Fossils, Huskies, Wildlife: A Hike in Bolterdalen
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Approximately 3 Hours
Take a guided hike in Svalbard's untouched wilderness, beginning with a drive out to the Advent Valley. En route, keep your eyes peeled for Svalbard reindeer, often seen munching on the vegetation found in this area.
Your destination, Bolterdalen, is one of the side valleys branching off the Advent Valley. It is surrounded by impressive mountains and the views to the north and south are quite spectacular.
Your bus stops at a summer sledding yard and from there you will set out with a walking guide, following the road up a slope and leaving the gravel to see an area known as Fossil Beach -- nowadays stranded well above sea level. You may spot some ancient bones of whales scattered across the valley. Continue over the tundra, following the valley steeply upwards. Svalbard reindeer often wander this landscape and, during nesting season, hundreds of geese flock here to lay their eggs and hatch their goslings.
Heading back down, look for the rare and tiny wildflowers that spring up under the white nights of the midnight sun.
The circular route brings you to the dog yard, where many happy huskies are based. Summer is prime puppy time, so you'll visit the older puppies before checking to see if there are any newer arrivals to greet.
Gather at the camp for a taste of Norwegian waffles and hot tea or coffee. The owners will share their stories of living and working at the dog yard all year round -- suddenly civilization will seem like a long way away.
Hop back on the bus to return to the real world and to the ship.
The hike is fairly short in distance but is not advisable for guests with mobility limitations. Please realistically assess your physical fitness and ability prior to booking, as the walk is uphill, over unpaved, rough walking tracks with many steps and the group must move at a reasonable pace. The hike is 1½ to 2 hours with inclines and possibly muddy terrain. You must be physically fit to hike over the tundra as it is a strenuous hike. When the top ground layer melts during the summer season the permafrost underneath does not let the top water drain away so, you will be hiking through sometimes ankle-deep water. Wear shoes, socks and pants that you don’t mind getting wet. If possible, wear waterproof hiking boots. Minimum age is 8 years.