Protecting the environment

Leave no trace

To help protect the environment in the Arctic Circle region, we endorse the well established 7 Leave No Trace principles.

Help us maintain the trail for the enjoyment of others by:

Final approach to the summit cairn of Palasiq Qaqqaa hiking trail near Sisimiut, Greenland
Photo: Lisa Germany – Destination Arctic Circle
1. Planning ahead and preparing

Make sure you are physically fit enough to hike your intended trails, pack according to our recommendations, and follow all safety and navigation advice. Being rescued in Greenland can be extremely expensive! 

2. Hike on durable surfaces

If there is an established trail that follows the route markers, please hike along it. Do not hike beside the trail or force another route, even if this means getting some mud on your shoes. The arctic vegetation is extremely fragile and takes a long time to recover. 

On some hikes, you will see damage already caused by people not following the trail or making their own path. Our aim is to rehabilitate these areas, but it takes a long time.

3. Disposing of waste properly

Everything you carry into your hike, you must also carry out. Bring extra bags if you need to contain the garbage from your food and make sure you secure it so it makes it all the way back with you. 

When going to the toilet, make sure you choose a spot away from the trail and any water source (at least 30m). Dig a hole for faeces and cover it afterwards so others are not confronted with your business. Carry your toilet paper out with you – bring another zip-top bag. Do not bury it in the hole or leave it under a rock!

You should only swim in larger lakes or rivers to avoid contaminating water sources.

hikers having lunch on the trail in the Arctic Circle Region of Greenland
Photo: David Walther
Fire Damage on the Arctic Circle Trail between Sisimiut and Kangerlussuaq
Photo: Lisa Germany – Visit Greenland
4. Leaving things the way you find them

While it is fine to take advantage of nature’s abundance and pick blueberries, crowberries and mushrooms please do not alter or remove anything else along the trail. This includes modifying existing cairns or building new ones.

The exception is rubbish, of course. Feel free to pick it up and pack it out – you will have our eternal thanks for helping us with that!

5. Minimizing fire impacts

Fires on the tundra are extremely difficult to control and put out as they burn both above and under the ground. Therefore campfires are absolutely forbidden in the Arctic Circle Region. You should also be very careful with stoves and cigarettes.

6. Respecting wildlife

The opportunity to see several species of arctic wildlife is one of the highlights of hiking in the Arctic Circle region. But please do not disturb them to get a good picture for social media. Travel quietly and do not leave food when you move on.

7. Being considerate of others

Help others who need it. Use earphones if you wish to listen to music while hiking and talk quietly with hiking partners. Please help us preserve the peace and quiet of our arctic wilderness.

Arctic Fox in its den near Maniitsoq
Photo: Lasse Kyed – Destination Arctic Circle