Hiking Guide To The Famous Ryten – Lofoten Island’s Mini-Trolltunga

Ryten is another must-do hike in the Lofoten Islands that lives up to the hype it gets on social media. With an epic panorama of Kvalvika Beach and uninterrupted ocean views perfect for sunset, you might spend hours admiring the pristine white sands, turquoise waters, and imposing peaks surrounding you.

Even if you’re only planning a few hikes on your trip, Ryten should be a top priority in your Lofoten Islands itinerary.

Things to Know About Hiking to Ryten

Ryten Hike Lofoten Islands 18

The roundtrip map & stats for the hike

  • Distance: 6.8 km / 4.2 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 510 m / 1670 ft
  • Time required: 2-3 h
  • Parking & trailhead: Innersand

Where is the Ryten hike located?

Ryten Hike Lofoten Islands 4

Ryten is located on Flakstadøya Island in the Lofoten archipelago, about a 10-minute drive from the town of Ramberg or 30 minutes from Reine.

In summer, there are two main trails to hike Ryten. The most popular trailhead (and what I will describe in this post) starts in the tiny village of Innersand.

Alternatively, you can hike to Kvalvika Beach and make a steep ascent directly towards Ryten. The two trails merge at the saddle and share the same path to the top.

What is the best time of year to hike Ryten?

Ryten Hike Lofoten Islands 8

I’ve mentioned it before and will mention it again: weather in the Lofoten Islands is wildly unpredictable. Unfortunately, even in the middle of summer, you cannot count on having clear skies.

That being said, Ryten can be hiked year-round if you are prepared with snowshoes or ski touring gear in the winter. The winter route has a different trailhead, but I won’t get into that in this article.

For summer conditions, late June to September is the best time to hike Ryten. I hiked it in late July and was lucky enough to have blue skies and relatively warm temperatures, but that also meant we had to share the summit with a few dozen other people.

How difficult is the hike to Ryten?

Ryten Hike Lofoten Islands 5

Overall, the hike to Ryten is fairly easy for those with some hiking experience; however, first-time hikers may find it challenging.

The main challenge is a very short scrambling section that comes relatively early in your hike. Fixed ropes help you climb the 3 meters or so. Moreover, the trail will likely be muddy, so don’t wear your best clothes.

As it is such a popular trail, most of the path is well-maintained, with wooden walkways over the muddy sections and clear navigation signs. It would be pretty difficult to get lost.

With 510 m of elevation gain in 3.4 km, the trail is pretty mellow until the final pitch, which is quite sustained but not too exposed. 

Highlights of the hike

On your way to the top of Ryten, you’re surrounded by incredible views for the entire hike, but of course, the “mini Trollstigen” photo opp is many people’s favourite.

Just beyond the cairn that marks the summits is a large rock that sticks out over the ocean above Kvalvika and Vestervika Beaches. You can sit, stand, or hang from this rock to give the illusion that you are right on a cliff edge, but realistically, there is a larger platform just below this rock.

While this popular photo spot is relatively safe, you are still on the side of a mountain, and falling is a real possibility. Given rain and gale force winds that are not uncommon here, please don’t risk your life for a photo if it’s less than perfect conditions.

I also recommend walking further up the mountain from the cairn and exploring this beautiful peak’s angles. I hiked Ryten in the evening and witnessed a magical sunset over the ocean and surrounding mountains.

TIP: This hike is perfect for sunset as you have an uninterrupted westward view over the ocean, and the colours often reflect off the mountains.

How to get to the trailhead of the Ryten hike

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Getting to the Innersand trailhead for the Ryten hike is pretty easy. Follow your GPS to the end of the road in Innersand, and you will find the entrance to a parking lot directly at the trailhead.

The parking at Innersand costs NOK 100 for cars and campers, regardless of whether you stay a few hours or overnight. You’ll be greeted at the gate by a local who will collect payment by cash or card and tell you where to park, and they rarely run out of space.

There are toilets, a small playground, and a collection of snacks and souvenirs available for purchase in high season, too.

Ryten trail description

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From the trailhead at Innersand, you’ll start the hike by walking through quite a beautiful field before crossing a fence (assisted by a sturdy stile), where the real trail begins. Climbing quite gently for the first section, you’ll follow a dirt road until you meet the first section of wooden boardwalks.

Shortly after this, we encountered the little scramble section. We had to wait a few minutes for the hikers in front of us to climb, as it was a bit of a bottleneck, but we also got to experience quite a nice temperature inversion, as it was noticeably warmer above the scramble.

From here, the trail flattens out as you approach the saddle, and you will come across a signpost pointing to either “Ryten” or “Hytta”. Both trails will eventually take you to where you want to go, although if you choose to take the detour via the Fredvang hut (Hytta), you’ll add some extra elevation as you go up and over the hill. I took this option on the way back down.

Continuing, you’ll cross the muddiest section of the trail by the wooden bridge, where you’ll see a lake and the trail coming up from Kvalvika Beach on your left. The final ascent is in front of you. You can follow any trails that head up the mountain, but it’s best to pick one of the routes that head slightly left as this will be the most direct route to the cairn.

Other hikes to do nearby

Volandstind

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If you’re looking for another hike you can fit into the same day as Ryten, Volandstind is a great choice. Despite its daunting appearance, it’s one of the easiest hikes in Norway. It has fantastic views overlooking Ramberg Beach and Fredvang Bridge.

Kitind

Kitind 1

Kitind is much more challenging than Ryten, but if you want to get away from the crowds, it’s truly a winner with beautiful views of Vestervika Beach. I had to turn around on this hike as the conditions were horrendous, so if you want more information, I recommend Cody Duncan’s West Lofoten Hikes e-book, which I used for planning my hikes on the Lofoten Islands.

Flakstadtind

Flakstadtind 1

Another option with fewer crowds, Flakstadtind looks out over the popular Skagsanden beach, yet not many make the trip to the top. Its steepness is not to be underestimated, but the views more than makeup for it.

Vestervika Beach

Kvalvikka Beach 1

Seeing this beach from the top of Ryten might inspire you to go down and see it a little closer. This is an easy hike with minimal elevation gain and is pretty quiet.

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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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