The very top of Lyngen peninsula is a paradise with remote coastal walks and rough inaccessible hills. Small paths cutting the northernmost part of Lyngen took us to Lyngstuva, a remote viewpoint and a hut along the coast. Apart from the obvious pleasures of following quiet paths thru amazing scenery, the hike was very interesting historic-wise. The very north of Lyngen is dotted with ancient Sami sites – remains of stone-and-earth dwellings, excavated bog pits, and other signs of past life.
Lyngstuva hike – a visit to paradise corner of Lyngen, fact sheet
- Height: 50 masl, optional hike to Lyngstuva hill 100 masl
- Total time: 2 hours
- Total distance: 3 km
- Parking: small car park at the road end in Russelv (directions)
- Level of difficulty: 1/5 – easy walk, mostly flat. Norwegian GREEN – easy walk
- Lyngstuva weather: weather forecast for Lyngstuva
How to find Lyngstuva trailhead and which path to take?
Lyngstuva trailhead is very easily found, located at the end of road number 312 in Russelv. Although the path is unmarked, it’s well-made for most part. Only once past ancient Sami sites, the trail narrows and turns into a dozen of small paths. They are, thou, easy to follow and you will instinctively know which ones to take, they all follow the same direction anyway. If you fancy a short hike to Lyngstuva hill, follow the eroded path up; if however you decide to skip the short ascent and walk directly to the viewpoint and a small hut, choose a path encircling the hill, to the right.
Hike to Lyngstuva
Having arrived to the small car park in Russelv we realised that some locals beat us to it and despite the very early hour there already were couple of cars parked! And no wonder, the morning was amazingly warm and sunshine was lifting everyone’s spirits. We crossed the gate at the top of car park and entered a spacious meadow. On one side it was bordered by rough slopes of Russelvfjellet hill, on the other side it gently dropped to emerald waters of the fjord.
We followed a wide track along the coast and listened to gulls’ cries – searching for fish. Every so often, when the gulls spotted fish, they were communicating excitedly, insanely loud, frenziedly diving to the ocean.
Further along the trail were remains of ancient Sami dwellings. Although they’re important landmarks, we really had to make an effort to spot them, as the remains are not clearly visible, nor standing out in the landscape.
Soon we came to a track end, near rocks. There, the trail forked into two faint paths. We tried to follow the one running along the coast, but it disappeared shortly past the fork. Therefore we took the only sensible option and followed the right leg, climbing the rocks at first and soon coming to a dry plateau with a weird monument.
Lyngstuva has some dramatic past and has been of interest to artists and historians. Continue reading further to find out more!
The paradise of Lyngstuva
We had all the time in the world and wanted to enjoy Lyngstuva to the full, taking advantage of a fantastic day! We first climbed the small hill to have an overview of the area … and because we like climbing hills! Despite being only approximately 100 masl, it’s a very good viewpoint – we recommend taking the 10 mins detour to climb it. From its top we first spotted a tiny lighthouse and a small red hut, Lyngstuva. They seemed much, much lower, but in fact the height difference is only about 70 metres. Nonetheless, viewed from the hill, they looked so tiny!
Excited and encouraged by amazing sights, we quickly took a descend path, all the way down to the red hut and nearby little lighthouse. To our joy, we found them just as tiny and ’boutique’ as we imagined, looking from the hill. They truly are ‘baby size’!
Their location is also spectacular. Placed on the northernmost tip of Lyngen peninsula, they overlook treacherous waters of the ocean; further away we spotted several hilly islands, the largest -Arnoya, just across the fjord. It was an amazing sight!
Enjoying the sunshine, we had a peek at the old, small harbour below the hut and a tiny pebble beach. Then, having feasted on the views, we had a closer look at the Lyngstuva hut.
To our surprise, it was open, hence without hesitation we walked in.
Lyngstuva hut is very basic, but has a lot of character and we felt it’s a loved place and well take care of. Thru small red door we entered a world filled with smell of wood and adventure.
