Hiking Reinebringen – The Most Beautiful View In The World
Note: Due to the degrading path and increasingly dangerous conditions of the trail, Reinebringen is currently closed while renovations are made to build a new path, which should be open early 2019. Some sources indicate that the old path is still reachable, but I cannot recommend making that hike with the number of recent accidents it has seen. Please enjoy my account of this hike from July 2016, I hope it can serve as a time capsule of what the experience was once like.
OCTOBER 2018 UPDATE: It appears the new path is now accessible!
Yup, I said it. Reinebringen, located in Norway’s Lofoten islands, is the most beautiful view in the world. It’s simple scientific fact and surely impossible to dispute in the comments section of this post. After traveling through such scenic places as Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and Antarctica, there is no better place to sit and soak up the best of what mother nature has to offer.
Of course I’m being a bit facetious, but I did pick an image from the summit of Reinebringen as the main image of this blog for a reason. Is undeniably spectacular and a huge reward for putting yourself through a hair-raising hike! Read below to find out how to navigate the perilous pitfalls of the Reinebringen hike.
What’s a Reinebringen?
Reinebringen is the name of the peak that overlooks the village of Reine, located on the island of Moskenesøya in Norway’s Lofoten islands. It’s a modest 1470 feet high (almost exactly the same height as Angel’s Landing), but its bragging rights come from the views rather than the towering elevation. Not only is the scenery from the summit a perfect, unobstructed panorama of one of the world’s most stunning archipelagos, but it also directly overlooks Reine, often cited as Norway’s most beautiful village. If you don’t find yourself needing to sit down from your aching thighs (and you will!), then the sensory overload should sufficiently floor you when you see what’s in front of you.
Making a Midnight Decision
I arrived in Lofoten late in the afternoon and headed to my accommodation, the often photographed Eliassen Rorbuer. The weather in Lofoten is known to be unpredictable, and after I settled in and finished my dinner I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful it was outside. Filled with excitement and anticipation, I decided (at 9:45 pm!) that I should go hike Reinebringen. It was the attraction I was most excited for in Lofoten and I thought it best to make hay while the midnight sun shines. Thanks, jet lag!
I hopped in my rental car and made the 10 minute drive to the parking area for the hike. Despite the late hour, there was still quite a bit of activity around the mountain. Tents were being pitched, other hikers were descending and gathering, and even the sun had me fooled enough that I thought it could have been late afternoon! I didn’t want to let my brain process what time it really was, so I buried my metaphorical head in the sand and began walking to the trail.
How To Hike Reinebringen
There is ample parking around the trail head for Reinebringen, with your choice of small parking lots to the north and south. The most popular starting point is where highway E10 turns off to Reine village, but any parking spot you decide to use has accompanying dirt paths so you can avoid walking on the road.
Walk from your vehicle to the trail head and cross the road (seriously, be careful crossing that highway!) to begin the Reinebringen hike. The path is clearly marked by the most wonderfully welcoming sign, reading:
“WARNING – DANGER!! Reinebringen is a steep and dangerous mountain. If you continue it can be a great risk of damaging yourself or other people. This mountain are [sic] no longer recommended by the local guides.
-The municipality of Moskenes.”
Other than the friendly sign, the first thing you notice about the trail is… mud. Thick, slippery mud coating the trail and rocks, with large enough steps that slipping into the brown mire is not a matter of if, but when. If you’re really interested in looking pristine for your Instagram photos, then I’d recommend bringing a change of clothes!
Ascending the trail of Reinebringen is problematic for by the book people. As the trees and brush begin to give way, so does the trail. A significant portion of the Reinebringen hike feels like a Choose Your Own Adventure story, without the opportunity to skip ahead and see if your path will lead to success or certain doom. And I do mean doom, there have been a number of deaths on the trail which have ultimately led to its current closure.
Eventually, the tree line will clear and you can breath a sigh of relief. Here the muddy path gives way to dirt and rocks. Looking back, the trail and ocean disappear as you climb higher. The worst of the muddiness is over now, but the real challenge is yet to begin. Continue up the trail, noticing your strides necessarily getting longer as you attempted to navigate the boulders in front of you without resorting to using your hands. Top tip: just use your damn hands, and bring some hiking gloves with you to avoid worrying about getting them gross.
Once you do clear the muddy tree trails, you’ll be about one third of your way through the ascent of Reinebringen, and on to the most dangerous section. The greatest danger until you reach the summit is falling rocks and boulders. Take extra care to pay attention to the happenings above you, and be especially mindful to not knock anything loose with your own foot work. This is good advice for hiking any rocky ascent, as I’ve had my fair share of close calls on other trails before. Note: after the renovations to the trail are complete, this should be far less of a concern. Regardless, caution should always be taken on any hike, especially one like this with a steep ascent.
Navigate the switchbacks, take as many breaks as you need, and be sure to look behind you from time to time and enjoy the view of your progress! Eventually, after climbing a particularly steep and undefined final few feet, the most beautiful view in the world will overwhelm your senses.
The Most Beautiful View in the World
It’s difficult to describe exactly how special the vista from the top of Reinebringen is. Often places like this, as prominently photographed as they are, underwhelm in person thanks to overzealous retouching from photographers who just can’t help themselves. In regards to Reinebringen, I can confidently say that there is no photo that does justice to the absolute jaw-droppingly insane view that it provides. Every single direction is equally beautiful and brings something new to the table. Take time to explore every viewpoint, and make room for the contemplative moments required when taking in a place as special as this. And PLEASE be mindful of the cliff edges. It’s no Kjeragbolten, but the dropoff here is no joke!
Quick Tips For The Reinebringen Hike
- My ascent of Reinebringen took me almost exactly an hour, but I’m a fast hiker. Be sure to leave some extra room in your schedule to take breaks, I frequently see the climb described as a 2 hour trip.
- I was there in mid July and it was COLD and windy at the top. Being there at midnight probably didn’t help that aspect, but be sure to pack plenty of layers and water for this difficult hike!
- Reinebringen is not particularly suitable in the winter, unless you have experience with crampons, ice axes, and dangerous climbs.
- If you’re there in the summer, visiting Reinebringen under the midnight sun is a particularly special experience. The light is absolutely gorgeous and I can’t think of a more beautiful place to experience this Arctic phenomenon. Be sure to check the weather and climb on a clear night, and leave plenty of time to reach the top before the sun dips below the horizon!
Disclosure: Some (not all) of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning I will get a commission if you purchase the products they link to. The accommodations listed are the ones I actually stayed in, and I only suggest places and equipment that I think my readers will find helpful.
Accommodation: Eliassen Rorbuer
Cost: Varies, I paid $132/Night for a no-frills double room
Notes: Eliassen Rorbuer is itself one of the most iconic views on the Lofoten Islands! The interior itself isn’t particularly luxurious but it’s centrally located with a good restaurant next door and cooking facilities inside.