Hiking the ACT in autumn

Hiking the ACT in autumn (late August – late September)

The Arctic Circle Trail winding its way through the colourful autumn / fall vegetation under overcast skies
Photo: Iris Steigemann

To date, few hikers have chosen to experience the magic of autumn along the Arctic Circle Trail. Yes, the temperatures are colder (you should be prepared for overnight temperatures down to -10C) and you have a much greater chance of encountering snow (especially in September), but its beauty is indescribable and there are no (well, maybe just a few) insects to annoy you! 

Two highlights in particular are:

Autumn colours. Even though the wildflowers are gone, autumn is still full of colour. The deep reds and burgundies of the Arctic Willow and Dwarf Birch preparing for winter contrast sharply with the white of fresh snow that dusts the tops of the higher peaks in a gorgeous display.

Northern Lights. It is finally dark enough by September to be able to see one of the wonders of the arctic – the spectacular northern lights (Aurora Borealis). They appear almost every night, but the strength of the solar wind will determine how bright they are, which colours you see, and whether or not they “dance” for you.