Svalbard’s Texas Bar

by Oceanwide Expeditions Blog

Texas Bar is one of the historic areas we visit on certain Svalbard trips, and it always proves to be a cherished landing site among both our guides and guests.

Regions: Arctic

Destinations: Svalbard

The bar that’s not a bar (and has nothing to do with Texas)

Texas Bar is one of the historic areas we visit on certain Svalbard trips, and it always proves to be a cherished landing site among both our guides and guests. This might be surprising, however, given that its name can be a bit misleading.

An old trapper’s hut, Texas Bar is not actually a bar at all. In fact, the bulk of its career has been dedicated to hunting and science. It was built in 1927 by Hilmar Nøis and Martin Petterson Nøis, Norwegian trappers who erected several other such huts in the surrounding region.

Picture by Werner Kruse

But these days, Texas Bar has hung up its spurs and belongs solely to the Syssellmannen (Governor of Svalbard). It is now used by scientists and Longyearbyen locals for everything from field logistics to snowmobile trips.

Texas Bar is nestled on the north side of Liefdefjorden, not far from Monacobreen, a visually stunning area of Svalbard, specifically Spitsbergen. Though its name makes the place easy to remember, no one really knows why it was called Texas Bar.

Picture by Sara Jenner

Our Svalbard cruises offer a few different hiking options at this excellent location. One is a longer hike that starts from a lagoon nearby. Following a mountain next to the moraine of Erikbreen, this route aims toward a summit of 766 meters (2,500 feet). If we’re lucky, local weather conditions will allow us to reach this point before descending to Texas Bar again.

Shorter hiking options also depend on local conditions, but generally their goal is to make a circular route northwest of Texas Bar, potentially seeing a small waterfall en route. There’s also a chance we’ll encounter reindeer, rock ptarmigans, and other bird life along the way.

Picture by Werner Kruse

No matter what we’re able to do in this splendid area, the view from Texas Bar is incredible. And while we can’t have a celebratory toast at the site itself, you’re more than welcome to lift a glass of something cheerful once we’re back on the vessel.

Main image by Werner Kruse

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