North Adventure

AI139: Halddetoppen, Northern Lights Observatory; 904m over sea level

Halddetoppen, Northern Lights Observatory; 904m over sea level

Quick Facts

Available: June 20 - October 20
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
 X X  X
Times: 10:00 - 17:00

Total tour time approximately 7-8 hours. Walking time approximately 3 hours each way.

Group Size: 2-7
Intensity: Strenuous
Price: Per person: 1495,-
One of Alta's oldest landmarks for northern lights research is the Northern Lights Observatory, located high atop nearby Mt. Haldde. It was first used in 1899 for observing weather and northern lights activity, and remained in use until 1926. Today, the observatory still stands, partly reconstructed after World War II, as the destination for a challenging summer hike.

This tour begins with a drive (either from Gargia Lodge or Alta city center) to reach the starting point of the trail that will lead us up to Haldde. The fjord near where the trail begins is called Kåfjorden and during World War II the big battleship Tirpitz was anchored here. The trail itself was built at the same time as the observatory, used first by the scientists and their families and now by the local residents on day hikes to the top. On our way we will see the remains of old copper mines as the area was very rich in copper.

The first third of the 9km trail winds through birch forests, and as we get higher the view over the Altafjord gets better. Once we reach 300 meters over sea level we pass the tree line, and we will see Haldde Mountain ahead, rising 907 meters above sea level. The last part up to the summit is the steepest one as we zig zag our way up the mountain.

During the hike we will take short breaks to refill with energy and water. It is a demanding walk, but on the summit if weather conditions are good you will be rewarded with a great view over the Altafjord and surroundings. On the summit we take a break, enjoy our lunch and hot beverage before returning back to Alta and Gargia.

The tour includes transport, the guided tour, water and hot drinks, and lunch at the summit. Total walking time for this tour is approximately 6 hours, covering a 9 km distance with a rise of around 900 meters. You should be in good enough condition to be comfortable with this kind of hike! Bring sturdy and comfortable shoes and clothes appropriate both for sea level and the mountaintop. Minimum age is 14 for this tour.