Reinebringen Hike: Updated Information by Locals

Reinebringen is undoubtedly the most famous hike in the Lofoten Islands. In fact, it is one of the most visited hikes in Norway. By June 2024, 41,000 people hiked Reinebringen, a more than 50% increase from the previous year.

Do you also want to climb the Sherpa stairs and take in the beautiful view of Reine and the other island villages in Reinefjorden?

Many articles about Reinebringen you find online contain outdated information, as the trail has been significantly improved in recent years (currently, there is a sidewalk being built between Reinehalsen and the start of the trail), camping on Reinebringen has been forbidden, and the parking situation is constantly evolving.

Since we live a stone’s throw away and answering questions about hiking, Reinebringen is literally my job description; we will do our best to keep this article updated so you always get the freshest info about the Reinebringen hike.

Reinebringen hike: the view from the summit
The view from the summit towards Reinefjorden

Table of Contents

Reinebringen Hike: Essential Information

🚶‍♂️ Distance: 5 km (out and back)
⬆️ Elevation Gain: 400 meters
⏱️ Duration: 2.5 h (out and back)
⚖️ Difficulty: Moderate
🅿️ Starting point: Paid parking in Reine, limited free parking at Steffenakken

 

Reinebringen Hiking Map

Reinebringen hike: Hiking Map
Click on the picture to open the Reinebringen hiking map in a new window

 

Should you Hike Reinebringen?

The most dangerous hike in Norway

Depending on which article you read, you’ll find different information about the Reinebringen hike. Before the construction of the Sherpa stairs, Reinebringen was considered one of Norway’s most dangerous trails.

The trail was steep and eroded, and the hikers occasionally triggered loose stones that hit the hikers below them. Today, the safety and accessibility of the trail were improved by the construction of the stone stairs built by Nepalese Sherpas.

Upper part of the trail to Reinebringen in Lofoten before the construction of the Sherpa stairs
This is how the upper section of the trail to Reinebringen looked like before the Sherpa stairs were finished. Photo by: Eagles na cestách

Sherpa stairs

The stairs have made the trail safer regarding erosion, but the steep climb remains challenging for some.

While the trail may seem like a walk in the park to some because it’s relatively short and the terrain isn’t overly tricky, you’ll still need to tackle about 2,000 stairs and an elevation gain of 400 meters over a short distance.

There are rest areas along the trail where you can catch your breath, but to put it into perspective, it’s like climbing The Empire State Building! So, you should evaluate whether you are up for this hike or if you should go for something more accessible, like hiking to Bunes or Kvalvika Beach.

Reinebringen Lofoten: Sherpa stairs
Here, you can see the Sherpa stairs leading up to Reinebringen ridge.

 

The Sherpa stairs leading up to Reinebringen in Lofoten
The newly built Sherpa stairs going up to Reinebringen

Fun Fact:

The Empire State Building has 1,576 stairs from the ground floor to the 86th-floor Observatory. If you want to go all the way to the 102nd floor, there are 1,860 stairs.

Discover more spectacular hikes in Lofoten

Where to Park for Reinebringen

Please beware that the parking situation for Reinebringen is constantly evolving. That means many blogs and webpages provide outdated information about parking for Reinebringen!

 

Free Parking at Steffenakken

Currently, you can park for free at the Steffenakken parking lot, which has space for roughly 20 cars. However, it is a very popular free camping spot for camper vans and motorhomes, so the parking lot is often fully packed during the summer.

There is no public toilet at Steffenakken parking, so if you plan to camp there and do not have a camper with a WC, please do not leave any toilet paper and wet wipes behind. The Lofoten Store, which runs the parking and information center in Reine, also sells WAG bags (bags for human waste disposal).

Free parking for Reinebringen at Steffenakken by Djupfjorden
Free parking place at Steffenakken close to Djupfjorden

 

Short-term parking at Reinehalsen (⚠️ CLOSED!)

The short-term parking at Reinehalsen, which has an epic view of Reine and was previously used as a parking area for Reinebringen, has been closed.

It’s unfortunate because it was a perfect pit stop for taking a quick snapshot of Reine, but the traffic situation there was bothersome, so it’s ultimately for the best.

