Sikholfjellet from Instesætra


Estimated net time 4-5 hours
Difficulty No difficulties, except for three river/stream crossings. The one that's likely to cause most problems is crossing of the river in Vatnedalen, where you leave the path and head up to Svartdalskjeften.
Drinking water Many sources of running water up to Svartdalskjeften, and nothing reliable after that.
GSM coverage Only coverage at the summit (July 2011).
Parking Room for many cars at trail head.
Start height 575 metres
Vertical metres 805 metres for the roundtrip.
Trip distance 11.0 km
GPS-file X


Route photo

  Trail head at Instesætra.
  Route from Vatnedalen to Svartdalskjeften.


From Ålesund drive road E39 south towards Bergen, and then exit onto road 60 just south of Ålesund. This road is signed for Stranda. Follow road 60 to the Magerholm ferry port and get the ferry across to Aursneset. From Aursneset ferry port follow road 60 for approximately 35 km, across Strandafjellet, to where you get to a T-junction. There is an Esso petrol station on the right hand side of the road (per 2011). Turn right here and continue 7.2 km along road 60 in the direction of Stryn. Turn right at Helstad, down and across the bridge, and drive 1.1 km from road 60, to a gate. Pay the fee (NOK 40 per 2011), and continue another 7.0 km along the gravel road. Park on either side of the road just before the gate.

Start walking by following the gravel road down to the cabins at Instesætra. Make sure you don't cross the bridge, but continue straight ahead (south) in the direction of Svartdalskjeften. The gravel road soon turns into a wide path, which you follow 2.4 km from trail head. A sign shows the direction towards Svartdalen, and you should turn right here. There is no path, but the sign serves an important purpose; it gives the direction to the best place for crossing the river running through Vatnedalen. Cross the river at the obvious place, approximately 50 metres from where you left the path, and proceed south-west to the right (north) side of a small lake. The stream draining from this lake can easily be crossed a few metres from the lake.

From this lake find you best route uphill. When the terrain levels out for a short distance you should take the opportunity to cross the stream coming down from Svartdalen. This is probably best done just below a small waterfall. From here follow the south slopes of Sikholfjellet all the way to the summit, which is marked by a cairn.

Descend by reversing your ascent route.



19. July 2011

This Tuesday of our summer holiday was the third day running with intentions of hiking Sikholfjellet. The day before I had even come as far as driving a few kilometres from our cabin, but when heavy rain set in I decided to turn around. But today was the day, despite a grey sky and major danger of rain.

I set out from Instesætra a little before 9am and arrived at the Svartdalen sign in Vatnedalen after just over 30 minutes, and was a bit surprised when I realised that there was no path leading up to Svartdalen. But a few minutes later I understood the purpose of the sign; it points hikers to the best river crossing. And thanks to this I had no problems crossing the river on some large stones. From here I proceeded up the hill to Svartdalen, soon realising this would be a strenuous hike thanks to my active day yesterday, which finished off with a 15 km off-road cycling race with Sigurd.

After having crossed the stream at the start of Svartdalskjeften I headed uphill at a moderate pace, but very much enjoying the excellent views and hiking in new territory. The hike from Svartdalskjeften to the summit took me close to 50 minutes, and I was happy to change into a dry sweater and enjoy a sandwich, before taking photos and the hike back down.

Photos 19.07.2011