7 VISTA HIKES IN NORWAY

7 VISTA HIKES IN NORWAY

BY WILLIAM WOODWARD | POSTED: APR 26, 2018

BY WILLIAM WOODWARD | POSTED: APR 26, 2018

When planning for a trip to Norway, the list of potential options seems endless. From the fjords to the central mountains to the islands, this nordic country offers a variety of environments and activities. One of my favorite ways to experience any new place is on foot, trekking into the wilds and high places.

Settled on exploring the western fjords and the Lofoten islands, backpacks stuffed with camera and camping gear, I set out to capture a few glimpses of all that Norway can provide. My goal was to camp at some of the iconic Norwegian locations, from Trolltunga to Reinebringen. One of the most incredible qualities of Norway may not actually be its landscapes, but its laws. Since ancient times the people have had the right to roam freely in open lands, no matter who owns them; in 1957 the government of Norway passed the Outdoor Recreation Act to preserve this right and ensure that everyone has access to nature. This essentially allows you to hike, explore, and camp nearly anywhere in the wilds of the entire country!


Rampestreken

The hike up Rampestreken in the town of Andlasnes is a classic introduction to Norwegian hiking, which seems to employ the "straight up the hill" method, rather than the switchbacks that we’re used to back home on the West Coast. Quickly reaching the first lookout over the city, the views only improve as you continue upward. In the summer months this can be linked with a longer hike following the ridgeline of the mountains continuing out of town.

Løsta

Geiranger was not officially on my initial plan, but fortunately ended up on my radar after arriving in Norway. Besides taking fjord tours and exploring the quaint city, there are serveral great hikes. Løsta starts out in the farmlands of Westerås Gard family farm, and after meandering thru the woods along the fjord, offers sweeping vistas of the Geiranger fjord. An ideal spot for a picnic lunch.

Trolltunga

Trolltunga lives up to it’s reputation as one of the premier treks in the western fjords of Norway. Along the way, you’ll climb somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 stairs before several river crossings, and a total elevation gain of 1,200 meters. In late spring, there are usually still large snowfields, but the melt creates stunning waterfalls cascading in to the fjords below.

Preikestolen

Another of the fjordlands imposing features is Preikestolen, where you can test your vertigo tolerance while standing 604 meters over the Lysefjord. While you won’t likely find a night during the season to hike Preikestolen without some company, if you spend the night there is a chance you’ll be able to enjoy the sunrise in solitude.

Reinebringen

After a short flight or two from Oslo, the Lofoten Islands offer a completely different experience to the fjords. Truly remote, the population of the islands is particularly self sufficient, and the landscapes are unlike any that I’ve experienced around the globe. One of the premier hikes of the area is summiting Reinebringen. Reinebringen is likely the most well known in Reine, and for good reason. Once you reach the summit, after a short but steep scramble up the back side of the mountain, you are gifted with a real taste of all that is the Lofoten islands.

Kvalvika

If you’re a surfer, you perhaps have seen the film “North of the Sun”, which documented two surfer’s journey to a secluded beach within the Arctic Circle, Kvalvika. They spent a winter surfing the winter storm’s swell, as well as cleaning up the beach. You’ll cross a pass to this secluded beach, where you can camp, swim, or just put your toes in the sand. While you’re over there, maintain the spirit of the folks who filmed North of the Sun and bring some rubbish back with you.

Ryten

Once you have had time to epxlore Kvalvika, and if your legs aren’t shot from all the hikes that you’ve done so far, continue onward and upward to the mountain of Ryten, overlooking the secluded bay of Kvalvika. This spot, sitting on a little rock outcropping, became my favorite of my time in Norway.

Hopefully you'll leave Norway with fully exhausted legs and a full memory bank of experiences from a land shaped by ancient glaciers. With the nearly limitless bounds of backcountry exploration, many of the hikes described here can be turned into overnight camps. I personally feel like this is a great way to experience a place, seeing it both at sunset and sunrise, as well as offering the opportunity to have a less mid-day crowded view.

As always, take care of the places we play, pack in what you pack out, and if possible leave each place better than you found it!

Cheers,

William

When planning for a trip to Norway, the list of potential options seems endless. From the fjords to the central mountains to the islands, this nordic country offers a variety of environments and activities. One of my favorite ways to experience any new place is on foot, trekking into the wilds and high places.