View of Reine Lofoten autumn2
The view from the Reinehalsen viewpoint

 

Paid parking at the tourist information in Reine

The nearest paid parking is now at the Reine Kulturhuset, where you’ll also find tourist information, a souvenir shop, and a public toilet (open during the store’s opening times).

Occasionally, you will also find me (Radka) there. You can park at the Reine Kulturhuset for 50 NOK per hour, 150 NOK for 3-5 hours, or 300 NOK for 24 hours.

 

Paid parking at Reine Harbor (municipality parking)

The next option (and the largest parking lot) is at Reine Harbour (Reine ytre havn).
It has plenty of space, even for large motorhomes. There is also a waste disposal facility for motorhomes (free) and public toilets (paid).

Now comes the catch.

There are actually two different parking places in the Reine Harbour.

The first parking place that you will encounter is owned by the Moskenes municipality.

Parking here is done through the Easy Park app or a parking automat.

The prices at Reine Harbour Parking (municipality parking): 

👉 43,75 NOK/h for any kind of vehicle.

There are chargers for EVs, paid toilets (10 NOK, paid by credit card), WC and grey water disposal station, and freshwater refill. There is no electricity to hook your motorhome onto.

If you have any questions or issues with this parking, please get in touch with the municipality via phone at +47 760 53 100 or email postmottak@moskenes.kommune.no

Paid parking at Reine Harbor (Fellesdrift Reine YH)

If you drive a little bit further into the harbor area in Reine, you will encounter another parking place. This parking belongs to the Fellesdrift Reine Ytre Havn.

The prices at Reine Harbour Parking (Fellesdrift Reine YH): 

👉 250 NOK/ day

Here, you can pay by VIPPS (Norwegian payment app), Sumup (international payment app), cash (the exact amount in an envelope), or credit card (you need to send a message to the owners, and they will arrive with a terminal).

There are no facilities at the parking – no toilet, running water, or electricity.

 

Illegal Parking in Reine & Lofoten

The parking situation in Reine and across Lofoten often feels like a cat-and-mouse game. Tourists frequently find new, unauthorized parking spots in legal grey zones or outright illegal locations. In response, the municipality tirelessly installs new signs and stone barriers and blocks access to these areas. This never-ending cycle is exhausting and diverts resources from other crucial needs.

While many perceive it as a wealthy and happy nation, it’s important to understand that Norway allocates funds to municipalities based on population size. With only 1,000 inhabitants, Moskenes municipality, which includes Reine, is one of the smallest and poorest in Norway.

The resources spent combating illegal parking and camping could be better utilized elsewhere in the community.

Please be considerate and avoid causing locals unnecessary headaches. Use official parking and camping spots. Your cooperation helps preserve the beauty and functionality of our region.

Thank you for your understanding and respect ❤️❤️❤️

Reinebringen hike: Illegal parking along the main road E10
Reinebringen hike: Illegal parking along the main road E10. Photo: Lofot-Tidende

 

Illegal parking in Reine, Lofoten, Photo: Kurt K. Ringvej Lofot-tidende
Illegal parking in Reine, Lofoten, Photo: Kurt K. Ringvej Lofot-Tidende

 

Illegal parking in Reine, Lofoten, Photo: Kurt E. Kleppe Lofot-tidende
Illegal parking in Reine, Lofoten, Photo: Kurt E. Kleppe Lofot-Tidende

 

Parking for Reinebringen Map

To help you understand where you can park and where you cannot, we created this interactive map of parking, public toilets, and overnight camping possibilities around Reine.

If you like the map, you should check our interactive maps of Lofoten and western Norway, which include much more information (hiking trails, restaurants, photo spots, etc.)

 

Reinebringen by Public Transport

Getting to Reinebringen by public transport is relatively easy. Your best option is to find accommodation in Sørvågen or Reine or stay at the Moskenes campsite. The Reinebringen trailhead is a “short” (up to 4 km) walk from all of these locations.

If you have accommodation in a place other than the villages mentioned above, you can take a bus to Reine, where you will find the closest bus stop to the trailhead.

The bus schedule is available on entur.no or in the Reis app. You can also buy the bus ticket in the Reis app and check if and how much the bus is delayed.

