On a fine September day I set out with my cousin, his wife, and their two young children for a two hour hike up to Reindalseter. Our path followed a Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) trail within the Tafjord mountains (Tafjordfjella) in Reinheimen National Park.
Tafjord has a reputation in Norway for some of the sunniest weather in the country, and this day was a good example – blue skies and bright sun.
Our trip began with a drive along beautiful Tafjord, and then through the town of the same name at the end of the fjord. There is a major hydroelectric plant in the mountains above the town, with a dam set in a narrow, steep gorge. We drove up past the dam to a parking area south of the lake Zakariasvatnet (Sakrisvatnet on some maps), about 450 meters above sea level.
Here we parked and the trail began. My companions sat their kids into the carrier seats in their backpacks, and we set off.
The first stretch of the trail runs for about 2 km along the rocky and wooded south shore of Zakariasvatnet. The trail is not steep here, but it crosses many stretches of rocks and boulders that can be slippery if wet.
As the trail reaches the eastern end of Zakariasvatnet, it begins to climb up to the plateau on which Reindalseter lies, a rise of about 270 meters. It's not especially steep initially but gets more so as one proceeds. Even the steepest parts are still walking terrain. The ascent covers about 1.5 km.
A river, which streams from the plateau above, falls down here to the lake in a waterfall known as Reindalsfossen. As you ascend, the trail crosses the river on a foot bridge. It also passes another lake, Sildevatnet.
At the top, we paused to look back at the fantastic view.
After our climb we continued west on the trail another 1 km, over the gently rolling, lightly forested terrain of the valley Reindal. The view was beautiful in every direction. On the right hand side, we passed the lake Langvatnet. There are supposed to be trout in the lake, though we did not have fishing gear with us to put this idea to the test. Next time!
As we walked through Reindal, it was possible to see the buildings at Reindalseter from across the valley. We came first to a number of cabins, including one that my companions said is used by the queen of Norway.
A bit farther on, we crossed a river on a foot bridge, over which hung a sign informing us we'd arrived at Reindalseter.
We reached the DNT lodge shortly thereafter, where during the summer season a traveller can get a hot or cold drink, or a meal. There are a good many DNT cabins around it as well, so although we were there only for a day trip, it looks like a good place to overnight on a longer trip.
We settled down at a picnic table in the sun, ate our lunch, let the kids loose to roam about a bit, and enjoyed a picture perfect day at Reindalseter.
Before starting on our way back down the trail, we took a brief walk to see one more site in Reindal.
A short distance east of Reindalseter is an official Norwegian natural monument, Storfurua. Storfurua is a giant, ancient pine tree. It was registered as a Norwegian natural monument in 1933, and is around 1,000 years old.