Settled on exploring the western fjords and the Lofoten islands, backpacks stuffed with camera and camping gear, I set out to capture a few glimpses of all that Norway can provide. My goal was to camp at some of the iconic Norwegian locations, from Trolltunga to Reinebringen. One of the most incredible qualities of Norway may not actually be its landscapes, but its laws. Since ancient times the people have had the right to roam freely in open lands, no matter who owns them; in 1957 the government of Norway passed the Outdoor Recreation Act to preserve this right and ensure that everyone has access to nature. This essentially allows you to hike, explore, and camp nearly anywhere in the wilds of the entire country!


Rampestreken

The hike up Rampestreken in the town of Andlasnes is a classic introduction to Norwegian hiking, which seems to employ the "straight up the hill" method, rather than the switchbacks that we’re used to back home on the West Coast. Quickly reaching the first lookout over the city, the views only improve as you continue upward. In the summer months this can be linked with a longer hike following the ridgeline of the mountains continuing out of town.

Løsta

Geiranger was not officially on my initial plan, but fortunately ended up on my radar after arriving in Norway. Besides taking fjord tours and exploring the quaint city, there are serveral great hikes. Løsta starts out in the farmlands of Westerås Gard family farm, and after meandering thru the woods along the fjord, offers sweeping vistas of the Geiranger fjord. An ideal spot for a picnic lunch.

Trolltunga

Trolltunga lives up to it’s reputation as one of the premier treks in the western fjords of Norway. Along the way, you’ll climb somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 stairs before several river crossings, and a total elevation gain of 1,200 meters. In late spring, there are usually still large snowfields, but the melt creates stunning waterfalls cascading in to the fjords below.

Preikestolen

Another of the fjordlands imposing features is Preikestolen, where you can test your vertigo tolerance while standing 604 meters over the Lysefjord. While you won’t likely find a night during the season to hike Preikestolen without some company, if you spend the night there is a chance you’ll be able to enjoy the sunrise in solitude.

Reinebringen

After a short flight or two from Oslo, the Lofoten Islands offer a completely different experience to the fjords. Truly remote, the population of the islands is particularly self sufficient, and the landscapes are unlike any that I’ve experienced around the globe. One of the premier hikes of the area is summiting Reinebringen. Reinebringen is likely the most well known in Reine, and for good reason. Once you reach the summit, after a short but steep scramble up the back side of the mountain, you are gifted with a real taste of all that is the Lofoten islands.

Kvalvika

If you’re a surfer, you perhaps have seen the film “North of the Sun”, which documented two surfer’s journey to a secluded beach within the Arctic Circle, Kvalvika. They spent a winter surfing the winter storm’s swell, as well as cleaning up the beach. You’ll cross a pass to this secluded beach, where you can camp, swim, or just put your toes in the sand. While you’re over there, maintain the spirit of the folks who filmed North of the Sun and bring some rubbish back with you.

Ryten

Once you have had time to epxlore Kvalvika, and if your legs aren’t shot from all the hikes that you’ve done so far, continue onward and upward to the mountain of Ryten, overlooking the secluded bay of Kvalvika. This spot, sitting on a little rock outcropping, became my favorite of my time in Norway.

Hopefully you'll leave Norway with fully exhausted legs and a full memory bank of experiences from a land shaped by ancient glaciers. With the nearly limitless bounds of backcountry exploration, many of the hikes described here can be turned into overnight camps. I personally feel like this is a great way to experience a place, seeing it both at sunset and sunrise, as well as offering the opportunity to have a less mid-day crowded view.

As always, take care of the places we play, pack in what you pack out, and if possible leave each place better than you found it!

Cheers,

William

WILLIAM WOODWARD

William Woodward is an adventure and outdoor photographer who lives full-time on the road. He strives to create images that capture a moment in time and a sense of place. A firm believer that every person has an entire lifetime of memories that shape the way they see and connect with the world, he constantly looks for ways to connect with these memories through photos. He tries to show the world as he sees it, "full of awe and amazement. A world we all share".

WILLIAM WOODWARD

William Woodward is an adventure and outdoor photographer who lives full-time on the road. He strives to create images that capture a moment in time and a sense of place. A firm believer that every person has an entire lifetime of memories that shape the way they see and connect with the world, he constantly looks for ways to connect with these memories through photos. He tries to show the world as he sees it, "full of awe and amazement. A world we all share".

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