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Photo: GE

Hiking Across the Finnmark Plateau (Norway)

A remote trek across Finnmarksvidda from Alta to Karasjok in Northern Norway with husky companions

  • Guided
  • Med-Hard
  • From £1309/person
  • Aug-Sep, 5 days
  • Adults (min age 16), Groups

Book now to save 5% on published GBP and EUR* prices! (*except Euro prices for tours in Finland)

Highlights:

  • Hike 88km over 5 days in remote terrain
  • Stay in wilderness cabins with 1-2 nights' camping
  • 1-2 huskies accompany the group and help carry equipment
  • Sauna available on some nights
  • Meals based on local produce
  • Visit the indigenous Sámi Parliament in Karasjok

Description »

The Finnmark Plateau ("Finnmarksvidda" in Norwegian) lies in the far north of mainland Norway and is a beautiful and exposed tundra region ideal for those seeking a remote and fairly challenging hiking tour.

A very special aspect of this hiking tour is that you will be accompanied on the trek by one or more huskies (1-2 dogs depending on number of persons in the group), who will assist the group by carrying some of the equipment in saddlebags.

The huskies will add at least as much to your tour experience by their companionship as with their load-carrying abilities! If you wish, you are welcome to take part in walking with the dog(s) using a waist harness and assist in their feeding and care during their tour, though this is not a requirement.

Finnmarksvidda landscape

The Finnmarksvidda - into the great wide open! Photo: GE.

Over five days, you will cover around 88km through an undulating landscape, which varies from mountain birch and pine-forest to the exposed moorland and wide horizons of the Plateau itself.

You begin your hike from just outside Alta, heading south across the plateau and then turning east to end near the settlement of Karasjok, home to the indigenous Sámi parliament (which you will have an opportunity to visit) and, like Alta itself, a checkpoint for the Finmarksløpet dogsled race in wintertime.

You will carry all equipment and food with you and should expect your pack to weigh around 15kg.

Hiking with Huskies Across Finnmarksvidda

1-2 dogs will accompany you on the tour and provide an extra dimension to the trip. Photo: GE.

Accommodation along the route is two nights in mountain lodges, one night camping in the wilderness with tents, and one night in simple cabin or camping. Sauna is available at the mountain lodges on two nights of the tour as well as on your return to Alta.

Hiking Across the Finnmark Plateau is offered in August, when you can experience the plateau in summer, and in September, when autumn is in full swing with its rich palette of colours and there may even be some early season snowflakes!

Tours in September also offer excellent chances to see the Northern Lights during your tour, as the nights are now dark enough for the Aurora to be visible.

In additional to fixed date public tours, private tours for groups can also be arranged on other dates on request.

Itinerary »

NB: For this tour it is necessary to arrive in Alta the day before to overnight locally (not included). For accommodation before/after the tour, very comfortable camping domes are available at the hiking centre and this is a very convenient option, especially before the tour. We are happy to suggest other options for accommodation in town.

There is an introductory/planning meeting at the hiking centre approx. 6km outside Alta at 15.00 the day before the hike begins. During the meeting you will discuss the tour ahead and the weather forecast, check the equipment and any communal items to be carried will be distributed. We recommend that you arrive in Alta in good time to attend this meeting. Transfer between Alta town and the meeting is included. If you are not able to arrive until later in the day, it is still possible to take part in tour if you have not had the opportunity to attend the meeting.

Day 1: Øvre Stilla to Stabbursdalen

Meet at the hiking centre at 08.30*. After finalising your packing, you will be transferred (approx. 20 mins) to the head of the Tverrelvdalen valley to begin your hike.

*If you are staying in central Alta, you will not go to the hiking centre but instead be collected from Alta town as the transfer passes on the way to the start point.

Your first hiking day takes you to a sacrificial stone used in ancient times by the Sámi, the indigenous people of this area about whom you will learn more later in the week. From here you head south-east towards Stabbursdalen, with a steady climb followed by flatter section and then a gradual descent.

The landscape will change from mountain birch forest to hiking above the tree line before descending again into the forest.

Your goal for the day is a wilderness cabin, where you prepare dinner together for your first night on the Finnmarksvidda. This is an open cabin accessible to all, so if the beds there are occupied the group will camp in tents this night.

Distance: 19km, hiking time approx. 5 hours.

