Reinebringen, with its dazzling view over the fishing villages of Reine, Sakrisøy, and Hamnøy, is the most popular hike in the Lofoten Islands.
It’s a hard, steep, challenging hike on long, stone staircases and muddy, rocky trails, so it’s not to be underestimated. Don’t let the short distance fool you…it’s a tough hike and you need to have a good level of physical fitness to do this.
Facts About the Hike
Distance: 3 km (2 miles) round trip
Elevation Gain: 510 meters (1677 feet)
Length of Time: 3 hours
These statistics include hiking to both viewpoints on Reinebringen, which accounts for the longer distance than you may read on other blogs.
Should You Hike Reinebringen?
Before we get into how to hike Reinebringen, we have to ask the question, should you hike Reinebringen?
Instagram and Facebook have made this a very popular hike. The view from the top of Reinebringen truly is spectacular. When I first saw this view several years ago, the Lofoten Islands got bumped up to the top of my travel wish list. This is just another example of how social media is influencing where people choose to travel.
However, the high traffic on Reinebringen is seriously damaging the trail. Trail erosion and rock falls are becoming a common occurrence, sometimes injuring other hikers on the trail. In fact, on August 24, 2019, a lady was injured when she was struck on the head by a falling rock and she had to be airlifted off of the mountain.
In 2016, a portion of the trail was replaced with stone steps, in order to make the trail safer for everyone. Since 2016, the trail can occasionally close for renovation work. In fact, it was just recently closed the summer of 2019 when more steps were added to the trail. The hiking trail reopened July 12.
Since the reopening of the trail, Reinebringen has received a record breaking number of hikers. Reinebringen’s popularity is also putting a strain on the local infrastructure. There is just not enough parking for the number of people who want to hike this trail.
So, if you absolutely must have this view, then hike Reinebringen. However, if you are looking for a hike that is more enjoyable and still gives you breathtaking views of the Lofoten Islands, take a look at our recommendations at the end of this post.
How to Hike to Reinebringen
Where to Park
The town of Reine is receiving so many visitors that there is not enough parking for those who want to hike Reinebringen. It’s becoming such an issue, with cars parking along roads and in places that they shouldn’t, that the Moskenes community reached out to us.
If you want to hike Reinebringen, here is a list of where you can park, sent to us by the Moskenes community:
Reine Harbor. From here, it is a 1.8 km walk to the trailhead.
Reine Parking. This parking lot is located on E10 south of the trailhead. From here, walk 1.3 km north along the side of the road until you get to the trailhead.
The trailhead is located on the road that runs along the outside of the Ramsvik tunnel.
It’s only about 1 km to hike up to the viewpoint. It’s basically one long stair climb to almost the very top of Reinebringen.
There are a total of 1566 stone stairs along the first three-quarters of the trail. There is still short section of a muddy, rocky trail near the summit. There are plans to add steps to this section of the trail but the community is awaiting more funding.
The final 25% of the trail, which is the top, steep section, is still very dangerous to hike. The trail at the top is very eroded, with loose rock and stones. If these are knocked loose by a hiker above you, they could hit you, causing a severe injury. Or you could knock them loose, injuring a hiker lower on the trail. If you choose to hike Reinebringen, you do this at your own risk.
The trail is steep and slippery. At times, you may be climbing up on all fours. Take your time here, to stay safe and to avoid kicking loose stones onto the hikers below you. If you knock a rock loose, warn others below by yelling “Rock!”
Just before reaching the summit, the trail forks. You can choose to turn right or left here.
If you go right, you hike up to the lower viewpoint with a rock cairn marking the summit. This is the direction we went and most of our photos are taken from this point.
Sprawling out in front of you are the tiny islands of Reine, Hamnøy, and Sakrisøy, with a backdrop of tall, rocky mountains.
Panorama that Tim took with his iPhone
If you want to hike up to the higher section to the left, you will have to hike back down a short distance to where the trail forks. The hike up the left side is easier, less steep, and less slippery, but it is a longer distance. The view is not that different but it may be worth it if you want the full experience.
The view from the higher viewpoint.
Hike back down the same way and take your time.
Tips to Have the Best Experience
Avoid hiking Reinebringen in rainy, wet conditions. Not only is the trail more dangerous when it’s wet, but you will also contribute more to trail erosion. Plus, once you finally get to the top, you may have zero visibility. We spent a rainy day in Reine and all day the top of Reinebringen was stuck in the clouds.
The trail is busiest midday. Consider hiking Reinebringen early in the morning or in the evening to avoid the crowds.
Stick to the trails. If the trail is muddy, do not leave the trail. If you leave the trail, you will be creating more parallel tracks, which damages the mountain and causes more erosion and rockslides.
Park only in designated areas.
Our Thoughts on the Hike
Honestly, there is really nothing fun about this hike. It’s just an uphill slog to the top, but what you do get is an amazing view. It is worth hiking Reinebringen for the view, but we did several other hikes in the Lofoten Islands (and northern Norway) that we liked a lot more.
Ryten is a longer hike but what you get is a very cool view over Kvalvika Beach and a stunning mountain landscape. It was unexpectedly awesome.
Our final day in the Lofoten Islands was a rainy one, so we missed out on hiking Munken, which is a shame, because it looks and sounds amazing. It’s just around the corner from Reinebringen, so if you are looking for great hike near Reine, this is a good one to add to your list.
Where We Stayed
We stayed in Hamnøy at Reinefjorden Sjohus. This place is wonderful. We stayed in a 2 bedroom apartment, which is really a two-level cabin with a kitchen and a living area. The view from the living room was AMAZING! We could look across the water to Sakrisøy and Reine and see Reinebringen in the background. My only complaint is that they do not have black out curtains, so with the midnight sun, I did find it difficult to sleep. That’s easy to fix by bringing along a sleeping mask. But without a doubt, we would stay here again.
Help Keep This Article Updated
Since our visit in 2018, stone steps have been added to the hiking trail. If you have photos of these new steps, either taken in 2019 or 2020, and would like to add them to this post, with photo credit, let us know in the comment section below. Happy hiking!
Does this look like something you would like to do? If you have any questions, leave in the comment section below.
More Information for Your Trip to Norway:
- The Complete Guide to Climbing Svolvaergeita in the Lofoten Islands
- 10 Day Lofoten Islands and Northern Norway Itinerary
- Discover Northern Norway in 25 Amazing Photos
- How to Hike Segla, One of Senja’s Most Popular Hikes
- Kjeragbolten, Our Favorite Hike in Norway
- 10 Day Norway Itinerary: The Ultimate Road Trip through the Fjord Region
- Hiking Trolltunga: Everything You Need to Know to Have the Best Experience
Are you planning a trip to Norway? Read all of our articles about Norway in our Norway Travel Guide.
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