Stunning views over Lyngenfjord and Lyngsfjellan (the Lyngen Alps) on this steep ascent of Storhaugen.
Arriving at our Lyngen accommodating in the early afternoon (we were staying at Spåkenes Sjøbuer in Rotsund), our host suggested this hike – and very helpfully gave me a lift to the starting point.
The intent was to hike up to the 1,142m Storhaugen summit and return via the ruins of a coastal fort from World War II (although a navigation error meant I didn’t quite reach my planned destination). The walk starts not much above sea level, and there’s a signpost at the parking area for both Storhaugen (4.4km) and Dalberget (2.2km), although Dalberget is not shown on any topographical maps. I set off through the forest, with the trail climbing very gently.
After about 5o0m, the path reaches the Storelva River and gets steeper from here as it follows the river through the forest. There are already spectacular views from here over Lyngenfjord below and the snow-covered Lyngen Alps beyond.
The path is easy to follow as it winds up the hill, and after 2km the path rises above the tree line and crosses the Storelva River on a sturdy timber bridge.
Another 200m, just beyond the bridge, and I reach Dalberget. There’s a large cairn and a logbook. The path also stops here.
I don’t have a map, so I continue in a southerly direction and up a steep ridge. At times there is a defined path, but it abruptly stops as the ridge gets increasingly steep and more of a scramble than a hike.
The view from the ridge as the sun is setting is magnificent.
I get to about 655m elevation before giving up; the ridge is too steep to continue. The summit is clearly not this way, and I head back down to Dalberget. (Looking at the topographical map afterwards, Storhaugen is to the north, on the other side of the broad valley from the ridge that I’m on.)
Heading back down the track, just after I re-cross the river I see a track that leads directly up to the ridge (the junction is at 69.74018, 20.55199). I follow this for a few hundred metres and this definitely seems to be the correct route to the summit; unfortunately with the sun setting I don’t have time for a second “summit attempt”!
On the way back, I take an old 4WD track that leads to Spåkenes fort. Situated on the hill Storbakken, the highest point of Spåkenes, the fort was built in 1941 by the German army, using Soviet prisoners of war and German prisoners (Germany had occupied Norway the previous year, with 2,000–3,000 soldiers arriving in Djupvik on 28 August 1940).
The fort consisted of four bunker complexes, each of which included a gun, ammunition bunker, trench, and infantry bunker. All remain fairly intact, except for one of the bunkers that suffered extensive damage in a post-occupation explosion (below right).
From an ammunition bunker (below), the guns had a range of up to 23km and were capable of hitting a ship travelling off Lyngstuva, the furthest tip of the Lyngen peninsula (Source: Wikipedia).
From here, I head down the hill and back to my accommodation at Spåkenes Sjøbuer, about 1km away on the coast. It was a great walk and great views, despite missing the critical turn-off to the summit track!
|Location||Turn off the E6 towards the Djupvik cemetery (there is signpost on the E6 pointing to “Kirkegård”. Follow this for about 200m to a parking area (69.745919, 20.510063)|
|Distance||11.2km (610 total ascent) as walked.
Storhaugen is 8.8km return (1100m ascent).
|Season/s||June-October for hiking. Skiing in winter.|
|Map||Topographical maps on-line at GotTur.no|
|GPS Route||Routie GPS trail. View route and export to KML format.|
|Resources||Walk 24 in Guide Hiking/Vandre Lyngenford (PDF, 10MB)|