Day 2: Stabbursdalen to Lake Iesjavri

You head south towards a wilderness camp on the shore of the lake. Today you are hiking in a very remote area in the heart of the Finnmark Plateau region and likely to see few if any other users of the mountains.

The lake is known for its fishing, and with luck there may be fresh trout for dinner!

Accommodation this night is camping in tents by the lake.

Distance: 18km, hiking time approx. 4.5 hours.

Day 3: Lake Iesjavri to Lake Lesjohka

Continuing south through an undulating landscape typical of the Finnmark region, very possibly with some streams to cross as you as you hike up and down between the dips.

Today you reach a mountain lodge where a warm welcome, hearty dinner and soft bed await! There is also a sauna here - the perfect way to end a day's hike, with the waters of Lake Lesjohka beckoning for a quick dip afterwards!

Distance: 18-20km, hiking time approx. 5 hours.

Day 4: Lake Lesjohkato to Ravnastua

You now turn east for the longest day of the tour, climbing for a while to the exposed terrain of the eastern plateau. There is a simple wilderness hut along the route this day, which can offer a sheltered spot for lunch in bad weather.

Later in the day, you begin your descent to the treeline in the valley.

The cabins at Ravnastua are your destination for the day, where once again sauna is available in the evening. Your cabin host may even entertain you with some accordion playing!

Distance: 26km, hiking time 6+ hours.

Day 5: Ravnastua to Karasjok for return to Alta

Your last hiking day takes you through birch forest followed by a long downhill section through pine forest towards Karasjok. Your pick-up point is a few km before Karasjok. Here the group will be met for transfer.

Karasjok is the political centre for the Sámi people and their parliament building is located here. You will have a guided tour of the parliament building and an opportunity for lunch at the burger bar in Karasjok (not included) before transfer back to Alta.

Driving time to Alta is around 3 hours and you will normally be back around 18.00. Here you can take a shower and sauna.

If you wish, the group and guide can have dinner together in Alta (not included) as the ideal way to end your Finnmark experience and reflect on your adventures.

You will normally need to overnight in Alta (not included) before departure. Very comfortable camping dome accommodation at the hiking centre is available as optional extra or we are happy to suggest accommodation options in town.

Distance: 15km, hiking time approx. 4 hours.

Dates»

Dates 2019

  • August: 16.08-20.08.19 (arrive in Alta latest 15th August to overnight locally before the tour).
  • September: 21.09-25.09.19 (arrive in Alta latest 20th August to overnight locally before the tour).

Private tours for groups are possible on other dates by arrangement at standard per person prices based on minimum group size 5 persons. Please contact us to discuss your requiremnents.

Prices»

Prices 2019

Prices are in British Pounds and Euros. If you wish, you are also welcome to make your payment in Norwegian Kronor (NOK) - please contact us for details.

Private tours for groups are also possible on other dates by arrangement at standard per person prices based on minimum group size 5 persons. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Standard Prices  
Per personGBP 1,309EUR 1,456
Optional Extras (see description below)  
Night in dome (per night for 1-2 persons)GBP 200EUR 223
  • Night in dome: Located at the hiking centre where you will meet for introduction and also for the start of your tour, these beautiful domes are suitable for up to 2 persons and provide an ideal place to stay before and/or after your hiking tour. Each dome features comfortable double bed (180cm x 200cm), table and chairs, area to hang clothes and drying rack. The domes are heated with wood-burning stove and with underfloor heating and offer both electricity and wi-fi - a real "luxury camping" experience! Bedding and towels are provided and the bed has an electric blanket. Breakfast is included and served in the adjacent communal building. Shared shower, WC and sauna is also available in service building. The domes are located right in the pine forest with access to nature from the door - ideal for a short hike to warm up for your main tour! Dinner is available to purchase at the restaurant at the hiking centre, which offers excellent food, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays, or you can travel into Alta for dinner. If staying total two nights (including if staying one night before and one night after tour), transfer between Alta town and the domes on arrival/departure is included.

Dome accommodation

Dome accommodation (single bed shown here, but all domes now have double bed). Photo: GE

What's Included »

Included

Accommodation:

  • One night in public wilderness cabin Day 1 (or tent if all cabin beds occupied).
  • Camping Day 2.
  • Mountain lodges Day 3 and Day 4 with sauna available.

