The Geiranger Fjord is the most famous Fjord in Norway and one of its most visited tourist locations.
In the summer cruise ships dock in the little village of Geiranger, turning the sleepy little town into a buzzing community for a few hours each day.
If you would like to escape the cruise ship crowd, there is no better way to see the Geiranger Fjord than on a day hike to Skageflå farm.
The story behind the Skageflå farm
Skageflå used to be a working farm dating all the way to the middle ages until 1918. It is very isolated from the rest of the area and even though it operated year-round, it was impossible to get to it in the winter.
Local rumor has it, that one of the last owners who run the farm, removed ladders from the rockfaces, which were used to get up to the farm, blocking a way for the taxman. This was his way to avoid paying taxes.
Today, Skageflå is nothing more than a few old historic buildings and a rest stop for hikers coming through.
10-step guide to hiking to the Skageflå farm
1. Skageflå hike: the stats
- Distance: 8 km / 5 mi
- Walking Time: 4 hours
- Total Ascent: 550 m / 1800 ft
- Type of hike: One-way
- When to go: May-October
- Parking: 62.100727, 7.204873
2. The map of the Skageflå hike
Above you can see the path I followed from the car park in Geiranger to the boat terminal. I measured the distance, elevation gain, and route with my Garmin Fenix 6S pro watch.
The colors indicate elevation, with blue being the lowest and red being the highest points of the hike.
3. How difficult is the Skageflå hike?
Even though there are only around 550 meters of elevation gain across 8 kilometers along this hike, you should not underestimate it.
The terrain is very uneven, there are plenty of wet and slippery rocks and roots sticking out of the ground. Both my partner and I stumbled and fell on our bums at least once. To add insult to injury I also got stung by a wasp.
The very sharp descent at the end of the hike, between Skageflå and the boat terminal was also challenging. Luckily railings and some chains have been installed in the steepest sections to help hikers with balance.
4. The best time of year to hike Skageflå
Since you never reach altitudes higher than 550 meters above sea level, it’s possible to hike to Skageflå even outside of the official summer hiking season. May-October is a good time to plan your trip.
5. In which direction to hike to Skageflå?
Since it’s a one-way hike, meaning it starts and ends in two different locations, you will have to make a choice and book your boat transfer accordingly.
Geiranger to Skagehola
You can hike directly from Geiranger village to Skageflå and then descend to the Skagehola boat pick-up point. This is a good choice if you prefer a gentler ascent and one I chose for myself.
This option is also better if you would like to finish the hike earlier in the day and continue with your journey. The first boat journey from Geiranger to Skagehola is at 10 AM. That’s quite late to start the hike.
Skagehola to Geiranger
If you have bad knees then a sharp descent is probably not your favorite thing to do when hiking. In this case, you can first use the boat transfer then hike to Skageflå and finish in Geiranger.
Skagehola to Skagehola
If you are short on time, or simply don’t care about completing the whole route you can also book a boat transfer in both directions and just visit the farm.
This will mean that you will only have to gain circa 250 meters of elevation and walk for 1.8 kilometers in total. You can be done with the whole trip in less than 2 hours.
6. How to get to the trailhead
Even though I listed a few ways to get to Skageflå for the purpose of this blog I will stick to describing the route from Geiranger to the Skagehola boat ramp, which is the way I went.
The actual trailhead is located in Homlung, the next village over from Geiranger. A wide gravel road connects the two villages.
Unless your accommodation is in Homlung or you are staying at a campsite there, you will have to walk from Geiranger to Homlung (ca. 2.35 kilometers). I already included this distance in the total length of the hike in the stats above.
Just follow the road from the parking lot in Geiranger. Once you reach Homlung you will come across the sign (pictured above) pointing to Skageflå.
7. The highlights of the hike
Whilst the farm and the area around it are interesting to see, it’s the views of the Geiranger Fjord that make this hike so special.
The sight of the Seven Sisters’ Waterfall is particularly beautiful and there are several viewpoints and outcrops along the hike from where you can photograph it.
8. Facilities along the trail
There are paid and very well-maintained public toilet facilities near the joker store in the center of Geiranger and close to the parking lot.