The hut can be used for overnight stay, there is a small ‘sleeping-room’ upstairs, accessed by ladder. We could easily imagine spending the night at Lyngstuva, live fire in the stove would make the place warm and cosy, candles would bring even more light. Yeah, definitely we could imagine spending a quiet night at Lyngstuva…
To return to the car park, it’s best to simply retrace your steps. We are aware that some maps and apps show a path running along the coast, encircling the tip of Lyngstuva, however when looking for it, we didn’t manage to find one.
Lyngstuva and Sami
Earlier I mentioned that Lyngstuva is an important site of great interest to historians and artists.
Along the trail to Lyngstuva we found remains of ancient Sami settlements, each including 5-6 dwellings, dating between 4500 – 1800 years BC! The turf dwellings’ structures were round and dug slightly below the surface, partially constructed of wood. Nowadays, the structures are visible as rounded depressions in ground, sometimes with remains of rock walls. Lyngstuva is a resourceful location, hence in the past it was considered very suitable to live, rich in seals and fish. Also the rough hills provided food – Sami were able to include small game and berries in their diet. Lyngstuva is a unique location for another, very important reason. In the area archaeologists found small, slab lined pits, used to produce marine mammal oil, from seal and whale blubber! All this was happening thousands years BC!
Another fact worth a mention is presence of couple of ship wrecks in the area. Looking from the hill above hut, we spotted two. Waters near Lyngstuva have been well known as treacherous, they claimed numerous boats, ships and lives. I think the best known is a story of German war ships sinking nearby, having sailed into rocks. Many soldiers lost their lives. For that very reason, Lyngstuva was visited by German artist, who stayed in the hut for couple of months, building an art structure and kind of a monument, to mark the events. In the hut, there is an album with photographs, story and detailed explanation of his art vision, but it’s all written in German, so we only roughly understood it. Nonetheless, remains of the monument are still present on a plateau, on the way to Lyngstuva hut.
Lyngstuva hiking map
What we loved about Lyngstuva hike
Hiking to Lyngstuva is an experience rich in history and, most importantly, amazing views. The easy coastal trail to ’boutique’ red hut and lighthouse, ever hungry gulls’ cries, silver fish pods spotted in emerald waters of fjord – all make the walk worthwhile!
Wild camping near Lyngstuva and nearest campsites
Wild camping is allowed and widely accepted in Norway. By law, everyone is allowed to stay overnight at any spot at least 150 metres from nearby buildings. Generally speaking, in most parts of Northern Norway finding a wild camping spot is very easy, especially when travelling in a camper. Many times we stopped overnight simply along the road. It’s a bit trickier when travelling with a tent, as lower grounds are often quite wet, hence we recommend seeking wild camping spots suitable for tents at a little bit higher grounds, on along the trails.
When visiting Lyngstuva you’ll find countless wild camping spots for a tent along the trail, please just be careful not to pitch your ‘home’ on the remains of Sami settlements. In case of bad weather, you can also spend the night at the small hut (Lyngstuva). Another good spot is car park at Lake Blavatnet trailhead, there are makeshift tent pitches prepared.
Travelling with a camper, you could use either Lyngstuva car park or alternatively drive back to large car park at Blavatnet trailhead – overnight stay is not forbidden.
There aren’t too many campsites near Lyngstuva, the nearest camping ground is located near Nordlenangen, Lyngen Fjordcamp. It’s a tiny campsite near small harbour; during our visit in September 2018, we were the only guests and the owner basically opened it just for us. The facilities are decent, thou, with a small, warm kitchen / living room.
*Level of difficulty explained: 1– easy walk, mostly flat 2– easy hillwalk, good path 3-moderate, possible some steep sections 4-long hillwalk, possibly some scrambling involved, possibly pathless 5-difficult, possibly pathless, long, requires technical skills
NORWEGIAN DIFFICULTY LEVEL EXPLAINED: GREEN – easy , BLUE -moderate, RED – demanding, BLACK -expert