10 Useful Things To Know About The Hike To Lake Blåvatnet in Norway

A deep blue hue, sheer mountain cliffs, and hardly anyone in sight—if anyone asked me to describe the hike to Lake Blåvatnet in Norway in one sentence, this would be it.

Hiking to Lake Blåvatnet? Here is everything you should know before you set off

It was early July, and it was my third day in Norway. After spending a few weeks in the Austrian Alps and then driving nonstop for a few days, I became very keen to get back on the trails.

I parked my camper for the night at a parking lot next to a trailhead for two hikes: Hornindalsrokken and Blåvatnet. I had never heard of either before.

After a quick Google search, I settled for hiking both on the same day. According to the map, to reach the summit of Hornindalsrokken, I would have to first hike to Lake Blåvatnet anyway. Little did I know I was biting more than I could chew.

1. Lake Blåvatnet day hike: the stats

Blavatnet 5
The view over Hornin Valley from the end of the hike.
  • Distance roundtrip: 9 km / 5.6 mi
  • Time required: 3 hours
  • Total Ascent: 370 m / 1214 ft
  • Type of hike: out and back
  • When to go: June – October
  • Parking: Picnic area Giftesteinen

2. Where is the Lake Blåvatnet hike?

Blavatnet 6

Blåvatnet is a lake in the Sunmore Alps in the Møre Og Romsdal county of Norway. When I googled the meaning of its name, I had to laugh. Vatnet, in Norwegian, means ‘body of water’ or, in other words, simply a lake. Lake Bla(h) it is then, I thought!

Jokes aside, Norwegians give locations simple names according to their characteristics. For example, lakes or fjords often bear names such as long, wide, narrow, or, as in this case – the Blue Lake.

3. The map of the hike

Above, you can see the trail I followed from the parking lot. I measured the distance, elevation gain, and route with my Garmin Fenix watch.

As I mentioned, my original plan was to summit Hornindalsrokken that day. I even started on the path toward the summit.

However, as soon as I reached the foot of the mountain and looked at the incline of the path, I knew right away that with my dog at my side, this ascent would be pure madness, not to mention the later descent.

I decided to turn around, rejoin the earlier path, and continue along the lake’s shoreline. By going off the path, I even summited a hill at the end of the lake.

4. How difficult is the hike to Lake Blåvatnet?

Guide to Hiking to Lake Blåvatnet in Norway
The views from the little summit at the end of the lake

The official hike to the lake is quite easy. The path is wide, and the incline gentle. If you decide to extend it like me and follow the shoreline to the other end of the lake, the trail gets a bit harder, but nothing too crazy.

I recommend summiting the little summit at the end of the lake to get fantastic views from above.

READ MORE: 30 Best Day Hikes and Via Ferratas in the Fjord Region of Norway

5. The best time of year to hike to Lake Blåvatnet

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Hornindal

The path to the lake is accessible from early June until October. It’s a good choice of a hike for early in the season. Since it is quite a sun-exposed hike, the spring snow melts faster here.

6. How to get to the trailhead

Blavatnet 1
The signs pointing to the lake

The Lake Blåvatnet trailhead is directly at the parking lot for the picnic area Giftesteinen along road no. 60, which goes to Hellesylt.

Giftesteinen is a local tourist attraction. It means the poisoned rock. It’s a huge rock with a hole in the middle, which you can crawl through.

The local old custom mentions that the rock was used to verify if a future young bride was not pregnant by having her crawl through it. Ahh, the good old days before ultrasounds.

The rock is right at the end of an old stone bridge. Standing on the bridge gives you a great view of the pyramid-shaped Hornindalsrokken. It makes quite an impression!

7. The highlights of the hike to Lake Blåvatnet

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Hornindalsætra

I loved the views of the little farm Hornindalsætra around the first 30 minutes into the hike. The rooftops of the little cabins were covered in moss with views of the mountains behind them. It can’t get more Norwegian than that!

The clear angle of the Hornindalsrokken along the path was also amazing as you get nearer and nearer.

Last but not least, I enjoyed the quietness of this hike. I have only met a handful of locals. Once I started venturing past the lake, I didn’t meet anyone for a good two hours, even though it was a perfect weather day for hiking.

8. Facilities along the Lake Blåvatnet trail

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Lake Blåvatnet

There are flushable toilets in the parking lot where you can start the hike. Once you make it to the lake, you can sign your name and date into the book log. These logs are placed on every hike in Norway.

There are no bins or toilets on the hike, so remember to bring all trash, including toilet paper and tissues!

