The Tromsø region has great hiking opportunities in every direction and many of them are on our doorstep. On some hikes you have to work a little harder for the view, while other hikes give beautiful views for less effort. There is an option for everyone, regardless of age or experience. Some places have hiking trails which have been adapted for wheelchair users.
When you go on a hike, it is important to be well-prepared in order to ensure both pleasant and safe experiences. The Norwegian Mountain Code is a good starting point for planning and carrying out your hike. Read up on the trip you want to go on in advance and think about what you need to have in your backpack. Having respect for nature and the changing weather conditions in the area are important elements for good hiking experiences.
Mountain hiking season
The season usually starts in June and lasts until October. This varies from year to year and depends on snow conditions in the mountains. The highest mountains can some years have snow on the peak all year round. It is therefore important to check what awaits you before embarking on the hike. Some lower peaks on the outside of Kvaløya (towards the ocean), can be snow-free and dry up to 2 months before other hikes.
The weather in the Tromsø region is very local and changes quickly. Even if the weather forecast shows sun and warm temperatures, be prepared for this to change. If it is windy and it suddenly clouds over, it can get quite cool in the mountains. It can also be quite a lot colder at the top of the mountain.
Clothing and footwear
Bring extra clothes on the hike. It is always a good idea to have a warmer garment in addition to a wind and waterproof jacket if it should suddenly get cold or starts raining. Extra socks and a change of clothes can also prevent you from starting to freeze on the trip. Local tips: gloves and headwear take up little space in your backpack and are often very useful, even during the summer.
Good footwear is also essential. For most hikes, there are good trails to walk on, but it is not uncommon to encounter gravel or slippery surfaces. Mountain shoes or hiking shoes are recommended, as these provide the best grip on varied surfaces and are often waterproof.
Food and water
When you are out hiking, make sure to bring something to eat. Food gives more energy and makes sure you are fit for the hike back. And nothing beats enjoying a meal on top of a mountain while looking out on the view.
You should also take water with you. This is important for your own safety, because you do not know if you will find water sources on your hike. Water in the Norwegian mountains is usually safe to drink if it is from a running source (river or stream). Pay attention if there are animals (sheep, reindeer) in the area, since they can contaminate the water sources. Make sure the water is clear and doesn’t smell or taste funny.
The ground conditions are very much affected by the weather. In the Tromsø region, this can be anything from sun, rain, temperatures dropping below zero and snow. Be aware of recent weather conditions, as this can give an indication of which conditions will meet you on the trip. If there has been sun and little rainfall, it can be gravelly on some paths, and you must be aware that it can be slippery. If it has rained, you must be prepared for slippery, muddy and wet surfaces.
Most times of the year there will also be snow in the mountains. Here it is especially important to follow the path and walk carefully. It is tempting to walk through the snow, which can lead to dangerous situations. It can also be slippery, cold, and wet in areas with snow. Early or late in the mountain hiking season, conditions can be icy, therefore spikes (crampons) can be a good idea. It is important to choose the right clothing and footwear for your trip.
Many hikes are located in - and close to - Tromsø city, with good bus connections from morning to evening. Other hikes need to be planned more carefully. There can be as little as one bus in the morning and one back in the morning / afternoon, and often there is a poor bus connection in the district on the weekends. It is therefore important to check the timetables carefully so that you know when you must be back from the hike and not be left without transport home. At Troms Fylkestrafikk you will find updated timetables for all public transport in the region - buses, ferries, and express boats - and the Travel Planner is a useful tool for checking the transport options for your hike. There are language choices on the Troms Fylkestrafikk website.
Daylight and darkness
The number of hours of daylight varies greatly in the north. In summer, during the midnight sun season, there is sunlight 24 hours a day. The midnight sun season lasts from the end of May until the end of July and in the weeks before and after it is also bright most of the day. This means that it is no problem to go for a hike in the evening or at night. From the middle of August it starts to get dark in the evening, and it gets gradually darker throughout the autumn. Then it is a good idea to bring a flashlight, headtorch and a reflective vest or wristband on the hike, so that you are prepared if it gets dark when you are out.
Useful links to maps and tour descriptions
Below you will find a list of useful links to digital maps and hiking descriptions in Tromsø and the region. Paper maps can be purchased at the Tourist Information and at bookstores. Keep in mind that in some areas, especially those a little further away from the city, there may be varying cellphone reception. Then it is recommended to have a physical map, as there is no guarantee that apps or online links will work.
Tromsø municipality's outdoor map provides an overview of hiking trails, mountain hikes, parking spaces, toilet facilities, garbage bins, and much more.
Norgeskart friluftsliv is a useful tool that shows trails on the map and your own position. This gives a good idea of whether you are actually on the right track. This works best in the app version which can be downloaded for free.
Ut.no has a map function that provides an overview of the hiking trails. On this map you can also choose the hike you want to go on to read hiking descriptions. Also available as an app where you can see your own position.
Tromsø municipality has made a description of hiking areas close to the city center. Here you can find information on how to get to the different areas and what facilities they have. Their webpage is in Norwegian
Ishavskysten friluftsråd has prepared hiking guides and outing cards that can provide inspiration for where to go. The outing cards are descriptions of individual hikes, while the hiking guides list several tours for different areas and can be downloaded for free from the webpage. The hiking guides apply to the areas Lyngen, Storfjord, Balsfjord, Karlsøy and Tromsø. A separate outing guide has also been made for disability-friendly trips. The outing cards are both in Norwegian and English, and the hiking guides are in Norwegian only.
UT.no has tour descriptions for the whole of Norway on their website. Here you can find many great hikes and good descriptions. You get information about the degree of difficulty, length, time spent, maps and everything you need to find the right trip for you. Their webpage is in Norwegian.
Kugo is a private person who blogs about his hikes. He has climbed all the peaks over 1000 meters in what used to be Troms county and also writes about lower peaks. Here you will find detailed tour descriptions, photos from the trip, altitude covered and length. The time spent on the hikes is probably shorter than what most people use, so we recommend calculating a longer time than what he writes. This webpage is in Norwegian.
Ti på topp is a hiking competition for anyone to join. Every year, the list of destinations is updated and new hikes are included. You must be a paying participant to access the tour descriptions. Their webpage is in Norwegian.
5 turer med Turbo is a child-friendly hiking competition for children up to 12 years old. The length and difficulty of the hikes varies and you can find free hiking descriptions on the website for the area of the region you are visiting. Their webpage is in Norwegian.
Visit Lyngenfjord has tips for many great walks and hikes in the Lyngen area. They have also created a hiking guide that can be downloaded for free from their webpage - the guide is translated to Norwegian, English, German and Kven.