Reinebringen in the island of Moskenesøya is perhaps the most iconic hike in the Lofoten archipelago in Norway. It rises 448 meters (1470 feet) straight from sea level up through peaks soaring above the clouds and a trail that runs through a very steep and often slippery terrain. While not the highest in the Moskenesøya, the short hike to the top (about 2 hours) combined with the most iconic view of the fishing village of Reine make it one of the most popular hikes in the Lofoten.
Finding the path to the trail was difficult. I asked some hikers for directions and was told to go past the tunnel on the main road from Reine and then take a right after a hundred meters. I must have walked past it a couple of times until I noticed an arrow painted on the ground that directed to the bushes across the road. The trail is essentially what remains of a dried up river that has been used up by hikers.
Reinebringen bringin’ it
Calling it a trail is a little generous. Some parts look like scenes from Fangorn Forest in Lord of the Rings. I can’t help but think there’s some giant spider’s ready ambush and pounce on me behind the bushes. I had to pull myself up on muddy ledges and used my arms to climb up on roots of old trees that stubbornly grew on the side of the cliffs. One mistake and it’s bye-bye, you can start calling this blog, No More Wanderlust.
Once clear of the Fangorn forest, the trail gradually becomes steeper and alternates between rocky and muddy sections. The muddy sections can become very slippery at times. But the rocky sections present a different type of challenge. If there are other hikers above you, they can trigger a rock fall since the trail has been eroded from continuous use. If you wander off too far from the trail you run the risk of falling into a deep ravine, so stay on the main trail as much as possible.
The trail will finally open up to a steep and the last rocky ascent before it flattens out to the ridge. The spectacular views over Reine finally emerge. Most hikers stop here but you can continue up the ridge and do some rock climbing to reach a small peak. I have, to be honest with you. Traversing on the spine up the peak where nothing to catch your fall is a thrill.
Up there my legs were shaking from a jolt of adrenaline that was pumping through my veins. The sheer vertigo-inducing heights combined with sketchy scrambling up steep boulders can induce bladder draining effects that may cause accidents of the personal kind.
Not that peeing on my pants has ever happened to me or anything. I’m just saying, not from personal experience, but it’s theoretically possible and my pants got wet from falling into a creek on the way up the steep ridge, not from vertigo…I swear. Why do you have a smirk on your face?
It bears mentioning again that this trail is short but very steep and I’m not even sure anyone would consider this trail a “hike.” Most would probably argue that it’s “climb.” Furthermore, the trail is also becoming more and more dangerous each summer due to deterioration caused by many people using the trail. The continued use has caused the terrain, which is extremely steep, to begin with, to become more crumbly and ravines have begun to form.
Some places have steep sloping slabs remaining that become very dangerous when wet. Because of this, some hikers have bypassed the trail and created new parallel tracks. This has caused parts of the to have a several of furrows that encourage landslides and rock falls. Some sections are so steep some clever hikers have tied ropes to the top so they can use it to climb back down.
You should check your capabilities as a climber. You don’t want your fear of heights to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. There are other options nearby with equally amazing views and well-maintained trails. If you insist, you will be rewarded with the most the most amazing panorama of the Reinefjorden and the staggering Lofoten Wall. It is one of the most memorable hikes I’ve ever done in Europe.
HIKING THE REINBRINGEN YOURSELF
- You can reach the trail just west of the fishing village of Reine if you follow the highway E10 towards the town of Å.
- Just past the tunnel (Ramsvikstunnelen) and to the right you should be able to see the trail.
- There are also arrows on the pathway directing you towards the trail.
- It’s roughly 3-4 kilometers to the top and there are some parts where you are pulling yourself up on a rope.
- You are allowed to camp at the top but there’s no source of water and there aren’t very many good camping spots.
- Bring lots of water and layers.
HAVE YOU HIKED THE REINEBRINGEN?