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One of the things I was most excited about while visiting Norway was doing some hikes! We didn’t get to do as many as I would’ve liked, between the weather being so rainy off and on and our flights into the Lofoten Islands getting delayed, forcing us to lose some of our time there. However, the two we completed were amazing!

Nonstinden

2.6 miles round trip, 1500’ elevation gain, 3 hours

I knew we would want to do a hike close to our Airbnb, and boy was this hike close! We could see the trailhead from our back porch. One of our days was predicted to rain all day long, so we hung out around the house and waited for a break in the rain. Around noon, the weather looked like it was going to be decent for the next few hours. 

Going up

We headed for the trailhead, which goes straight up! The steepest elevation gain comes right in the beginning, although it does continue to climb most of the way. This trail starts out as an in-and-out trail, but then splits, forming a loop. I highly recommend following AllTrails while hiking, as there were hardly any markings. We would’ve been lost without it. I had plenty of cell service on the hike and did not need to download the trail ahead of time. 

The views were phenomenal the whole way up, and we enjoyed getting to look at our house we were staying in most of the way. As the trail turns, you get a great view of Ballstad, the town we were staying near. Once we got to the split in the loop, we turned right to head north. 

We stopped to take pictures for awhile, and the rain let loose on us. Knowing it was predicted to rain for the rest of the day and seeing that there were rain clouds around us in all directions. Mike and I decided to hike back down. After all, hiking in the rain isn’t any fun if there aren’t at least good views. Ashley and Nat chose to continue on and hope for the weather to improve. 

What goes up must come down

We made it back in good time. The rain ended up clearing up for them on the top of the mountain and they said the rest of the hike was gorgeous! It was still raining for us the whole way down and until they got back to the house later. 

Looking at the mountain we just climbed from the comfort of our Airbnb

I definitely recommend this hike, especially if you are staying in the Ballstad area! Mike and I only ended up doing about 1.6 miles instead of the full 2.6 mile loop. I thought it was absolutely still worth doing.

Here is the link to the AllTrails guide.

Ryten

4.6 miles round trip, 1940’ elevation gain, 3.5 hours without long stops

We arrived at the Ryten parking lot around 4pm after a day of exploring the southern Lofoten Islands. You can start the hike to the Ryten viewpoint from two different locations. We took the more direct route near Ytresand. This Google Maps location takes you right to the parking lot. We paid 100 kroner for parking (about $10 USD) with a credit card. There was a lady there when we arrived, but I noticed a spot where you could leave cash (they accepted kroner, Euros, and US dollars). There was a bathroom in the parking lot, which was very nice to have after our hike.

Starting the climb

The hike starts through a marshy area over a series of wooden planks. The planks were hard to get used to walking on, but we realized quickly they were necessary because the land was so wet. It had been raining off and on that day and the ground was wet in general, but without the planks, we probably would’ve been wading in water up to our knees in some spots. The planks start out flat and then start to climb as you make your way up to the official trail.

The trail climbed moderately and quickly became muddy because of all the rain. I was very thankful I had my hiking pole for this trail! Once you get past the first climb, you are rewarded with beautiful views back on the beach near where the trail started as well as of the terrain you will be going towards. 

The mud on this trail was some of the worst I have experienced. We had to be extra careful in some spots, since it went very deep. It came up to the top of my boot on one bad step, and I’m sure it was even worse in other places! The trail goes back and forth between having planks and not. We came to really enjoy the planks after dealing with all the mud. Once you pass the lake, the trail splits, but it is clearly marked. Follow the signs to Ryten. 

I would say the majority of this trail was moderate in difficulty (slightly more difficult when wet and muddy), but the last stretch to the final lookout was strenuous. At this point of our journey, it started to rain. We all put on our rain jackets and powered through. On our Nonstinden hike, we learned that the rain doesn’t tend to stick around for too long, so we hoped we would have good views at the top.

Surrounded by fog on the final push to the top

We made it!

The top has a lookout that gives you a great view of Kvalvika Beach below. If you angle the camera just right, you can sit on what looks like a very dangerous cliff with your legs dangling over. This is just a camera trick though, and there is land beneath you a few feet below. We got to the top in about two hours. It was freezing and we had all our layers on, including beanies and gloves. 

After taking some pictures, we headed down the same way we came up. The mud was even more slippery heading downhill, and we all fell at least once. Once again, I was happy with myself for bringing a hiking pole. The hike down didn’t go too much quicker because we were going slowly and carefully. The only thing that made up for this slip and slide, was the perfect rainbow we saw! We reached our car around 8pm. 

Happy to have hiking boots on to trek through the mud
One of the two chain sections

I really enjoyed this hike. My main takeaways would be to bring a hiking pole and lots of layers and remember the weather is always changing here since it is so close to the Arctic Circle! I’d say this hike is a must while in the Lofoten Islands!

Here is the link to the AllTrails guide.


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Comments:

  • Joe

    September 16, 2022

    S T U N N I N G……… The cliff and the rainbow are simply AMAZING! – Joe

    reply...
  • Denise

    September 16, 2022

    Loving those muddy boots!

    reply...

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