This is an unforgettable hike starting at Øvre Stilla at the top of Tverrelvdalen valley near Alta, via Stabbursdalen and southwards along the eastern shores of Iesjavri, Finnmark’s largest lake. We continue across “hundevidda” (the dog plain), known and dreaded by the participants in the Finnmarksløp sled dog race, towardsKarasjok and finally the fertile Karasjok valley.
The trip in brief
- A total of around 88 km
- Five days’ hiking
- One night in a cabin (can be tent), two in a tent and one in mountain lodges
- A sauna at the mountain lodges is included (for those who wish)
- Excellent food based on local ingredients, from lunch day 1 to breakfast day 5
- Partial support of polar dogs with packsaddles
- Our route follows marked and unmarked trails, Sami quad bike tracks and overgrown tracks
- A real mountain hike that requires good hiking boots, backpack and suitable outdoor clothing
- All participants carry their own gear, including sleeping bag. Polar dogs carry packsaddles with communal equipment and some food.
The day legs vary in terms of length and difficultly due to us taking advantage of the natural places to stay on the Finnmarksvidda mountain plateau. On the first three days we hike 18-20 km, one the fourth day we hike 25 km and on the final day, down in the Karasjok Valley, is approx. 15 km. All the distances are rough estimates to calculate the time used, which does not include lunch breaks.
A good tip: We hike past several rivers and lakes with excellent Arctic char and trout. If you enjoy fishing and have a light (telescopic) rod, bring it with you. We can plan breaks and camp near some of these spots.
We spend the first night at a cabin in the Stabbursdalen valley, the next in tents at a wilderness camp on the eastern shores of Lake Iesjavri and the final two nights at mountain lodges, more specifically Mollisjok Fjellstua and Ravnatua. You can enjoy a relaxing hot sauna on arrival at the mountain lodges, if you wish. Participants carry their own sleeping bag and ground pad.
The mountain lodges offer basic accommodation in cabins and dormitories with 2-6 bunks.
On the leg between Mollisjok and Ravnastua, we will pass an old former wilderness hut (resting place). In rough weather, we can enjoy lunch here, but to put it mildly the facilities are extremely basic.
Internet, phone coverage and electricity
It’s worth noting that much of the area on this route has no telephone coverage. There is coverage during part of the first day, but that’s about it. There is sometimes mobile coverage on parts of the plateau, especially when we cross an elevation in the terrain. There is no stable mobile coverage at Ravnastua or Mollisjok either, but both have landlines meaning messages can get through. Both mountain lodges also have electricity enabling you to charge your gadgets.
The package price includes all transport, accommodation as described, all meals from lunch on day 1 to breakfast on day 5, wilderness guide, support by polar dogs, safety equipment such as satellite telephone and GPS and mountain equipment such as tents and cooking gear. A guided tour of the Sami Parliament and a sauna at GLØD Headquarters after the tour are also included.
For further information and bookings, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
Day before day 1
As we start at 8.30 on day one, it’s natural for participants from afar to arrive the day before. If you require accommodation in Alta, we can provide good alternatives.
A planning meeting will be held at GLØD Headquarters at 15.00 (3 p.m.) on the day prior to departure to look at maps and the route, go through the plan and the weather forecast, etc. We will check the gear and any supplements and hand out any equipment you hired.
Day 1 (first hiking day)
We pack up our equipment and are transported to Øvre Stilla at the top of the Tverrelvdalen valley. We set off from here to Falksteinen, an ancient Sami sacrificial stone. If your stomach starts rumbling, we can always have an early (packed) lunch here. We continue in a south-easterly direction to the Stabbursdalen valley. There is a gradual ascent before the terrain flattens out up on the mountain. The last few kilometres are mainly downhill. This leg is about 19 km, starting down in the mountain bitch forest, over the tree-less mountain area and down in the forest belt at the top of the Stabbursdalen valley. Hiking time: approx. 5 hours.
On arrival at the cabin, we enjoy delicious dinner and a comfortable bed! Please note that this cabin is open to all, so if it’s occupied we will stay in tents.
After breakfast, we continue hiking southwards. The polar dogs carry packsaddles with mountain equipment such as tents, stoves, pots and fuel and maybe some of the food we will eat when we reach the next camp site, a wilderness camp on the eastern shores of Iesjavri, Finnmark’s largest lake.This is not a common route and meeting other people (on foot or mountain bikes) is unusual. We are now in the wilderness in the heart of the Finnmarksviddamountain plateau, far removed from civilisation and miles from the nearest manmade installation. The area we are camping in has wonderful fishing lakes and we will camp beside a river with excellent trout! If we are lucking, we can serve fresh trout for supper!
We stay overnight in field tents. Hiking distance: approx. 15 km (4.5 hours)
After a quiet night in tents, we continue our journey southwards in gently rolling terrain. In other words, each gentle descent is followed by another modest hill and more wonderful views. There is generally a stream at the bottom and often a wet (or dry) marsh we need to cross. This is Finnmark in a nutshell!
Approx 17 km. Night in tent.
We head eastwards towards Ravnastua. We climb slightly for the first few kilometres before reaching the top of the eastern plateau. These areas are exposed to the elements, so we must prepare accordingly. Late in the day, we head slightly down again towards the wooded valley and, after covering roughly 15 km (at least 6 hours’ hiking) we arrive at Ravnastua. On arrival at Ravnastua, we are greeted by our host Oskar. If we are lucky, he will play his accordion in the evening! After a long day in the mountains, a refreshing sauna is always wonderful. If anyone is keen, Oskar will happily heat it up for us!
The last leg is mostly through mountain birch forest, ending with a long descent through the pine forest. After roughly 15 km (4 hours), we will be down in the fertile Karasjok valley. We will arrive in Assebahkte, a few kilometres west of Karasjok, where we will be picked up and driven to the Sami Parliament for a guided tour.
We plan to be back at GLØD headquarters in Alta around 16.00 (6 p.m.), where you can have a well-earned shower and sauna.
For those who are not in a hurry, we will meet for dinner in Alta (not included) to round off the tour in a proper manner. We can assist with arranging accommodation in Alta for those who require it.
(Chargers for mobiles, etc.)
Wind and waterproof jacket
Wind and waterproof trousers
Jacket (woollen sweater, down, fleece, primaloft)
Woollen boxer shorts
Crocs or other footwear suitable for both river crossings and use in camp/cabin
First aid kit (Glød)
Primus stove/fuel (Glød)
Cooking pots (Glød)
Fishing knife/bread knife (Glød)
GPS and spare batteries (Glød)