The trail up to the new viewpoint at Mount Øksfjordfjellet is not that hard. Magnus, however, chose to make the most of it and spent the night. Here is his story.
Driving into Øksfjord on a frosty November morning, I had my eyes fixed on the mountain top hanging over the village. Somewhere up there was todays objective for my hike.
Mount Øksfjordfjellet has a wind shelter with a difference
The architects of Biotope has made a pointy wind shelter on the Øksfjordfjellet mountain top. It blends in perfectly with the environment. The Finnmark Alps with pointed, sharp mountain peaks surrounds you on every side, going right from the sea up touching the clouds. Everywhere you look, you thus have fantastic views.
There are several trails
There is more than one path to the top. I started in the north and walked from Ystneset. You can also take the hike from Vassdalen. further in along the fjord. It probably took me longer than most to get to the top, stopping to take photos more often than not. The icy path made the approach to the summit somewhat slower than I had anticipated. The hike is considered to be relatively easy. It is thus popular in Summer and early Autumn.
The trail is easy in Summer
In hindsight, some spikes under my shoes would be the smart choice at this time of year. With little or no snowfall it’s possible to do this hike far into November. June to October is perfect. There are a few exposures where you need to be wary, and watch your step. Especially when carrying a backpack with some weight to it.
You get close to wildlife
Early on I saw a couple of white tailed eagles circling the skies. When I had hiked well above the treeline, I heard the calling of ptarmigans. A few moments later I saw one fly by in its winter plumage. There is much more to see than just the alpine peaks and pretty fjords. Birdlife is definetly there even in early winter. When I was almost up at the top, there were fresh fox tracks on the path. Maybe I’ll see him next time I visit.
A shelter is for daytime use
Once you’ve done most of the elevation, it’s pretty straight forward. You’re there before you know it. The shelter is certainly unique. It’s primarily a designed for day time use, shelter from the wind while having your packed lunch. Although it is possible to bring a sleeping bag and a mat and use it for an overnighter. You cannot, of course, monopolise the shelter. If others hikers have the same idea, you must of course share the space.
Bring your own firewood
There is a firepit outside, and this high up, there is little firewood to be found. There is no way of heating up the cabin inside. A puffy jacket is often wise even during the summer months this far north.
This is a Midnight Sun or Northern Lights viewpoint
Few places are as well suited to enjoying the midnight sun or the northern lights as the bivouac on Øksfjordfjellet. I didn’t see neither, but I saw the sun in November which a tiny miracle in it’s own right.
Frequently asked questions
Wind shelters are for all, and you should thus not block it for others. Magnus went mid autumn, and was thus alone on the trail. You cannot camp in a wind shelter is a way that blocks the access for other hikers.
This is ranged as a “medium” trail, and is thus suited for anyone who is in reasonable shape. There are no particularly difficult or precipitous sections on the trail. Wear good hiking shoes, and have wind-proof clothes on the ready. Even in the middle of summer, one should carry a backpack with extra clothes; a hat, some gloves and and extra sweater.
You walk 353 metres uphill
The trip is 4,2 kilometres one way, estimated at 2 hours. Expect the downhill trail to be a little faster.
Ut.no has a tour description with a map, including parking options. This is in Norwegian, but you can auto-translate into English.
The little municipality of Loppa, where Øksfjord is the main centre, is co-operating with neighbouring Alta on tourism. Read more about Loppa and Alta on the informative website of Visit Alta.