Sørvågen to Munken Summit (North Top)

Hiking route · Moskenes
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Difficulty
moderate
Distance
11.9 km
Duration
7:00h
Ascent
897 m
Descent
898 m
A linear walk from the coastal village of Sørvågen to the lofty heights of Munken's north top passing a myriad of mountain lakes and the Munkebu hut.

This hike is described as emblematic of the Moskenes island – so don’t miss it!  Make sure you’re prepared for a full day of hiking in the mountains and allow yourself plenty of time to soak in the dramatic landscape. 

Soon you’ll leave the wooded slopes above Sørvågen behind to follow an undulating route over large tracts of exposed bedrock (occasional metal chain handrails are provided to help your ascent), and grassy/rocky paths with wonderful views towards the sea.  The route weaves its way  between a myriad of lakes to reach a mountain hut on the shore of small mountain lake nestled in the shadow of Munken’s jagged spire (this route finishes on the lower top at 770m, rather than the higher peak, 797m, to the south accessible only by climbing).  Here the path swings right and follows the shoulder of the corrie up to the lower top of Munken via rocky paths and some boulder fields.  After a long and steady ascent the views from the summit (770m) are your well-earned reward! Retrace your steps to Sørvågen to finish the days hike or take in a small variation to descend via the other corrie wall.

 

Parking: For today’s hike drive south from Reine on the E10 and park in the village of Sørvågen.  In Sørvågen look out for the Matkroken (grocery shop) on the right-hand side of the road.  There is parking for the hiking route signposted from the next crossroads (Holmen is signposted up to the right).  Park in the car park with the public toilets in front of the Sørvågen Vannverk (water works) building.

Author’s recommendation

Check the weather before setting out!  This is one of, if not the most, scenic hikes on the island of Moskenes so make sure you head out on a day where your efforts will be rewarded with the best views possible. 
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Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
756 m
Lowest point
5 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
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Apr
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Jun
Jul
Aug
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Dec

Safety information

Today’s hike takes you to the north top of Munken (770m), although not particularly high the latitude here means you’ll experience alpine conditions and weather that can change unexpectedly.  There can also be some lingering snow fields depending on early season conditions, if you are not comfortable crossing snow fields you can make your way around them safely or decide to turn back if they are too large to pass around safely.  Check the forecast before heading out on your walk, and make sure you are prepared with raingear, multiple warm layers, hat, gloves and buff.  Take enough food and water for a full day on the trail.

The route itself is crosses a variety of terrain making this an enjoyable and interesting hike, if at times quite challenging.  The route varies from well-marked gravel and grassy/boggy paths, then crosses small sections of boulder field as you near the summit – take care and move slowly here to help avoid slips. Throughout the hike there are sections where the route isn’t a path but follows stone cairns, painted red T’s, and signposts for Munkebu (a small hut below the top) across exposed bedrock.  The rock is usually grippy but can be slippery where it’s been polished by the feet of many walkers or during/just after rain.  At 1.8 km into the hike you’ll encounter the first metal chain handrail to assist your ascent on the exposed bedrock if needed, there are a couple more to come further along also. 

Tips, hints and links

Points of Interest

Munken Summit

The mountain at its highest point is 797m, the south top (reachable only by climbing and not included in this route) makes for an impressive companion as you rest and enjoy the view from the north top (770m).  From the summit of Munken you’ll have views over to Reinebringen, and the jagged ridge of Stolva, as well as unrivalled views over the fjords of Moskenes.   

Munkebu Hytte

Perched on the edge of the mountainside below the tops of Munken, Munkebu Hytte is a popular overnighting spot for those wishing to immerse themselves in the spectacular landscape in back-to-basics accommodation.  The hut, like others on the islands, is owned by the Lofoten Turlag (a branch of the DNT – Norwegian Trekking Association) and sleeps around 15 people on sleeping platforms and bunks.  A key is needed for access.  Imagine watching the sunrise from the platform of the hut …

Wildlife

This remote mountain environment is rich in wildlife, from soaring sea eagles, low-flying grouse and ptarmigan to jumping mountain hare and the jaunty chirping skylark.  Keep a look out and you never know what you might see!

 

Food & Drink

There are a few places to eat and get refreshments in Reine; the Reine Rorbuer (Classic Norway Hotel) has a great restaurant serving delicious local cuisine.  Alternatively, there's the Bringen Cafe, Vertshuset Lanternen Bistro opposite the convenience store, and the convenience store which sells a selection of groceries for a packed lunch, pastries, coffee and tea, along with a small selection of hot takeaway foods.  Alternatively, you can pick up provisions en route from the Matkroken grocery store or Joker convenience when driving through Sørvågen if needed. 

