Hiking Greenland – Igaliku Lake and Plateau

When I arrived at the Gardar Hostel in Igaliku, one of the first things I did was consult the map of hikes in the area.   All of the hostels run by Blue Ice Explorer have the appropriate map displayed prominently in the common area, with brief descriptions of the routes alongside.   Seriously, the hostels in South Greenland are amazing!

Map and descriptions of each of the hikes out of Igaliku, South Greenland

Every hostel I stayed at in South Greenland had hiking maps on the wall, as well as short descriptions of each hike. Brilliant idea!

The Lake and Plateau Hike (marked in red in the above map) is the hike everyone does when they come to Igaliku, as it ends up at an amazing viewpoint overlooking the Tunulliarfik Fjord and the Qooroq Glacier. 

Much like yesterday, today started off foggy, but I could see patches of blue sky appearing around 9:30am so, after a quick trip to the Pilersuisoq (grocery store chain) at 10am, I started hiking.

The road you follow out of Igaliku for the Lake and Plateau Hike in South Greenland

The more extensive trail notes (obtained at the Igaliku Country Hotel for a deposit) said to follow the sheep trails along the shore of the fjord rather than the road, but that seemed to want me to walk straight through the middle of a new Solar Plant the 2 Danish guys who were also staying in the hostel were building, so I ended up sticking with the road.

I don’t like walking on pebbly roads 🙁  Gravel is fine.  But not pebbles!

The road is made from pebbles, which make hiking along it very difficult. Near Igaliku in South Greenland

Walking on these pebbly roads was really awful. Straight gravel would have been great, but the pebbles made it hard going

Fortunately, this ended at a lake

The lake which the Lake and Plateau Hike near Igaliku in South Greenland is named after

and then the “red dots”, which (in theory) mark all the hiking routes in this area,

Red marks painted on rocks show the hiking routes around Igaliku in South Greenland

took me up to the plateau along sheep trails.  Much better hiking!

Hiking trail leading up through green vegetation to the plateau on the Lakes and Plateau Hike near Igaliku in South Greenland

More gorgeous lakes

A lake trapped in the plateau that you reach on the Lake and Plateau Hike near Igaliku in South Greenland

led to the viewpoint.   And it was a stunning view!

A panorama of the fjord and Qooroq Glacier from the viewpoint of the Lake and Plateau Hike near Igaliku in South Greenland

You can see the Qooroq Glacier over on the right between the mountain and the next hill towards the middle of the image

Although still quite a distance away, the view of the Qooroq Glacier and its cast off icebergs was amazing.

The Qooroq Glacier as seen from the viewpoint on the Lakes and Plateau Hike near Igaliku in South Greenland

Oh, and I ran into these jokers up there too!  David (with the banana) was staying in the Gardar Hostel with me, and I’d met the German couple in Narsaq 🙂

Friends hanging out and admiring the Qooroq Glacier at the viewpoint of the Lake and Plateau Hike near Igaliku in South Greenland

The return route was via a “moon-landscape – a desert with weathered rocks and stones” (according to the trip description), where I could search for “moonstone” to add to my collection of not-Tugtupit.  Unfortunately, moonstone doesn’t actually look that different to regular old granite (the Igaliku Country Hotel had some samples on their counter), so who knows if I saw any or not.  I decided not to add to the weight of my bag in the off chance I actually got it right.

Two of my companions as small dots, hiking through the Moon Landscape on the Lake and Plateau Hike near Igaliku in South Greenland

Want some scale? Can you spot the two people in the image?

We all ended up doing a bit of a choose-your-own-adventure to find our way back to the initial trail (in theory it was marked across the moonscape, but in practice…)   And then we found the dots that led us off the road and along the fjord for our return journey to Igaliku (much nicer than hiking along the road!).   It turns out we did have to walk through the middle of the Solar plant after all!

A river leading down to the Igaliku Fjord from the Lake and Plateau hike in South Greenland

Oh – and you really don’t get a good understanding of just how many Trans-Atlantic flights there are every day until you do the Lake and Plateau Hike from Igaliku!  

Contrails from 5 simultaneous trans-atlantic flights as seen from the Lake and Plateau Hike near Igaliku in South Greenland

Seriously – there would be at least 5 contrails at any one time overhead.

Seriously – there would have had to have been at least 5 contrails at any one time overhead.  It was like Pitt Street up there!

Distance: ~17km

Time: ~6 hours (we took 7 because we spent so long admiring the view at the lookout point 😊)

Discover more about Greenland

If this post has piqued your curiosity about Greenland, learn more about this amazing country at Visit Greenland, and check out the wide range of tours of all kinds (not just hiking and trekking) at Guide to Greenland.

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