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OKSTINDAN – HIKING ON THE “ROOF” OF NORTHERN NORWAY

The Okstindan mountain range and its ruling summit Oksskolten, the highest mountain in Northern Norway, are situated in Hemnes. Hemnes municipality offers a magnificent wilderness and pristine mountains a mere stone’s throw from lush farms and
villages. Glacier arms stretch in every compass direction, and the surrounding area is
dotted with beautiful lakes large and small. There are several gateways to Okstindan,
and four DNT cabins are available to hikers.

2019-01-1513:16 Georg Enga

FOUR GREAT CABINS IN THE OKSTINDAN MOUNTAINS

Rabothytta, also known as DNT Cabin No. 500, is situated at 1200 metres on the very edge of the glacier. The cabin accommodates 30 overnight guests and is self-service, with occasional staff in the summer. Kjensvasshytta, situated near the trailhead to Oksskolten, the highest peak in Northern Norway, offers 28 beds. In the summer, you can drive all the way up and park by the cabin, which is now being refurbished with facilities for disabled guests. Gråfjellhytta and Gressvasshytta cabins have 12 and 20 beds respectively. All four cabins are self-service and fully equipped, but hikers must bring their own food and a sleeping bag or sheet bag. At least one person in the group must be a member of DNT and have a DNT key. For further information, see www.htf.dnt.no / www.rabothytta.dnt.no (mainly in Norwegian)

Photo:Fabrice Milichau

FOUR GREAT GATEWAYS TO OKSTINDAN

Inderdalen Farm in Brygfjelldalen (342 m) 12 km distance from Korgen. Follow Fv806, a road of good standard. Then Fv323, a narrow paved road, for 6 km. Starting point for marked hiking trail to DNT cabins/distance/hiking time: Gråfjellhytta cabin (7 km/3h) Rabothytta cabin via Gråfjellhytta cabin and Mørkbekken (18 km/8 h) Parking just below Inderdalen Farm, at the end of the road.

The DNT trail starts at a charming, privately-owned mountain farm. Café and farm shop occasionally open. Gråfjellhytta cabin is situated at 1000 m on the edge of the glacier. Rabothytta cabin is situated at glacier’s edge at 1200 m. Mørkbekken is situated at 680 m

Kjensvatnet lake (525 m) is 120 km from Korgen. Follow E6 til E6 to Mo i Rana, then E12 to Umbukta, continuing on a gravel road of varying standard for 40 km (closed in winter until mid June) Starting point for marked hiking trail to DNT cabins/distance/hiking timeKjensvasshytta cabin (by the road) Gressvasshytta cabin (8 km/ 3 h) Rabothytta cabin (10 km/ 4 h).

Plenty of parking at the three trail heads: - Oksskolten: parking at Leirbekkmoen. - Gressvasshytta cabin: parking by the dam at Gressvatnet. - Rabothytta cabin: parking by Kjensvasshytta cabin. Oksskolten is about 7 km from the parking lot. Allow at least 10 hours for the round trip hike. The unmarked ascent is very steep in places, with large rocks and boulders. Glacier trek equipment is required.

Leirbotn/Tippen in Leirskarddalen (650 m.o.h.) is 18 km from Korgen. FFv322, a narrow paved road of varying standard for 13 km. Then a steep, narrow construction road for 5 km (closed in the winter). Starting point for marked hiking trail to DNT cabins/distance/hiking time: Rabothytta cabin (5 km/ 1.5 - 2 h) Kjensvasshytta cabin (10 km/ 3 h) Gråfjellhytta cabin (6 km/ 3 h) Large parking lot towards the end of the construction road (650 m). Fv322 passes through the courtyard of several private farms. Please reduce your speed and drive considerately

Spjeltfjelldalen/Granheim at Røssvatnet lake  (ca. 390 m.o.h) is 56 km from Korgen. Folllow Fv806 and Fv324. Both are paved roads. Starting point for marked hiking trail to DNT cabins/distance/hiking time:Gressvasshytta cabin (18 km/ 6 h) Kjensvasshytta cabin (28 km/ 10 h)  Parking on the west side of the bridge. This trail, which passes through Spjeltfjelldalen nature reserve, is part of the 570-km-long Nordlandsruta Trail. Accommodation available at Stekvasselv Farm, 2 km away.

Distance from Korgen to other Okstindan gateways:

  • Lille Målvatn Gård, Bjerkadalen 23 km (333 m.o.h)
  • Skardelva/Røssvatnet 44 km (390 m.o.h)
  • Bessedør/Røssvatnet 48 km (390 m.o.h)
  • Steikvasselv/Røssvatnet 54 km (390 m.o.h)
  • Nymoen /Nordlandsruta/Røssvatnet 58 km (390 m.o.h)

Photo: Fabrice Milichau


Transport

There is no summer bus service to the Okstindan gateways; these buses operate only during the school year. A taxi from Bjerka Station to the end of the road Fv322 in Leirskarddalen, or to Inderdalen Farm in Brygfjelldalen, costs approx. NOK 550 (day rate). During the summer, you can request that the taxi drive you all the way to Leirbotn. Please note that taxi rates are 21% higher during the evening, and 35% higher at night and during the weekend. Also, they must be booked in advance! Some of the places that offer accommodation can arrange transport for their guests.


Hemnes turistforening

The four cabins are run by Hemnes Turistforening (HTF), the local chapter of the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT). For prices for day visits and overnight stays, see www.htf.dnt.no. An online calendar shows on which dates accommodation is available. To make a reservation, please send an email to booking@hemnesturistforening.no. 

Season

The hiking season lasts from mid-June until October. The best skiing season is from January-February until May-June. NB. In the table above, please note the list of access roads that are closed in the winter. If you are driving, make sure your car is equipped with good winter tires!


Trail maps and crampons

An informative trail map (scale 1:50,000) with suggested hikes may be purchased from Hemnes Turistforening, and at Circle K gas stations in Korgen or at Gruben. Crampons are also available for rent at the stations.

Let your dog enjoy the hike, but…

Hikers are welcome to bring their dog – but you must keep it on leash. For centuries these mountains have been an important summer grazing area for sheep of local farmers and the Sami’s reindeer herds. Even a kind and gentle dog may frighten these animals and cause them to injure themselves as they flee. Thank you for respecting this important rule!

A selfie on the glacier?

Many visitors are tempted to photograph themselves on the glacier. But please be sure to bring the necessary safety equipment, and show the utmost caution. The constantly shifting glacier can be lethal! Crampons and safety lines are a must, and any hiking on the glacier is at your own risk. Guided tours are recommended.

Please bring back your trash

Perhaps you’re looking forward to a much lighter backpack on your return trek? Even though there are cabins in Okstindan, there is no trash service. In order to keep our beautiful wilderness pristine, we rely on you to take all empty bottles, cans and other trash with you and dispose of them properly back in the nearby village.

A smart backpack – with everything you need

Conditions are often demanding in the Okstindan mountains, and the weather may change suddenly – irrespective of good weather forecasts. For your own safety, please always bring the following equipment: trail map and compass, extra warm clothes, raingear and windproof clothing, warm mittens and hat, extra food and beverage.

Some of the places that offer accommodation can arrange transport for their guests. The mobile phone coverage is variable and generally poor throughout the Okstindan mountain wilderness. Emergency: 113

Fabrice Milichau
Okstindan
Georg Enga
Okstindan
Georg Enga

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