About Ryten Hiking Trail
Ryten height: 543 m
Ryten trail difficulty: Easy - Medium
Ryten trail hike: 3.6 km one way (7.2 km round)
Ryten trail time: 3 - 4 h
Ryten Hiking Trail is seen as one of the easiest hikes in Lofoten, however, as most of the hikes in Norway, easy doesn't mean the same to everyone. If you are used to hiking, this probably is very easy for you, however, if you are like me, living on the plains and in the forest of Finland, where there aren't any mountains, this might seem like a medium hike. The hike also requires some stamina, since it's 3.6 km long, not as steep, but you will encounter some patches where the angle is a bit steeper. All hikes in Lofoten require proper hiking shoes and proper hiking clothing!
Where is Ryten?
Ryten mountain peak is situated on the north side of Moskenesøya island. Ryten and Kvalvika beach hiking trail starts from Ytresand.
Parking at Ryten Trail Head
When I visited Ryten there were 2 parking places close to the hiking trail, as you can see on the map. The first parking place is actually on private property and the owner charges a small fee for the parking. Take a bit of cash with you before you come here. Ryten Hiking Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails in Lofoten, so you most probably cannot find a free parking place here. There is a wooden box next to the parking place where you can leave the money (in 2019 this was 100 NOK). In our case we didn't have small enough bills, but the owner actually made an appearance and she gave us our change. Second parking place is a bit further away, but closer to where the actual hiking begins, however it seems that this one costs as well. I saw from the distance that this parking lot has some toilets, so if you are in need, maybe it's better to park here instead. We visited Ryten in the evening (around 5 PM), so there weren't too many cars around and we had plenty of space to park.
Ryten Hiking Trail - Own Experience
Ryten hiking trail starts with a beautiful meadow and a short walk through private property, where you might encounter sheep.
At the beginning there is an easy walk, until you get to the base of the mountain. After this there is a bit of a steeper climb, but there are rocks on the trail, so it's easy to get a good grip. After this first part there is a lake and then another climb. After this second climb there are wooden trails leading through a flatter region. At this point there were gorgeous views of the mountains all around us, so we stopped quite often to take pictures.
You can choose to take a little detour and visit a mountain hut (Hytte). The detour to the mountain hut looked rather steep and this was our second week of hiking in Norway, so our legs were a bit tired. We decided to skip this one and went straight to the trail that would lead to Kvalvika beach and Ryten.
After the first set of wooden planks, there is a small valley, with a walk between the mountains. There are more of the wooden planks here. When we visited Ryten, in mid August, we were really lucky and the weather was great! We had only a few days of light rain and this day was not one of the rainy ones. I can imagine that if it's really rainy, this whole trail might be getting quite muddy, hence the wooden planks.
After the valley and easy walk on the wooden planks, you reach the point where you can take another detour and see Kvalvika beach up close. After reading a bit of reviews on the internet, we concluded that the detour wasn't worth our pain and we continued our way to Ryten. It seems that Kvalvika beach looks so much nicer from far away than from close by. Plus, we have seen plenty of beaches by now in Lofoten, so I didn't imagine this one would be so much more special.
Now starts a bit more steeper climb on a warn-out path, nothing scary, but it will get you sweaty. Once you are done with the climb you can probably see many people around one viewpoint. This one is the famous viewpoint towards Kvalvika beach, where all the pictures are posted from.
At this viewpoint there is a "special" rock where I saw pictures of people hanging from it, creating a bit of a scary illusion. There is another rock under this one, that would keep you from falling, however, even so, I wouldn't venture on it. First of all, the spot was quite crowded and second of all, if you have the slightest fear of heights, like me, you cannot even get close to this rock.
Ryten mountain peak is actually a bit further than this and it's not as steep as this viewpoint, but the view at Ryten peak is spectacular. The area is a bit flat, so there is no danger or fear of falling. It's also a less popular area, as it seems that most of people like to hang out at Kvalvika viewpoint. On the way to Ryten you will see a lake, called Forsvatnet.
One side of Ryten has a vertical drop and you have a clear view of the ocean. Even so, the surface was somehow flat, so it wasn't as scary, since the possibility of slipping was really slim. I felt much better hanging out here, away from the crowd of people at Kvalvika viewpoint.
There is a 360° awesome view from Ryten and we stopped here for about 20 minutes to eat something, take pictures and admire the beautiful Lofoten landscape!
When we came back we stopped again at Kvalvika beach viewpoint. By now I have switched my landscape lens (16 - 24 mm) to a portrait lens (100 mm), so I took different pictures of the Kvalvika beach. With this lens the water looks really blue and beautiful! The sun was shining from the opposite direction of the beach, so the beach and the water were perfectly lit up!
On our way back we took some pictures of the small village next to Ytresand and of the other kind of locals of Moskenesøya.
I can understand why Ryten is one of the most popular hiking trails in Lofoten! It's an easy path, long enough to get the true feeling of hiking in Lofoten and high enough to witness the amazing landscape of Lofoten! I have really enjoyed this hike!