9. Lake Blåvatnet trail description

Once you leave the parking lot, you will follow a gravel road for the first 1.5 km (ca. 1 mile). After you reach Hornindalsætra, the path narrows and, for the next 3 kilometres, follows a narrower mountain path located along a slope of a mountain. To your right, you will have views down to the Hornindal Valley.

After ca. 4.5 kilometres (2.8 miles) of walking, you will reach the end of the official end of the hike, where you can sign your name into a book log.

Now you can either call it a day, spend some time at the like before heading back down, or, like me, you can keep going and explore the area.

10. How to shorten or extend the hike to Lake Blåvatnet?

Park your car near Hornindalsætra.

You can skip walking the first 1.2 kilometres (0.75 miles), drive up the gravel road, and then leave your car at the parking lot near Hornindalsætra. This will shave off 2.4 kilometres (1.5 miles) and around 40 meters (130 feet) of elevation gain from the hike. I don’t recommend driving on this road with a camper van, but small cars are fine.

Hornindalsrokken summit

This steep trail should only be attempted if you are an expert hiker. Because I had my dog with me, I decided to change my plans, not summit Hornindalsrokken.

The total elevation gain for this hike is 1200 meters (3937 feet), and the distance is around 12.5 kilometres (7.8 miles) from the picnic area Giftenstein. For more information, check this local website.

Hike past the lake

Since the hike to Lake Blåvatnet was quite easy, I decided to venture a bit off the official path and extend it. I followed the shoreline, then went up a little summit at the end of the lake.

This added about 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) and an extra 350 meters (1150 ft) of elevation gain to my day. At times, there was no path, so I just followed my own. If you want to see the trail I walked, refer to the map at the start of the post and the photo descriptions.

What to bring and wear on the hike

710T6PmcwQL. AC SL1500

Black Diamond Trekking Poles

I never leave on a trail without a pair of my trusted Black Diamond Carbon Z Poles. At 300 grams a pair, they are hard to compete with.

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hanwag womens alverstone ii gtx walking boots detail 7

Hanwag Hiking Boots

My longest-lasting pair of hiking boots (and I went through quite a few) is the Hanwag Alverstone. They were perfect for muddy Norwegian trails.

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51y975lX+wL. AC SL1080

HydraPak Hydration Bladder

There is no better way to stay hydrated on the trails than to have constant and direct access to your water without taking your backpack off. Thanks to its slim design, the hose coming out of the side of the bladder, and a magnet clip that makes the hose attachment easy, I find the HydraPak the best water bladder on the market.

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71lTXFMwn L. AC UX679

Merino Wool Socks

I always carry two pairs of socks in my day pack and always have them on me during multiday backpacking trails. Merino wool fibres and their unique properties are resistant to odours.

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patagonia womens granite crest jacket waterproof jacket

Hardshell Rain Jacket

You would be mad not to bring a rain jacket on a hiking holiday trip to Norway. Patagonia’s sustainability efforts make it my go-to outdoor clothing brand.

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91kfKZtkJnL. AC SL1500

Osprey Hikelite 18 Liter Backpack

Osprey backpacks have accompanied me since the humble beginnings of this website. I think they offer the perfect fit without sacrificing their usability.

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Where to stay nearby 

There are not many accommodation choices directly near the trailhead. If you are travelling in a campervan like me, consider staying at the Horndøla campsite on the opposite side of the road. Small cabins are also available for rent there.

The nearest towns are either Hellesylt, Stranda, or Øye for hotel options.

Other places and hikes to experience nearby

Urkeegga day hike 25

Hellesylt – Urke scenic road

It is my favourite scenic road in Norway I have driven on. It’s an exhilarating ride through a narrow valley (Norangdal) with dramatic cliffs on either side of the road. In some places, there are signs forbidding people from stopping due to the danger.

Hike to Saksa

Saksa is a beloved hike of many tourists visiting the Sunmore Alps. It is a great day’s adventure with fantastic views over Hjørundfjord and the surrounding peaks.

Urkeega Circuit hike

Saksa’s little sister and another great and slightly easier hike. Another plus is that it goes in a circuit, so you always are treated to different views. Read my guide about the Urkeegga circuit to learn more.

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Marta
Marta

Hi! I am the photographer and creator of www.inafarawayland.com. I come from Poland, but I've been living, travelling and working around the globe since I turned 18. A few years ago, during one of my trips to Scotland, I bought my first DSLR and my adventure with photography began. When I am not stuck to my computer editing photos, you can find me hiking somewhere in the mountains.

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