This adventure provides you with a taste of most types of nature found in Finnmark. We roam into the edge of the Finnmarksvidda mountain plateau and experience the valleys of Tverrelvdalen and Altadalen, as well as the coast when you are safely back down in Alta. However, for most people the majestic Alta Canyon is the highlight of this adventure and provides lasting memories.
Few people venture into the Alta Canyon, primarily because it’s so difficult to get there. You will experience incredible nature, eagles, salmon, various duck species and long river boats in perfect union! If we’re lucky, we can add a moose and fox as well!
You will be picked up at your hotel at 10am before we start the adventure by driving up the valley of Tverrelvdalen past the slate quarries at Stilla and Nullpunktet – where the historic demonstrations against the construction of the hydroelectric power plant took place – then up to Sautso. You also have the option of a guided tour of the Alta Power Station; the dam and viewing room (not included, must be arranged before the tour starts). The actual paddling starts 2 km down river from the dam and ends at Sorrisniva or Bollo, which are 20 and 25 km further down river respectively. We expect to be back in Alta between 4-6pm, but this time may be adapted to suit your plans.
Previous paddling experience
The river is relatively gentle and no previous paddling experience is required. All necessary instruction will be given. All participants wear life jackets so if we’re unlucky and the canoe overturns, this will be undramatic. The water temperature is normally up to around 16 °C during the summer and the water level is relatively low. However, the upper reaches of the river are more challenging and you need to know where to paddle to reduce the chances of overturning and accidents. We know the best places to paddle!
We stay overnight in a tent or lavvu (Sami herdsmen’s tent) in the upper reaches of the river in the Alta Canyon. Participants require a sleeping bag and ground pad. Check the equipment list at the bottom of the page.
Nature and animal life
The upper reaches of the Alta River take us through Alta Canyon, a rare natural gem best enjoyed from a gently flowing canoe. Few people make it up here, apart from those who have the opportunity to fish here. Further down the valley, the landscape is dominated by forested, cultural and agricultural areas. Paddling in a canoe provides a close-up encounter with the animal life, such as white-tailed sea eagles, various duck species and, if you’re lucky, the king of the forest, the moose.
A culinary journey
The trip down the river is also a culinary experience. We aspire to serve good food, preferably grilled over an open fire on the riverbank. Dishes based on reindeer, king crab, salmon and berries are among those prepared over the open fire, depending on the season. Dinner on day one and breakfast and lunch on day two are included in the tour price. We recommend participants to eat a solid lunch before setting off on this trip.
The Alta River (or Altaelva as it’s known in Norwegian) plays a central part of the history of Alta and also forms an important part of the identity of locals of Alta. During the trip, your guide will tell you about the history of the river, organisation of fishing rights, the damming of the river and construction of the hydroelectric power plant and the subsequent years.
Combinations, mountain biking or three-day paddling trip
This tour may be combined with mountain biking trips of varying durations. Alternatively, you may combine it with our one-day canoeing trip, so you end up with a three-day canoeing adventure. On such trips, we spend the first night at Jotka Fjellstue.
For further information and to book a trip, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
Depending on the weather and temperature, it’s a good idea to wear waterproof or hiking pants and a sweater or jacket. If it’s really warm, you can wear lighter clothing, such as shorts. Always bring protective clothing as the weather can change quickly and the mosquitoes can be a nuisance.
Remember that you may overturn: so you need to bring a complete change of clothes including shoes packed in a waterproof pack. (We can lend you one if you lack one)
Warm sweater/jacket and hat/gloves.
Sleeping bag and ground pad (may be hired at additional cost)
This tour will be arranged Friday to Saturday in the period from 15 June to 30 September.