Challenging summit hikes in Helgeland

Many of the peaks of Helgeland are spectacular. You can find higher mountains, but the views from these summits are amazing. A long hike through pristine wilderness is required to reach some of the mountains. The difficulty of the hike and climb varies wildly.

The Okstindane range in Helgeland has five of the ten highest mountains in Nordland county. One of them is Oksskolten, which at 1916 metre is the highest peak in northern Norway.

Below is a selection of some of the toughest and most demanding summit hikes in Helgeland, ranked by altitude. Also mentioned is the municipality in which they are situated.

2018-08-0908:42 Georg Enga

Oksskolten (1916 m, the highest peak in Northern Norway), Hemnes

Proud locals consider Oksskolten to be the most majestic of their mountains – and it is the highest peak in all of northern Norway. Its summit view includes Røssvatnet, the country’s second-largest lake, to the south, and beyond it Børgefjell, Norway’s wildest national park. To the west are the Seven Sisters mountains, and one of Norway’s oldest fishing villages. You can also see most of Helgeland’s myriad of islands, islets and reefs. To the north is Svartisen glacier, to the east lies the Swedish border.

Oksskolten is part of the Okstindan range, renowned for its pristine alpine terrain, although just a short distance from lush farms. Perched on the mountain range is a glacier that extends its arms in every compass direction, and strewn like jewels around it are small and large lakes. Hikers can choose amongst many approaches to Okstindan. Accommodation is available at four cabins operated by the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT), the most famous being Rabothytta on the edge of the glacier. For more information, please see Hiking in the Okstindan mountains.

Kvigtinden (1699 m, the highest mountain in Børgefjell National Park), Grane

The view from Kvigtinden is most impressive. To the south you can see the southernmost parts of Børgefjell National Park, which reaches to the shore of Store Namsvatnet lake. To the northeast you see the northern end of this national park, and the lakes Vestre and Austre Tiplingen. To the east is high plateau country, dotted with large and small lakes and crisscrossed by streams and rivers. To the north and west are dramatic mountains and valleys. The closest place to start your hike to Kvigtinden is the parking lot at Simskardet pass. You can do this summit hike as a day trip, but a demanding one. Here is a map of the area.


 Helgelandsbukken (1454 m), Meløy

When you hike to Helgelandsbukken, you can consider spending a night at Tåkeheimen, which at 1037 metres is the highest-elevation cabin in Northern Norway run by the Norwegian Trekking Association, DNT. The summit of Helgelandsbukken offers a 360-degree panorama of fjords, islands and sea, with Svartisen glacier and many mountain ranges in the distance. Here is a map of the area.


Brurskanken (1447 m), Vefsn

This summit is a well-known landmark, especially for people who live near the town of Mosjøen, for whom the ascent is a rite of passage. Source: TurkartHelgeland


Luktttinden (1343 m), Vefsn

Because of its sheer cliffs, Lukttinden is perhaps the most breathtaking summit hike on this list. It is a challenging day trip, where you are rewarded with a spectacular view that includes the glaciers, the coast, and many of the other mountain peaks in Helgeland. To the west you can see the Seven Sisters range and the island of Lovund, to the east is the Okstindan range; Røssvatnet lake to the south, and Svartisen glacier to the north. An unforgettable hike! Source: TurkartHelgeland


Høgtuva (1268 m), Rana

While in the winter this mountain is popular for downhill skiing, for generations it has also tempted hikers on clear summer and autumn days. Høgtuva peers over large tracts of northern Helgeland. When the road is closed during the winter, you start at Melfjellet. In the summer and autumn, and when the road is ploughed, you can continue to Leirdalsvatnet lake and hike from here. Here is a map of Høgtuva.


Hatten (1128 m), Hattfjelldal

The Sámi people call this solitary mountain Aarpije(the widow). The amazing view from its peak is well worth the steep climb. In the 1870s, copper was mined from this mountain, and you can still see remnants of a forge at the rock wall. Source: TurkartHelgeland


Heilhornet (1058 m), Bindal

On a clear day Heilhornet offers a magnificent view, rising high above neighbouring peaks. From the parking lot, the trail climbs steeply through the forest to 280 metres above sea level before levelling off. Veer right on the trail for Heilhornet, and you soon reach 545 metres. Then follow a plateau called Hornfjellet for about 2 km. On the southern face of the mountain you again turn toward the peak. Be prepared for rough terrain just below the summit; in the steepest areas there is a chain that you can grab for support. The summit of Heilhornet has a view over Helgeland and towards Trøndelag, as well as towards the Swedish border. There is route to Heilhornet also from Bindalseidet. Source: Visitheilhornet


The Seven Sisters (1021 m), Alstahaug

Are you longing to visit each of the Seven Sisters? To walk the entire mountain range, ascending each of its seven peaks, is a challenge aspired to by many experienced hikers. If you are in good shape, the full hike is likely to take between 10 and 15 hours – the record is an impressive three hours fifteen minutes! A good alternative for a day trip is to select merely one or two peaks. Here is a description of the full Seven Sisters hike.


Tomskjevelen (922 m), Nesna

The Tomskjevelen is one of the highest coastal mountains on the Helgeland coast, and its breathtaking view can’t be fairly described, only appreciated by those who have seen it in person. Tour description.


Dønnamannen (858 m), Dønna

This renowned mountain is a tempting destination for those yearning for a challenge. According the legend the “Dønna man” is lying on his back, taking a nap next to the Seven Sisters. The mountain sits on the southern part of Dønna, an island off the town of Sandnessjøen. Many consider Dønnamannen to be as challenging as the Seven Sisters. Here is a map of the area.


Hestmannen (571 m), on the boundary between Rødøy and Lurøy

This legendary mountain, on the island of Hestmona, marks the boundary between Rødøy and Lurøy municipalities. It’s a spectacular summer hike where your reward is a panorama of much of the Helgeland coast. Read a description of the hike.


Trænstaven (338 meters), Træna

This mountain rises from the sea, towering over the island of Sanna. The summit itself is so steep that climbing gear is required for the ascent. As a result, few of the people who live in Træna municipality have actually been to the top of their highest peak. Read a detailed description of the climb.




Remember the mountain rules:

  1. Plan your hike well, and leave word of your route plan.
  2. Choose a route suited to your experience and to the conditions.
  3. Be weatherwise.
  4. Be prepared for cold and storm, even on short walks.
  5. Always carry a backpack and proper mountain gear – and be equipped to help yourself and others.
  6. Stick to safe routes. Stay away from unsecure ice and terrain where there is a danger of snow slides.
  7. Use a map and compass – always know where you are.
  8. Turn back in time – a sensible retreat is no disgrace.
  9. Conserve energy, and seek or build a shelter if necessary.


Happy hiking!