Are you coming to Lofoten with a motorhome/camper or tent?

Reinebringen Hike: Honest Description

Walking to the trailhead

Parking in Reine and walking about a kilometer to the trailhead is an easy start. The trail has an elevation gain of around 448 meters (1,470 feet). The ascent features 1,974 stone steps built by Nepalese Sherpas, which might make you feel like you’re on a neverending Nordic Stairmaster.

The stairs to Reinebringen in Lofoten
The stairs leading up to Reinebringen

The hike

The hike is steep and can be a bit much for younger kids, but older, more experienced mini-adventurers can handle it. Dogs are welcome, but make sure they’re well-behaved and on a leash, especially on the ridge.

If you are afraid of heights, the exposed ridge on top can get a bit hair-raising, but there are no tricky, exposed, or dangerous sections on the way to the Reinebringen ridge.

The views along the trail might not win any beauty contests compared to other Lofoten hikes—it’s mostly about grinding your way up the stairs—but the payoff is spectacular.

The view from the Sherpa stairs on Reinebringen
The view from the Sherpa stairs on Reinebringen

 

The view from the Reinebringen trail towards Djupfjorden
The view from Reinebringen towards Djupfjorden

The ridge

At the top, you’ll be greeted with a mind-blowing panorama of the Reinefjorden and its islands dotted with fishermen’s cabins, making every step worth it. (Assuming it is not cloudy and you can see anything).

The view from the Reinebringen ridge towards Reinefjorden
The view from the Reinebringen ridge towards Reinefjorden

 

The view from Reinebringen towards Reine
The view from Reinebringen towards Reine

The ridge at the summit is narrow, so you’ll need to watch your steps. Most hikers head left for the best views and their Instagram shots. You will need to scramble a bit to get to the viewpoint on the right side of the ridge, so if you are afraid of heights, heading right is not for you.

Here you can see the scrambling section on the right side of the stairs.
Here, you can see the scrambling section on the right side of the stairs.

You can continue along the ridge if you’re a sure-footed, experienced hiker with no fear of heights. Just be aware that this route is not for the faint-hearted or those with shaky legs, especially when the weather’s wet.

Walking on the Reinebringen ridge
Ivar on the Reinebringen ridge. If you are afraid of heights, this one is not for you.

 

The path to the actual Reinebringen summit.
The path to the actual Reinebringen summit.

 

Reinebringen summit, western Lofoten
The small dot is Ivar on the summit of Reinebringen.

What to be aware of when hiking Reinebringen

👉 There is no water source on the way up to Reinebringen, so bring enough water.

👉 Even though the mountain is relatively small, the weather up there can be much rougher than down in Reine. Bring a windproof jacket with you.

👉 There is no toilet or trash bin at the trailhead or along the trail. Before you go, use the public restrooms in Reine (Circle K gas station, information center at Reine Kulturhus, and public toilets in the harbor).

👉 Start your hike early in the morning to avoid the crowds and secure parking. The trail can get very busy during peak times.

👉 Unless you are an experienced mountaineer with proper equipment, you should not attempt to climb Reinebringen in winter (between November and April).

Wild Camping in Lofoten: Tourists who can not behave
I apologize for the expressive picture, but there is a reason why I emphasize the location of public toilets. This picture was taken at the trailhead to Reinebringen.

 

Camping Possibilities at Reinebringen

In some older blog posts, you may encounter pictures of people camping on the Reinebringen ridge. That is no longer possible, as camping on Reinebringen, along with a few other places that saw a steep increase in visitors, was forbidden in 2021.

There are only a few spots where it was possible to pitch a small tent, and with the amount of traffic that Reinebringen sees, it is no longer considerate to other visitors to pitch a tent in the middle of the trail. So please, don’t.

Camping on the top of Reinebringen was forbidden in 2021
Camping on the top of Reinebringen was forbidden in 2021

 

Camping at Reinebringen in Lofoten
With the number of tourists who climb the mountain daily, camping on the Reinebringen ridge would create dangerous situations.

