Alta Canyon Hike

Went for a short walk this morning to find a geo-cache hidden by the Kalfjord not far from the parking area where we spent the night.  It was time to restock with food and fuel so headed into Alta for supplies and  on the way we decided where to go next.
We looked at all the things to see and do around Alta and decided we wanted to see the Altaelva Canyon.  The Altaelva Canyon is the largest canyon in Northern Europe and the only way to see it from the top is to hike in via a trail located near place called  Gargia. The GPS navigator does not know some of these little places!!
So we headed out of Alta onto the R93 toward Altaelva Canyon. Turned off onto a small quiet  road where we overtook (just)  practicing cross country skiers on really long roller blades before reaching Gargia, found the town and shortly after a dirt car parking area surrounded by mountain wildflowers just before the road turns into a track.
Had a cup of coffee while deciding what to do next. Best guess was that the beginning of the trail was another 5k further up the rough looking track. Will the hymermobile be able to handle it? We decided we did not come here to see a car park so on and up we went.
 
The road, well 4WD gravel, bumpy narrow uphill track took us the bumpy and rocky 5k (did I mention bumpy) in second gear all the way up to some sloping flat rocks on top of an undulating alpine mountain plain well above the tree line.  These rocks were the parking area for the trail to the Canyon . There were a couple of cars and we were also surprised to see another motor home parked there!  The only thing that no longer seemed to work after the ordeal was the steps would no longer extend. Something to fix later.
Small Creek Crossings
It was a great day for a walk, blue skies albeit accompanied by an arctic breeze.  After putting good sized rock behind both back tyres we donned our boots and jackets and set off  set off uphill on the trail following rock cairns and red paint markers. 
 
Shortly after we set off we met two young men returning We asked how long it would take to the canyon , there reply was two and a half hours one way!!! They also sized us up and asked if our boots were waterproof. We advised that they were and why was that? They just said you’ll find out!
The track took us through bogs, grasslands, over and through fast flowing rocky streams and up and down hills and small gorges, past alpine wild flowers and across heather covered plains and snow. Some parts were quite challenging, climbing down a small gorge to cross a fast flowing stream using rocks as stepping stones was a combination of strategy, planning and agility so Trish could cross with her little legs without getting wet!!
Replenishing the water 
It was just after this that the worn walking train trail ended.  Before going on we had to scout for rock cairns on high points for guidance, at times they became quite difficult to find. The gps sounded out the distance each kilometre informing us we had now walked 8k so we must be getting close.
Feet dry crossing (almost)
Exausted
We reached the edge of the Canyon at 9k and Trish had gone as far as she could go so, we sat for a while in a small depression in the heather out of the wind, ate our small snack of bananas and 2 toffees for energy for the walk back, a drink of water (now replenished from mountain snowmelt streams) and just took in the view while we recuperated.
The trip back was faster as we now knew the way, nevertheless It was a five and a half hour journey and out gps trip meter showed over 18K. 
The distance to the Canyon and back is shorter but we got temporarily displaced from the route a couple of times for some extra exercise (but never got lost!).
 I was a big relief to see the Hymermobile waiting for us when we got back, we were both worn out and without the steps working the  last big step up into the Hymermobile was tough one. Odd though, we now get back, put our feet up, nice cup of tea, looking out at the mountain view and boy is it good to be home!!
The return trip had to be made back down the road which shook the Hymermobile  again. Did not fix the steps though. In the car park at the bottom of the track we checked over the Hymermobile. A few screws loosened off which had to be tightened, door hinges etc inside. Steven deciphered the German instruction book and replaced the fuse to the steps. 
Hymermobile all fixed and we headed off back to Alta. We parked overnight in the Alta Museum in the  car park which is a designated motor home  parking area.
Weary and hungry, Trish cooked the dinner and we were ready for a good night’s sleep. 
Seeing the midnight sun is not a problem. The sun shined bright all night directly onto the bedroom windows and light through the tiny gaps around blinds the bedroom. Very difficult to make the bedroom completely dark and simulate night time. Not seeing the midnight sun is now the challenge!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.