Hiking to Hermannsdalen
- Type of hike : Go back
- Visibility of the route : Medium
- Start/Finish : 400m after Vinstad landing quay, on the way to Bunesfjorden. The start of the trail (not obvious) is located just after a white farm house in a meadow.
- GPS Point : Start/Finish : N67 57.658 E12 59.995
Summit of Hatinden : N67 57.530 E12 58.325
Old farmhouse near the beach : N67 57.579 E12 54.915
- Note : Steep descent after the pass and all the way to the lake of Øvervatnet
This magnificent hike takes you to the lost Hermannsdalen Valley. At the end of the valley, facing the ocean, there is an old abandoned farm, a sign of times not so long ago when people still lived in this extremely isolated part of the islands. This is one of the few hikes that takes you to the virtually inaccessible west coast of the island of Moskenesøya. Hermannsdalen is the perfect place in which to set up camp in a magnificent, peaceful landscape only 4 hours’ walk from Vindstad…
Lastly, the summit of Håtinden, which is located 10min from the pass separating Forsfjord from Herman Valley, offers an outstanding view over the different branches of the Reinefjord.
This hike begins in Vindstad which you reach by crossing the Reinefjord (in the high season a boat makes several crossings each day). When you leave the boat take the earth track that climbs to the end of Bunnesfjorden towards Buneset beach. The trail, which is not easy to spot at the beginning, starts at the left of the path roughly 400m after the landing-stage (N67 57.658 E12 59.995). The trail crosses a meadow heading towards the mountain, then turns left to climb Pøylhammaren bank over the north-east slope. Around altitude 250m you reach an amphitheatre-like rock formation crowned with two summits (554m and 597m). The trail runs along the bottom of the rock formation and turns right to an altitude of 360m under Håtinden ridge. The trail then follows the south-east slope of Håtinden to an altitude of 400m, then climbs the slope to the pass (N67 57.428 E12 58.346 – 491m).
From the pass there is a wonderful view of Reinefjord to the east and Hermannsdalen Valley to the west, but in order to have a panoramic view you need to climb to the summit of Håtinden roughly 200m from the pass. Follow the ridge to your right (north facing) and climb about another sixty metres. The view should definitely not be missed!
Even though the climb back down Hermannsdalen Valley is steep the trail is clearly visible. From the pass head back down a hundred or so metres south-west, the trail then turns left and follows the mountain southwards until you are directly above a second pass. From here it heads down towards the west alongside the stream that feeds into the small Lake Øvervatnet (marked 144 on the map). Once you arrive at Lake Øvervatnet, the trail turns to the left along the southern shore. The trail then goes down to the large Lake Hermannsdalsvatnet along the bottom of the valley to the left of the stream. When you reach Lake Hermannsdalsvatnet you can take either of the two shores, but we have chosen the right one (North) because it is less rugged than the southern shore and also often sunnier. In summer the level of the lake drops and reveals natural paving on the shores which makes the hike easier. The lake is very shallow and the water can get quite warm in the summer. At the end of the lake you reach the old Hermannsdal farm surrounded by wild grasses and old stone walls. It is not easy to access the sea because the beach consists of enormous very slippery stones near the shore. It is possible to reach Sandhågen bank (marked 31 on the map) from where you have a very fine view over the rugged coast to the south and the entire valley. To the east of the bank there is a private cabin built in an unusual style.
Go back the way you came. There are no alternatives other than the pass described above to enter or leave the valley.
On the other hand, on the return journey once you have gone over the pass you can climb straight down the valley to the shore of Forsfjorden. If you opt for this itinerary you will not find a trail in the climb down from point N67 57.415 E12 58.512 (424m), but you will come across a faint path on the shore of the fjord which will take you to Vindstad via the seashore.