A steep climb to the Sukkertoppen peak in Senja (456m above sea level) rewards with 360-degree views over the fjord and surrounding mountains.
There are a few different Sugar Peaks in Norway… this Sukkertoppen hike is in Senja, which is located in the Troms county near the town of Hamn on the coast. The scenery looks spectacular when we arrive in the afternoon, so I’m looking forward to my hike later the following morning.
I head out from our accommodation in Hamn i Senja at 6am, as the sun is starting to rise; it’s 300m to the main road (Route 86), and then after turning right another 900m to the start of the walk, which is well marked. The trail quickly narrows to a walking trail and climbs steadily uphill, providing views north over the town of Hamn.
About 700m after the start of the trail from the road, I pass the intersection with the alternative track that goes back to Route 86 on the other side of the ridge. There are now views looking east down the valley to the coast.
The trail rises above the tree line and starts ascending a little more steeply up the exposed ridge after a kilometre (below), passing by some alpine lakes (Storvanet and Grytvatnet). There are cairns marking the way, but the trail is easy to follow though the grass.
Nearing the summit, the path veers left towards the coast and goes around Gryvatnet (lake) climbing steeply up the grassy slope and up through some large boulders.
Two kilometres from the start of the hike, the trail reaches a natural platform before the final section of the hike. The views from here are already spectacular!
The final 200 metres up to the Sukkertoppen peak gets even steeper (the incline reaches 23% near the top), with ropes to help where the path gets slippery: a fall from here not would not be very pleasant!
The views from the top of Sukkertoppen are impressive – whilst not a particularly high peak at 456m above sea level, it feels like you’re perched almost vertically about the coastline.
Looking out to the north, I can see the beyond the town of Hamn and over Bergsfjorden to the mountains of Skaland.
To the south is the higher peak of Helland (769m) with Storvatnet (lake) below.
Almost directly below is our accommodation at Hamn i Senja, an old fishing village from the 1880s, located on a small island off the west coast.
After taking in the views, I descend carefully down the steep path again, with the sun now higher in the sky.
About 1.5km from the top, I take the right-hand fork in the trail, which descends back to the main road (Route 86) via the site of an old power station on the Mølnelva river. Built in 1882, this was the first power station in the world based on hydroelectric power; the dam is still standing.
From the site of the old power station, it’s just 400m back to Route 86 along an old vehicular road, and then an easy (flat) walk of just under a kilometre back to Hamn i Senja. Overall, the circuit is 4.4km from the road, or 6.5km if starting and finishing at Hamn i Senja.
|Location||Two (sign-posted) starting points on Route 86:
N69.41275, E17.15324 and N69.41278, E17.17985.
Follow the road 86 towards Gryllefjord if you come from the north of Senja or from inland. If you come by ferry from Andenes to Gryllefjord, follow road 86 towards Finnsnes; Hamn is 10 minutes from Gryllefjord.
|Distance||6.2km round-trip with 450m total ascent. Allow 3-4 hours.|
|Grade||Moderate. Some off-track walking to reach Lifjellet summit|
|Map||Topographical maps on-line at GotTur.no|
|GPS Route||Routie GPS trail. View route and export to KML format.|
|Resources||Pick up a guide to local walks from the office at Hamn i Senja|
|Photos||Google Photos album|