The Steindalsbreen Glacier Hike in Lyngenfjord
How to get on the trail
First of all, Steindalsbreen Glacier is a geological delight, it spans a period of more than 8000 years. The hike starts here: Map link – on Route 868. There are two car parks and you can stay here overnight in a van or tent if you like. The hike itself starts in the upper left corner of the top carpark and you just need to continue walking straight up the valley. The total hike is a 12.4km round trip so it’s best to leave yourself a good 5-6 hours to complete it. Pack a sweater at least as it can get chilly up on the glacier even in the summer months.
The first meters
The trail gets rather steep early on in the hike and as you walk along next to and above the raging river called “Tverrelva” you can see all kinds of flora. From edible wild berries to birch trees and mushrooms of all sorts…. Some are toadstools so if you’re not sure, best to leave them alone. The plant life lower in the valley is quite dense and well established, as you ascend it becomes more sparse. Once you get up the top of the valley it is populated with pioneer vegetation. This is very hardy flora and is the first to grow after the snow and ice have melted away.
Along the river
On the way up there is a cabin called “Steindalshytta”. If you contact ahead you can organise to stay here right next to the joining rivers.
Once you reach the highest point after the initial steep hike, the tail descends down right next to the river (Note the colour of the water is a beautiful milky pale blue, this glacial water as the river starts at the Steindalsbreen glacier), then flattens out and become a much easier walk.
Up the glacial debris path
After you have walked the length of the wide open valley at the top you will come to the Moraine Ridge, this is quite steep again and is just rocks. From here it will take 30mins to an hour to reach the glacier…. Although it feels like it’s so close. There are signs once you get close to the glacier marking the receding points over a number of year intervals, make sure you see them.. It’s alarming how fast the glacier has receded.
Good to know
There are also signs along the route giving information about the area plants and also about some of the people that used to live there.
Remember no to walk on the glacier as it can be dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing as well as very slippery.
When you arrive onto the moraine you can start to feel pockets of extremely warm air then a few meters away the air becomes very cold this is all over the area and the glacier included.
Steindalsbreen in motion
Watch the first Episode of North & Beyond, where Simon is hiking up to the glacier Steindalsbreen. Here he is harvesting 25kg glacial ice, to brew the first beer of it’s kind. You will find the episode just below or on the North & Beyond Youtube channel. The hike starts at minute 01:26.