Start

Car park for Munken hike (Sørvågen) (26 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
67.891187, 13.009837
UTM
33W 416423 7532077

Destination

Car park for Munken hike (Sørvågen)

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00 km – After parking beside Sørvågvatnet (the large lake) begin the hike by continuing STRAIGHT ON out of the car park passing on the left-hand side of the Sørvågen Vannverk building. 

0.20 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON following the signpost on the pylon for Munkebu (mountain hut).  In 50 m BEAR RIGHT to ascend on bedrock following the red painted arrows under the line of pylons. 

0.40 km – After crossing under the pylons continue STRAIGHT ON the bedrock and descend on a rocky path to the river with a waterfall on your left. 

0.50 km – Descend to the stream and cross the plank bridge over it.  Once across BEAR RIGHT on the dirt path ascending towards the two highest pylons ahead. 

0.75 km – At a confluence of paths continue STRAIGHT ON the main path passing large blue signs on your left-hand side.  Continue following the path with the lake on your left-hand side.

1.30 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON the path as you pass a few small wooden cabins by the lake shore. 

1.40 km – Descend to a small pebble beach with a cabin on your right and continue STRAIGHT ON following the path to ascend into the woodland.

1.50 km – Among the trees TURN RIGHT to follow the signpost for Munkebu and continue ascending through the woods on rocky path and steep exposed bedrock. 

1.80 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON ascending on the bedrock, from here there are a few short steep sections where you can use the metal chain handrail to assist you – take great care here.  Follow the stone cairns (rock piles) over this extended section where the route crosses bedrock. 

2.30 km – After crossing a stream continue STRAIGHT ON following the cairns, there is now a small lake on your right-hand side. 

2.70 km – Where the path splits with a small lake ahead TURN RIGHT to follow the signpost for Munkebu (mountain hut) (2.3 km).  Ascend on a rocky stepped path with a stream on your right following the small cairns before the path swings left to traverse the slope. 

3.20 km – At the top of the knoll follow the path to BEAR RIGHT towards the cairn and continue ascending. 

3.50 km – Where a faint path joins from the right continue STRAIGHT ON to follow the Muneku signpost and ascend to the top of a knoll.  Follow the grassy path as it ascends the knoll and continue STRAIGHT ON aiming for the signpost ahead on less steep ground. 

3.90 km – At the signpost in the cairn continue STRAIGHT ON the path to descend before ascending once more. 

4.30 km – After traversing the mountainside to reach another signpost continue STRAIGHT ON following the cairns to a small lake with the Munkebu hut buildings on the left. 

4.70 km – With the hut ahead at a small cairn continue STRAIGHT ON to reach the huts. 

Depending on the weather and how you feel you can choose to end your hike here after a long break to admire the view. 

If you decide to continue to the south top of Munken the from the huts follow the path as it curves right around the lake then swings out to ascend the ridge.  Follow the rocky path (there are some steep steps) but mostly the path ascends steadily in a series of zig-zags towards the summit. 

5.20 km – At a cairn with a large outcrop on your left continue following the path to BEAR LEFT slightly and continue ascending. 

6.00 km – Take care crossing a small boulder field as you continue STRAIGHT ON to ascend steeply to the ridge.

6.10 km – Arrive on the ridge and TURN LEFT to walk towards the cairns on the south top (770m).  In 50m arrive at the Munken summit (south top)!  Spend some time here admiring the view and fuelling up on lunch or snacks before retracing your steps to descend the mountain.

6.70 km – To take an alternative route down the other side wall of the corrie BEAR LEFT here.  Otherwise, simply retrace your steps the same way you came up – this route follows the alterative. 

6.90 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON the alternative descent following the little cairns dotted beside the path.  Descend to the saddle-point, then ascend on exposed bedrock to rejoin the approach route in 500m. 

7.40 km – Rejoin the outward route at a T-junction in the path with a signpost for Munkebu and TURN LEFT to retrace your steps down the mountain to the car park at Sørvågen. 

11.90 km – Finish the hike where you begin in the car park beside Sørvågvatnet lake.  Make your way back to your accommodation and seek out some well-earned refreshments!

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

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Equipment

Although this isn't a long hike you'll experience mountain conditions and weather, and the ascent makes this a full days of activity.  Remember you're in the Arctic Circle - so make sure to bring waterproofs, warm layers, hats, gloves, and a buff for warmth.  Stiff-soled walking shoes or boots are recommended along with walking poles to help take the pressure off your knees on the descent!

Make sure to bring plenty of water, and food (lunch and snacks) for completing the walk as there is nowhere to restock or fill your water bottle en route.  

Responsible for this content
Macs Adventure 
outdooractive.com User
Author
Catherine Allan 
Updated: June 07, 2019

Travel Guide: Hikes in Moskenes


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