical Air Navigation). However, it also offers one of the most expansive views over the surrounding backcountry and some of the best chances to spot wildlife close to town.
From the site you can see all the way to the Greenland Ice Sheet, 25km distant. Also visible are Store Saltsø (one of the bigger salt lakes in the area), Sugarloaf mountain, and part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site: Aasivissuit-Nipisat (website coming soon). There are often musk oxen and reindeer grazing behind the mountain and a set of permanently mounted binoculars allow for close-up views of these magnificent animals.
The hike is fairly long with a moderate climb. It follows the road all the way to the summit.
The trail begins at the bridge that crosses the river on the south side of town. From there, take the road that heads off to the left and follow it past the cemetery and up the hill. The sheer face of Black Ridge towers above you to the right, while Kangerlussuaq and its long river valley complete the vista to your left.
The road curves around revealing Tacan radar station in the distance and an old diesel storage tank. Continue to the T-junction and then take a left turn at the sign to Tacan. The Black Ridge Trail follows the road to your right.
The return to Kangerlussuaq is via the same route.
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- There may be no cell phone coverage on parts of the trail. Ideally, you should do this hike with another person, but at least let someone know your plans and when you expect to return.
- Weather can change very quickly. Even on a sunny day, make sure you bring a wind- and waterproof jacket with you as a minimum.
- Make sure you bring snacks and a full water bottle. There is not much water along this trail. We also recommend you bring sunscreen, a sun hat, and a mosquito head-net.
- Please minimize your impact on the environment. Don’t build new cairns, leave establish trails and roads, or take shortcuts. Remember to take all your rubbish back to Kangerlussuaq with you.