Itillersuaq - Tasersuaq Trek

Highlights: Glaciers, peaks, valley views, vertical mountain walls, rivers with crystal clear water.

About 28 kilometers for low country route. About 27,5 kilometers for the mountain lake route.

3 days, but can be done quicker depending on arrival time the first day.

Easy to moderate low country route. Moderate to strenuous for mountain lake route.

About 200m for the low country route. 550m for the mountain lake route.

Trail quality: 
Partly beaten due to sheep trails in the area and sections with gravel road for the low country route. Partly beaten and off-trail for the mountain lake route. River crossings along both routes

Photo by Lasse Gunnersen
From the moment you start this trek the scenery will leave you breathless. Tall peaks rise dramatically into the sky in every direction you look. Crystal clear melting water runs from the glaciers on the mountain walls and down into the river. The smell of Labrador tea fills your nose and the feeling of being alone in the wilderness instantly kicks in.

This trek takes you through the valley Itillersuaq and ends at Tasersuaq, which is the popular big lake halfway in Tasermiut Fjord. It is one of the most beautiful treks in South Greenland and it doesn’t even require a high level of fitness. The trail is mostly flat with small hills here and there for the low country route, and therefore it can be done with a normal fitness level. For the adventurous and those who seek a more physical challenge there is another route which takes you by a mountain lake with clear turquoise water. 

Trail Description
The trail through the valley follows the northern side of the river. The trail is uneven and with a partly beaten track of small paths made by the few sheep farmer’s sheep which roam free in the area in summer.

The terrain consists of rocks, shrubs and small bushes. Along the way there are both rivers and creeks that you have to cross.

The following description and location of campsites is based on the downloadable routes.

Day 1
The first day depends a bit on which time of day you arrive.
Early day arrival
You could actually go straight ahead to “camp 2” and do this trek in just 2 days. But to extend the adventure, we suggest combining this Itillersuaq-Tasersuaq trek with a nearby summit hike at Stordalens Havn, which is described here.

Late day arrival / or combined with Stordalens Havn
The distance covered on the first day is really very short, There is a plateau by the river 1 kilometer from the coast which is a great place to put up “camp 1” before doing the first section of the trek the next day.

Photo by Lasse Gunnersen
Photos by Lasse Gunnersen
Day 2
The first full day of the trek is about 12,5 kilometers and takes about 7,5 hours in an easy pace. It leads through two thirds of the valley with high mountains on both sides – which makes you feel small in the big landscape.
Sheep trails can be followed all the way to “camp 2” along the river. On the way there are multiple small creeks that can be crossed by jumping from stone to stone. Trekking poles can be handy in these situations to keep balance especially for the river crossings later on the trail.

About midway there is a small lake which is a good place to take a break.

After passing the lake you will get to the first river crossing. The river has a slow current and can be easily crossed. It is generally a good idea to cross rivers at the widest section where there will be less current and the river is shallowest. Expect ice cold water! If you are not comfortable walking barefoot on stones, it can be handy to bring either extra changes of socks or water sandals/shoes for the river crossings.

After crossing the river, there is about 6 kilometers to “camp 2”. Just before arriving at “camp 2” there are two last river crossings which are branches of melt water coming from the mountains to the north. Depending on the quantity of melt water it might be possible to find a spot where you can cross the rivers just by jumping from stone to stone. If not, you will have to be a little careful as the current is higher in these rivers.

At “camp 2” it is time to put up your tent, relax and maybe tell ghost stories.
Day 3
For the second full day of the trek you can choose either the low country route, which continues through the valley to the ocean, or the mountain lake route which leads you up in the mountains to a lake with beautiful turquoise water.

This distance is about 14,5 kilometers for the low country route and 14 kilometers for the mountain lake route. It takes about 7 hours in an easy pace.

The low country route takes you down in elevation from 110 meters to nearly sea level, whereas the mountain lake route makes you climb from 110 meters up to 550 meters above sea level.

Photo by Lasse Gunnersen
Low Country Route
From “camp 2” you continue along the river until you reach the ocean where you can follow a gravel road to one of the sheep farmers in the area. The sheep farmer is a great meeting point if your trekking party has split up with some going the mountain lake route and others the low country route.