 

Best Time for Hiking Reinebringen

As I mentioned, the prime season for hiking Reinebringen is summer. The mountain sees the largest number of visitors from late June until the beginning of September, but it is possible to hike up to Reinebringen until the first snowfall.

When temperatures drop to zero degrees, the stairs become icy, slippery, and dangerous. The most treacherous conditions occur when a fresh, thin layer of snow conceals a layer of ice, and people think they can still go up because the snow is not too deep. Please, don’t.

Several rescues are needed every winter for people stranded on top of the ridge, as it is not as challenging to go up as it is to come down again.

The best time to hike Reinebringen in the summer is starting early in the morning or late at night. This will give you a better chance of encountering fewer people at the top. Take advantage of the midnight sun!

 

Reinebringen hike during the midnight sun
Reinebringen hike during the midnight sun

 

Rescue Actions and Accidents on Reinebringen

According to the Norwegian newspaper, there have been four fatal incidents in Reinebringen in recent years.

In December 2021, a Norwegian woman in her 20s tragically died after a fall on Reinebringen. In June 2022, an American tourist died after a tragic fall on a foggy and rainy day.

In the last two years, rescue actions have become more frequent, with tourists often needing to be rescued by helicopter after becoming stranded on the ridge during winter.

Once again, you must be an experienced climber with proper equipment to attempt Reinebringen in winter.

There is increasing frustration among the local people, who do not want to sponsor tourists being picked up by helicopter like it was a taxi, especially when these tourists have been repeatedly warned against attempting the climb in winter.

The tricky thing is that the legal framework does not allow the municipality to close the trailhead, so they can only make recommendations.

Reinebringen in winter: Dramatic rescue of stranded south korean tourist in 2023
A picture from the local newspaper shows the rescue of a tourist who became stranded on Reinebringen in gale-force winds in the winter of 2023. The title says: ‘It is pure madness and life-threatening!

Weather Forecast for Reinebringen

Before heading to Reinebringen, spend some time evaluating the weather forecast. We recommend checking yr.no.

Do not only look at the pictograms showing if it will be sunny or cloudy, but also check the amount of precipitation and, most importantly, the wind speed. You do not want to stand on the ridge with wind gusts of 15 m/s.

  • We are currently working on an article explaining in more detail what to look for when checking the weather forecast in Lofoten, so stay tuned!

Why is it not recommended to attempt Reinebringen in winter?

Drone Flying on Reinebringen

The rules for flying a drone on Reinebringen are confusing.

First, Reinebringen is not located within the Lofotodden National Park or within 5 km of an airport, so you are good regarding these requirements.

However, you will find pictograms with a crossed drone on the information signs on the way to Reinebringen.

As Reinebringen can get quite busy, the information signs show that it is forbidden because of the rule about flying a drone over crowds of people.

Drone pilot caught in Lofoten - will be deported from Norway
Headline from our local newspaper. A tourist was caught flying within the 5km distance of the airport.

General rules for flying a drone in Norway

Also, when flying a drone in Lofoten, remember to have your drone registered in the EU, a Flyer ID and/or Operator ID, and liability insurance. In fact, the newspaper reported that drone pilots could expect more frequent controls over drones flying in Lofoten.

Recently, fines have been issued, and drones confiscated when people were caught flying around the airports in Leknes and Svolvær. In Tromsø, they even have technology that detects the launches of drones within a 5 km radius of the airport.

So, be mindful of the local laws (airports, Lofotodden National Park) and others around you.

  • While we’re on the topic of not bothering people, please wait to FaceTime your friends or family until you are back down from Reinebringen. First, staring into your phone while walking on the ridge is unsafe. Second, it annoys people around you who want to enjoy the mountains and the view.

 

Where to Stay Close to Reinebringen

If you want to have accommodation within walking distance of Reinebringen, then we highly recommend the following:

Accommodation in Reine:

🏠 Reine Rorbuer: Accommodation in authentic fishermen’s cabins.
🏠 Catogården: Accommodation in chic double rooms with shared bathrooms.
🏠 Lofoten Bed & Breakfast: “Budget” rooms and apartments.

