Hardangervidda Plateau Traverse
Distance: 71.4 miles (115 km)
Time: 7 days
Surface: Open Heathland, Moors
The Hardangervidda Plateau Traverse is located in the fjordland region of Norway which is a 3,861-square-mile (10,000 sq km) swathe of pure Norwegian wilderness. It has northern Europe’s largest stock of reindeer, is wonderfully rugged, and, although the weather can change as quickly as you can blink, it is without question one of the best off-the-beaten-path regions you’ll find anywhere.
A good introductory walk can be made to the top of the plateau from the Sorfjord, followed by a descent to the town of Lofthus, with its stunning views of nearby Folgefonna glacier. You can also make a three-dayloop around the Hardangerjénkulen glacier along a steep and heavily exposed trail. Or if you are feeling intrepid, then why not attempt the “Across the Plateau” route, a seven-day traverse that takes you into the truly remote areas of the plateau, an often mist-shrouded world of wet and muddy paths through a carpeted realm of moorlands, mosses, lichens, and coarse high-altitude grasses, past ponds, lakes, and more than 250 excavated Stone Age sites.
The best time to hike the Hardangervidda Plateau Traverse is from June to October. The plateau sits entirely above the tree line and is home to twenty-six Norwegian Trekking Association huts that are a pleasure to stay in, as well as fifteen private huts.