There is also an outhouse at the Skageflå farm, but the smell kept me a long distance away. It’s possible to fill up your water with a small outdoor tap right at the farm. A picnic area with benches and a firepit has been set up close to the buildings at Skageflå.
9. Skageflå trail description
As mentioned previously, the first 2.4 kilometers of the hike are very easy. You just follow a flat road to Homlung before you veer off on the path.
Once on the path, you will have to follow the red-painted T-marks all the way to the farm. If you are hiking in or after it rained expect the route to be slippery in places.
After 5.4 kilometers and circa 2 hours of hiking you will reach Homlungsætra at 475 m a.s.l. It’s another small and abandoned farm with views over the Fjord. This is a great spot for a short break to replenish some calories.
After Homlungsætrea you will continue going up a bit before you start descending sharply to Skageflå.
The last 900 meters between Skageflå and the boat terminal are brutal and include what feels like 1 million stone steps built at a 60-degree angle. Luckily this part can be done in as little as 20 minutes. Having my dog Jasper with me made it a bit more challenging as I had to keep reminding him to stay behind me to avoid him pulling me.
10. Getting back to Geiranger after hiking to Skageflå
In the summer season, the first boat from the Skagehola going back to Geiranger leaves at 10:50 AM, which means if you start your hike as early as 6 AM you can be back by midday and still have a lot of time to enjoy the area or continue with your journey. You will also meet very few people on the hike at this time.
Don’t worry though, you don’t have to be an early riser to hike to Skageflå. Boats travel all day long at one-hour intervals. The hike does get quite busy later in the day though.
The journey with loading and unloading of the passengers takes around 30 minutes. Make sure to bring your sunglasses to protect your eyes from the water spray.
The company operating the boat transfer is called Fjord Guiding. Current prices for the one-way trip are 249 NOK/person and 498 NOK both ways. Dogs are welcomed on board and Jasper took very well to the boat ride, even if it was quite rough at times.
What to bring and wear on the Skageflå hike
I never leave the parking lot without my trusted pair of Black Diamond Carbon trekking poles. They are extremely lightweight (only 300 grams a pair) and came in very handy along this trail helping me to balance on wet rocks and roots.
You definitely need a good and sturdy pair of hiking boots with a sole that will keep you in place on slippery rocks. I highly recommend the Hanwag Alverstone boots which I have been testing for the past two summer seasons and so far they are my longest-lasting hiking boots!
When it comes down to hiking backpacks I am a huge fan of the Osprey backpacks. I own a 36-liter Osprey Kyte for day trips or hut-to-hut hikes and a 65-liter Osprey Ariel AG which accompanies me on multiday backpacking trips. My partner was testing his new Ultralight Osprey Exos 48-liter backpack (post in German) and was also thrilled with its performance.
There is a small supermarket in the center of Geiranger village, conveniently located right near the parking lot. I recommend getting some food and snacks for the hike there. On half-day hikes like Skageflå, I usually carry a sandwich, a bag of nuts, and an apple with me, as well as plenty of water.
Where to stay nearby
Geiranger is a very popular tourist destination with plenty of hotel choices. If you found this post useful and would like to support me, use the affiliate links below to book your accommodation. It will create no additional cost for you and I will receive a small commission for your booking.
Other locations and activities to experience nearby
If you are traveling to Valldal or Åndalsness after visiting Geiranger you will drive by the famous viewpoint of the Geiranger Fjord. Time it well (usually around sunset) and you will coincide your visit with a cruise ship departure. It’s a classic postcard view from Norway.
Kayaking on the Geiranger Fjord
There is hardly a better spot in Norway to kayak on the Fjord than Geiranger. On this guided kayak tour you will go as far as the Seven Sisters Waterfall.
Downhill bike tour
Kayaking isn’t your thing? How about downhill biking? You won’t get tired of this one. On this tour, you will be driven up the Geiranger scenic road, and dropped off at the Djupvatnet scenic lake from where you can start your 2.5-hour self-guided bike tour, stopping at many scenic stops along the way.
Geiranger Scenic Road and Mount Dalsnibba viewpoint
The Geiranger scenic road belongs to the National Scenic Routes network and it got onto the list thanks to its breathtaking scenery. There is only one way in and one way out of Geiranger so if you follow my itinerary you will have a chance to drive this road.