After the hike to the Devil’s Gate, my boyfriend was a little traumatized 😛 It was his first time hiking, and he was pretty intimidated by all the mud and stones he had to traverse in the rain. So when we again told him that the next hike to the top of Ryten would be an easy 6 km hike, he did not quite believe us 😀 However, if you ask him now, he’ll tell you that Ryten was his favorite hike!!
There are a couple of ways you could hike Ryten. Our first idea was to walk from the parking lot in Fredvang to the top of Ryten and then divide into two teams. One team would go back the same way, ending up doing around 6 km, and the other would continue to Kvalvika Beach. From there, they would follow the trail through a saddle, making a loop. The route would be about 15 km (4 km on the asphalt road, after getting off the trail).
However, after reaching the top of Ryten and seeing the beach, the team that decided to go back the same way changed their mind. The beach just looked too inviting!! We all started hiking down, and it was a great decision!!! Best hike so far on Lofoten <3
GPX track © hiking-lofoten.net
The Ryten trail
The trail is fairly popular, so you will not get lost, as many people are hiking or running up the mountain during the summer. The trail is well marked and even has this delightful wooden bridges to skip some of the muddy parts.
The beginning of the trail takes you through a beautiful meadow full of flowers. You will soon cross over a sheep gate and start the gentle ascent towards the first plateau. After reaching the ridge, you will find yourself in an area with some beautiful lakes, making for a perfect pitstop along the way.
If you follow the sign to Hytta, you will make a small detour to Fredvanghytte (a rental cabin for hikers), or you can just skip it and continue along the trail. Afterward, you will pass one more lake on the left. Next to it, there is a trail going down to Kvalvika Beach. However, to reach the summit, you should (unsurprisingly) continue going up.
Like most of the popular hikes in Norway, there is, of course, a picturesque rock. This trail has a mini Trolltunga kind-of cliff 🙂 It is located a little before the peak, but you will not miss it. There is a long queue of people waiting for their picture 🙂
If you take the picture from the correct angle, it will look like you’re standing on the rock with a sudden precipice with Kvalvika Beach in the background. In reality, it is only a little higher than the ground, so it is relatively safe. However, it is very close to the cliff edge, so don’t go overboard! My friend is a rock climber, and he managed to snap an awesome picture, hanging off the cliff. At the same time, he terrified everyone waiting in the queue 😀
There are also a couple of decent photo-op rocks on the way up. Play with the perspective, and get some fantastic pictures 🙂 Be careful, though; the paths to get to the rocks can be slippery.
Hike to Kvalvika Beach
When heading to Kvalvika Beach from the summit of Ryten, you’ll head down the same way you came until you reach the first lake. Next to it (to the right, when descending), there is a wooden pathway leading down to the beach. It is a little narrow, so you might have to step out of it once in a while to let people go up. Next, you’ll encounter a rocky section without a beaten path that you’ll need to scale to get down to the beach. According to my boyfriend, that was the most challenging part, as he has this deep hatred towards boulders from his previous hike:D
You can either use the same route back or take a hike through (or around) the nearby mountains to get back to the trailhead. I would recommend continuing with the smaller hike through the saddle (Skåren pass) between Torsfjordtinden and Moltind. The ascend is gentle, the views are unparalleled, and you don’t end up backtracking 🙂 It takes around an hour to get to Torsfjorden parking.
From the tourists we met, I heard the longer route is also lovely, but we were getting tired and opted for the short route this time.
On the beach, there is a lot of even ground where you can pitch a tent. From what we saw, it is quite a popular spot. Most people carrying a tent start at Torsfjorden parking and head to Kvalvika Beach, and then they either continue to Ryten or go back to Torsfjorden.
We have slept in the neighborhood (Fredvang Strand- og Skjærgårdscamping), so we didn’t have to bother about finding a parking spot. But on our way to the trail in Fredvang, we have seen a couple of places for parking. After some research, the one that is the closest to the trail is the most expensive (100 KR). There is also one next to the Peat Museum, and you can start hiking from there too. If you start from the Torsfjorden side, you can also find some parking in the neighborhood.