Arctic Circle Trail Day 5: Scamper and Pamper (Day hike to Waterfalls below Taseeqqap Saqqaa)

Day hike from Innajuattoq hut to waterfall below Taseeqqap Saqqaa

I call them “Scamper” days, when we ditch the backpacks and wander around exploring. Today is one of those days. We decide to stay another night at the Innajuattoq hut and just spend today exploring. We plan on heading over into the next drainage to the north below the Taseeqqap Saqqaa mountains. It looks like there may be a waterfall with a drop of over 100 feet on the map. We decide to check to out.

Our cozy spot in the Innajuattoq Hut

It is good we decided to take a scamper day as Ray has been up half the night taking pictures of the northern lights. We have now seen them two nights in a row.

Ray on our Scamper Day after not much sleep

We start hiking around 9am. Although it is sunny, it is definitely breezy and cooler this morning. The breeze also seems to be shifting directions and there are lenticular clouds in the sky.

The ptarmigans really blend into their surroundings. These two, though, starting clucking and gave themselves away.

We hike over towards where we think the waterfall will be. We are now off trail and in an area visited by almost nobody. I love these days when we choose to wander and just observe. There is so much to learn. On the way to the waterfall we see eight female reindeer and their fawns. We haven’t seen large herds of reindeer on this trip. Mostly they have been solo or in small groups of twos and threes.

Young Reindeer

By late morning we reach the lower waterfalls and can see the larger ones in the distance.

Waterfalls below Taseeqqap Saqqaa
Larger waterfalls below Taseeqqap Saqqaa. Anywhere else this would be a major tourist attraction.

We admire the rocks that hold up the waterfall. The Itsaq Gneiss is one of the oldest rock units in the world at 3.8 billion years. Here it has been ripped apart and sheared by the later mountain building event, the Naqssugtoqidian Orogeny (don’t ask me to say that one!). It is such an ancient land.

Complex geology where the 3.8 billion year old Itsaq Gneiss was sheared apart and remelted during the Naqssugtogidian Orogeny around 1.9 billion years ago.

We decide to head back. The temperature has dropped, it is windy and what started off as a partly sunny day is now overcast. Definitely a weather front is moving in. The last few days I was pinching myself because of the good weather and our good fortune. It looks like that may now be changing.

We get back to the hut at around 2:30pm in the afternoon. It is nice to have this place as a refuge.

Daily Data and Feature Map

September 1, 2019
8.1 miles today (day hike off trail)
83.5 miles total
650 feet ascent
530 feet descent
People seen on the trail: 2 new (German), Total:
2nd night at Innajuattoq Hut


  1. I know those nights of sleep deprivation when you have spent much of the dark hours up taking pictures. So worth it but extra nice when you have the hut to your self and a day off. You really saw sections of the trail we did not see. Except, I think those were just the 2 ptarmagins we saw;)

  2. I just love the “shear” intricacies of that first little falls. It’s so unique and beautiful.

Leave a Reply