Reine rorbuer traditional accommodation in fishermens cabins in Lofoten
Reine rorbuer with Reinebringen in the background

 

Accommodation in Sørvågen:

🏠 Lofoten Planet Basecamp: Unique boutique hotel – one of our favorite accommodations in Lofoten.
🏠 The Tide Rorbuer: Accommodation in authentic fishermen’s cabins.
🏠 The Tide Hotel: The only hotel west of Leknes.

Lofoten Planet Basecamp in Sørvågen
Lofoten Planet Basecamp in Sørvågen

Hiking Reinebringen: Our Thoughts

Reinebringen is a mountain with a spectacular view that tourists should not underestimate. It is popular and safer than it used to be, but it is steep, and the ridge is exposed.

The trail itself is one of the least impressive hikes in Lofoten, as you do not have much of a view until you reach the top, but the view from the top makes up for it.

Just a couple of years ago, we would probably have told you that Reinebringen is quite touristy and that you could choose other peaks. However, we see the wear and tear that heavy traffic can cause on trails that are not prepared for it (just look at the erosion of Ryten or the muddy trails leading to Munkebu).

Erosion of the trail to Ryten. Photo by Kim Abel (Lofot-Tidende)
Erosion of the trail to Ryten. Photo by Kim Abel (Lofot-Tidende)

 

Therefore, it is great that Reinebringen gets so much attention since the trail there is now finished, and your visit will have minimal impact on the fragile local vegetation.

However, if you would still like to explore other less famous and frequent hikes, we highly recommend our interactive hiking map of Lofoten, where you can find maps and descriptions of about 60 trails in Lofoten.

Interactive map of Lofoten


 

If you have any questions about the Reinebringen hike, let us know in the comments, and we’ll do our best to answer them.

Faq About Hiking Reinebringen

It depends on your physical condition and how much time you want to spend at the top. In general, it takes about 2-3 hours to go up and down all the way to the parking place in Reine.

Reinebringen is a moderate hike with no dangerous or exposed sections on the way up to the ridge. However, the final section of the stairs is quite steep. A colleague of mine, who works as a trail guard over the summer, once had to help a tourist down from there because she became scared of heights. The trail is steep, and you will feel it in your legs in the following days, as most people are probably not used to walking up and down nearly 2,000 steps.

The Reinebringen hike now has nearly 2,000 steps.

Yes and no. Nobody will prevent you from attempting the hike, and you will not get fined for trying it. However, that does not mean it is a smart idea. The trail is steep and often icy. The final section is really steep and can become totally hidden under snow, potentially leaving you stranded on the ridge, wondering how to get down safely. This has happened many times before.

Unless you are an experienced mountaineer with proper equipment (microspikes on a good day, crampons, and ice axes on more challenging days), you should avoid Reinebringen in winter.

You can join us on a guided tour to Ryten or rent snowshoes or microspikes to explore easier mountains that are not prone to avalanche danger, like Reinebringen.

Yes, I forgot to mention that avalanches occasionally fall over the Reinebringen trail, making it even more dangerous. So again, hiking Reinebringen in winter is not recommended.

The parking options for Reinebringen are limited, and parking will cost you unless you find an available spot at the (so far) free parking at Steffenakken.

Here are the details:

  • Steffenakken: There is a limited free parking area, but it fills up quickly.
  • Reine Kulturhus: You can park for 3-5 hours for 150 NOK.
  • Reine Harbour: Parking is managed through the EasyPark app, costing 25 NOK/h for regular cars and 35 NOK/h for motorhomes.

Remember that free parking is not a fundamental human right, and leaving your car on the side of the road is unacceptable. The Moskenes and Flakstad municipalities implemented stricter parking enforcement and employed parking guards last year. Trust me, it is cheaper to pay 150 NOK for parking than to receive a 900 NOK fine.

Picture of Ivar & Radka

Ivar & Radka

Hi! We are Ivar & Radka, an international couple who runs the Guide to Lofoten. We met in Trondheim and lived together in western Norway, Narvik and Tromsø. At the moment we call western Lofoten our home. We hope our page will make it easier for you to explore the beautiful places that made us chose Norway for our home.

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Ivar and Radka Guide to Lofoten

Hi! We are Ivar & Radka, an international couple who runs the Guide to Lofoten.

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