Accommodation on all cabin/lodge nights is of simple standard and in shared multi-person rooms, typically with 2-6 bunk beds per room. Camping nights are in 2-3 persons Helsport tents (solo travellers will share with other same gender guests).

Meals:

All meals from lunch on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 5. Everyone participates in tasks around the cabins as required. There is a focus on providing foods sourced from local ingredients as far as possible.

You may wish to bring additional snacks such as chocolate/energy bars for between meals when hiking.

Please provide information on any dietary requirements (e.g. vegetarian) in advance.

Transfers:

  • Local return transfer from central Alta to hiking centre for meeting day before the tour begins.
  • Local transfer from hiking centre (or pick-up from central Alta) to start point of hike on Day 1.
  • Transfer from end point of hike in Karasjok back to Alta Day 5.

Guide:

Experienced and knowledgeable guide.

Equipment and Huskies:

  • Tents and cooking equipment/pans.
  • Camping mug (please bring own camping cultery/plate/bowl).
  • Safety equipment including GPS, communal First Aid Kit and satellite phone.
  • Huskies: The group will be accompanied by 1-2 huskies (depending on group size), who help to carry some of the equipment such as tents, stoves and perhaps some food provisions.

Not Included

  • Travel: We do not arrange flights or domestic travel, but are happy to advise on suitable connections and assist you with any aspect of planning your journey. See under "Getting There" for general travel information.
  • Lunch in Karasjok Day 5 and dinner in Alta Day 5 (available to purchase locally).
  • Sleeping bag, liner and sleeping mat (please bring own - sleeping bag should have comfort temperature rate zero degrees C or lower).
  • Alcoholic drinks (not available to purchase during the tour).

Good To Know »

Required

Health requirements/experience:

This is a relatively demanding hike taking place in remote and exposed terrain, and you will be hiking for much of the tour above the treeline.

Participants must have previous experience of multi-day hiking with a backpack typical weight around 15kg (minimum pack size 60l) and be comfortable hiking distances of up to 26km in a day.

What makes this "Medium-Hard"?

The exposed nature of the terrain means that weather conditions can be changeable and significantly affect the level of challenge. Due to the northerly location, tours in the later part of September may experience low temperatures and the possibility of some early season snowfall.

Average temperatures in the area in late September are around +8 degrees C daytime, +3 degrees C nighttime and the inclusion of 1 (possibly 2) nights' camping on the tour will also increase the level of challenge. Average temperatures in August are typically milder, around +14 degrees C daytime, +8 degrees C nighttime.

NB: Perception of difficulty is very subjective. What is hard to one person may be easy for another and vice versa, depending on factors including level of fitness, age and previous experience. Weather conditions/temperatures can also dramatically affect the actual level of challenge encountered.

Equipment/clothes needed:

For information on any equipment and/or clothing included as standard for this experience, please see under "What's Included".

A detailed recommended packing list for personal items to bring will be sent with your booking documentation.

NB: We advise you not to buy equipment or clothes for your trip or to incur other non-refundable expenses such as flights until you have received confirmation of your booking from us in writing. Note of course that the most appropriate clothing to use as well as the level of challenge experienced during any outdoor activity may vary significantly depending on factors such as the time of year and the particular weather/temperature conditions during your trip.

Preparing for your trip:

For further reading, we also have a number of general information articles to get you ready for your trip, covering a wide variety of topics from what to do on a city break before/after your tour, advice on packing, eyewear for winter and considerations for female travellers.

Minimum number:

For fixed date tours, there is no minimum number and scheduled tours are guaranteed to run from the first booking.

Groups

Maximum group size for scheduled tours 10 participants.

This experience is ideal for groups and custom dates can be arranged on request - please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Eco Info

This provider has a detailed environmental policy. The tour makes use of public transport connections both by bus and boat and supports sustainable tourism in the area through the use of local accommodation and food.

Getting There »

Detailed information on travel options to this experience will be provided in response to your enquiry. We are happy to advise on suitable connections and assist you with any aspect of planning your journey.

Please ensure that you make a booking with us first and wait for confirmation that your spaces are reserved before making any travel arrangements.

By Air:

Fly to Oslo for domestic flight (2 hours) to Alta. The hiking centre is located approx. 6km from Alta town.

Gallery & Reviews »

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