Visiting Senja island on a Northern Norway itinerary above the Artic Circle? Or perhaps you are already there and looking for the best hikes while on a road trip around Senja’s Norwegian scenic route? This is the post for you!
Senja is actually the second largest island in Norway and contains some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in the country. I will cover all of Senja’s most popular hiking trails as well as a few that you may not hear about from most people.
Senja is very similar to the Lofoten islands in many ways. With craggy peaks and islands scattered around the fjords. There are just not as many people here.
Just be sure to make sure you have good weather conditions before you head out on any of these popular hikes!
Since it overtook social media, everyone wants to hike Segla. It is a stunning peak located on the Northern coast of Senja island with panoramic views to die for.
There are a couple of options when it comes to Segla, you can do the Segla hike itself, which is quite challenging, or you can try the Hesten trail which is a little easier and gives you a great vantage point for Segla, which is what most people are after anyway.
Of course, Hesten still has some challenges towards the end, so if you just want that insta-shot of the Segla peak you can stop on the ridge before the top.
Image from Roman Popelar on Flickr
At first glance, hiking up Segla mountain in Northern Senja is not that difficult compared to many other Norwegian hikes I have seen, but you need to be fit and obviously a little experienced.
This hike starts with a wide path from the parking area up towards the ridge, which gets a little rockier and boggier as you pass through that dreaded lower zone in the area (if it has rained it is even worse).
But don’t let the local water-logged terrain put you off, once you are above the tree line, the hiking gets easier but starts to get steep. Once you reach the ridge below Segla you will already have spectacular views, but it gets better, and now comes one of those steep climbs. All you have to do is slog your way up the almost 45-degree rocky terrain to the top. Some skip the final climb to the very top, but the views are definitely worth it.
Image via Alex Berger on Flickr
Almost everyone who comes to Senja will hike the Husfjellet trail. It is relatively easy hiking, both technically and in length. It is around 3-4 hours total hiking time so does not require a high level of fitness.
We started the hike around mid-morning and at first, it looked quite easy as it wound along a wide trail. It then climbs quickly up to a more boggy level in the trees which is common in the area, but a little annoying and hard to walk through.
Midway into the hike it levels out but became very very wet and boggy until the last climb, which was about another 45 minutes to an hour to the top.
You get great and ever-changing views of Mefjorden and the Korkedalen Valley as you climb ever upwards on the trail. This is another reason to do this hike. And if you make it to the top you can see all around you. If you want to skip the 100 meters to the very top you can. They are not for everyone. I would not say they are very dangerous, but you need to be sure-footed and not scared of heights.
I went all the way to the top of the trail, but Anna stayed back to chat with some fellow hikers.
The Barden hike is a fantastic alternative to Selga and Hesten. Not only do you get almost the same views (without the Instagram view of Segla) but there is almost nobody on this trail. Locals love this hike for that very reason.
It took us about 4-4.5 hours to do the walk, not including breaks. So, it is certainly not an easy hiking trail. There are great views that had us shooting photos the whole time. Starting with the saddle after the first 45 minutes of bog, and continuing to the top of the trail.
There is a slightly tricky part in the middle where a minor peak requires traversing. It is not particularly exposed and does not involve rock climbing exactly, but if you are scared of heights or not sure-footed you might find it difficult. You can always do the first part of the hike and turn around in any case.
There is then a slow ridge walk up a big hill, then an easy stroll to the Barden peak where you get to see Segal from the back.
Two other stunning views can be found at the top of the hiking trails to either Grytetippen or Keipen.
Keipen is accessed via the same route as Barden in the beginning, you just turn right instead of left at the first saddle (after all the boggy bits we enjoyed at the bottom – yes, even in summer).
The views are somewhat different because you can see a lot more of the North, but it is a far longer hike than Barden. It also starts at the same trailhead.
Grytetippen trailhead is just before the Barden/Keipen one. It also gives you similar views of the dramatic mountains in this area of Northern Norway from the lofty peak.