Senja Across - 3 day adventure
This is a quick presentation of a 3-day trip through the three first legs of the famous Senja across hike and over the lower parts of the second largest island in Norway. The total length of this tour is roughly 35km, going through some of the best nature that Norway has to offer. With plenty of hiking possibilities, mountains, valleys, forests, and rivers the photography opportunities are endless - and with some luck, there will be wildlife surrounding us from start to end. Senja is a reindeer herding district, and there is plenty of birdlife, moose, and rabbits roaming the area. The hike has become more and more popular over the years, but on the handful of occasions that I have visited the are I have had the trail more or less to my self.
The three-day adventure takes us through the valleys leading to the mountains in the southern part of Senja and ends in Kaperdalen before the Istinden mountains. The tour can be combined with a visit to the villages of Sifjord, Medby, and Kaldfarnes where there is a possibility to stay overnight in a small house built in the 1930s.
This part of the Senja across tour is considered a level 3/5. Not the steepest mountains, but with long daily walks, a heavy backpack, and parts in challenging terrain. Below is a short description of each day.
Day 1 - 7km
Transport from Tromsø to Senja, and a short first leg. The trip starts at Lysevatnet, about an hour's drive from Finnsnes. There is no immediate stress on the first day as the first leg is only 6,5km and a few hours of walking to the old telegraph station in Hegge Valley. The first day can be a bit wet, and shoes will get dirty. Getting past the first few kilometers the trail gets better, taking us through a forest and past a nice lake used a lot for fishing by the locals. Remember the mosquito repellent, we are spending the night among the trees. We make camp by the river, have a nice meal, and plan for the next day.
Day 2 - 19km
The 2nd day is an almost 20km walk from Heggdalen (Hegge Valley) to Trondalen (Tron Valley). This is where the last brown bear on Senja was killed late 1800s, and also the most scenic part of our 3-day journey. Mostly on trails in nice terrain from the our camp, and through steeper terrain up Brattbakken (The steep hill) around lunchtime. We continue past the Senjabu cabin and into Trondalen late afternoon.
This day has several bathing opportunities, so bring a small towel if you would like to soak in the clear (and cold) mountain waters of Senja. The elevation on day two is almost 1000 meters, and you will feel it in your legs when we make camp later that evening.
Day 3 - ca. 10km
This day starts with a late morning, and possibly a swim in the nearby "spa" division of Senja to get you going. The day is going to take us from Trondalen to Kaperdalen where we will be picked up. The terrain is nice with some smaller hills, a forest, and parts with rocky terrain. On the way, we have a nice view of the southwest part of Senja. We walk on paths most of the day and pass by rivers and Kaperdalen lake.
A baselayer of wool and one spare change of baselayer for sleeping. Waterproof and "stiff" hiking boots are necessary due to the terrain and heavy backpack. Bring a wind/waterproof jacket, light pants for walking , and waterproof pants if it starts raining. There is limited opportunity to get clothes dry during the hike. The weather can also turn quickly and a set of mittens and a hat should be easily available in the backpack. A pair of shorts and a t-shirt is nice on warm days.
The best time to do this tour is from the end of July until the end of August. The weather is normally reasonably stable, the snow has melted and the days and evenings are still bright. The insect situation is also a lot better than earlier in the summer with some mosquitos and flies. Be aware that it is quite normal for the temperatures to drop down to around 10 degrees Celsius during the day, and even a few degrees colder during the night.
Mosquito repellent/a cream to relive itching
Tape/bandage for blisters and scratches
A buff for sleeping and colder weather
A knife/leatherman etc. if available
Minimum 750ml water bottle