From there you can walk together toward "camp 3" on a marked beaten track that leads to Tasersuaq with red markings on stones along the way.
Mountain Lake Route
From “camp 2” you start the day off by climbing up a steep mountain side. It is a strenuous climb in big boulders and bushes. From now on the route is off-trail. The route goes up just left of the stream of melting water running down the mountain side. When you reach the top, the mountain lake is located to the left on the other side of the stream. To get there it requires walking through lots of big boulders and sometimes jumping from boulder to boulder. When you reach the lake, you are met with a beautiful view of crystal clear turquoise water and a perfect opportunity to take a dip in the ice cold water.
Afterwards stay up in elevation and follow the mountain side parallel to the valley until you can see the sheep farm down in the valley. Follow the mountainside down to the sheep farm, which can be quite slippery due to a lot of bushes and water running down the mountain side.

The low country route and mountain lake route meet again at the sheep farm, and from there a marked beaten track leads to Tasersuaq with red markings on stones along the way.

You can pre-arrange a pickup from Tasersuaq as soon as you get there, or you can stay at Tasersuaq to explore the area and maybe even catch an arctic char for dinner. When you want to move on, you can get picked up at Tasersuaq (down at the field camp house by the fjord) or you could walk 9 km to the settlement Tasiusaq for pick-up there.
There are great campsite options along this trek. It is easy to find flat areas during the whole trek, so campsites can be planned in advance and the trek can be divided into suitable distances per day to your liking. Drinking water is easily accessible as the trek follows the river in the bottom of the valley.

On the digital routes the suggested locations for campsites allows you to decide underway if you want to go the low country route or mountain lake route depending on your energy level during the trek. 

Recommended Gear

Good quality, tried & true
hiking boots and wool socks

A well-fitting hiking backpack sufficient to
carry all gear;
waterproof backpack cover

Trekking poles if carrying a heavy backpack or if you tend to have knee problems when hiking

Shelter system of good quality incl. tent, sleeping bag and sleeping pad

Large water bottle or backpack water bladder

Cooking gear based on your preferences.

Optionally extra shoes/sandals for river crossings

Clothing suited to the weather & season
Wool underlayers, wool sweater, 
water-proof outerwear

Food supplies
with extra to spare

Tools for navigation depending on personal preference


First aid kit, headlamp, handheld VHF and satellite messenger

Flare gun for wildlife safety

Safety First

We always recommend first and foremost to use local certified tour companies and guides when out in the nature for hiking holidays, camping trips and other outdoor adventures. These are the people with the local knowledge and 'sixth sense' about our backcountry and wild nature, not to mention first responder certifications (in many cases) and bear safety protocols.

If, however, you will be going out into the backcountry alone, we would like to offer a few key guidelines for those camping on their own without a local guide.

Leave no trace.
Take every single piece of trash you create back with you, and burn all toilet paper instead of stuffing it in the nature.

Inform someone of where you are headed and how long you plan to be away.
Follow up with that person to confirm you have reached your destination.

Do not camp on (or walk on) farmers' bright green grass fields.

Carry and turn on a VHF radio, if you will be within sight of a fjord or the sea.
If you will be deep in a valley, carry a satellite phone.

Protect yourself in the unlikely yet unwanted situation of a bear encounter.
We always say that one must be prepared for what can happen, instead of what is likely to happen.
Take flares (sold at local shops), and have easy access to any loud noise makers, like your cooking pots. 
Read more about wildlife encounters.

How to get here

Once in South Greenland, take a helicopter flight or boat transfer to Nanortalik.
The helicopter flights are 20-30 minutes long.
The boat rides are anywhere from 2 to 4 hours long.
See more here about how to arrive to South Greenland.

From Nanortalik, switch to a local boat company to take you further south around the last part of "connected landscape" for the entire island of Greenland and into a waterway system of sounds and giant islands.
The boat will set you (and your hiking guide, if applicable) off at the coastline near Stordalens Havn.
See local operators below.

Local Operators ready to welcome you

Amazing Tours Greenland

Arctic Hiking

Guide in Greenland


Serano Boat Tours

South Greenland Boat Charter 44