Sukkertoppen – The Beautiful Peak in Senja Norway

Sukkertoppen – The Beautiful Peak in Senja Norway

In good weather, the 360-degree views from the top of Sukkertoppen open to the Hamn i Senja archipelago, in the direction of Bergsøyene, to the neighboring mountains and further to the Bergsfjorden fjord and Husfjellet mountain.

Within short distance from Hamn i Senja in Norway rises the small but wonderful panoramic view offering Sukkertoppen (456 m) mountain. Sukkertoppen or 'Sugar Peak' is well suited for both trail running and hiking. The route is short, just over two kilometers in one direction, and very steep in places.

The island of Senja is the second largest island in Norway. Senja is often compared to Lofoten: equally fairytale-like landscapes but with far fewer tourists. The majority of Senja's most famous mountains, such as Hesten and Segla, are located on the north side of the island, the small Sukkertoppen at the very southern tip of the island.

In good weather, the 360-degree views from the top of Sukkertoppen open to the Hamn i Senja archipelago, in the direction of Bergsøyene, to the neighboring mountains and further to the Bergsfjorden fjord and Husfjellet mountain. You can also admire the sunset and midnight sun from Sukkertoppen. The peak is small, so not many people can fit there at a time.

It is possible to start the route from both the west and east side of the mountain, by Hamnveien road 86. There is a parking area on the west side, on the east side you have to leave the car on the side of the road. I went to Sukkertoppen for trail running – here’s a route description for trail running as well as hiking!

How to reach Sukkertoppen

The trail head of the Sukkertoppen trail can be found along road 86, Hamnveien. When arriving by car from Gryllefjord, the parking area is on the right, at Hellandsneset. On the map, the power lines make a 90-degree bend at this point.

At the beginning of the trail, there is a sign with Sukkertoppen marked in red and the length of the route set at 3.0 km. From the same point, the route marked in blue leads to the viewpoint. Red means a moderately challenging route.

The route is well marked with blue dots the whole way.

Sukkertoppen Trail description

The path immediately starts to climb under the power lines through dense grass slope. First, you go through a lush and deep ferns and green birch forest on a gravel and mud path with large rocks. Towards the end of July, the summer flowers still shine in shades of white, yellow and purple.

The path goes for a short distance on the slope of a rather steep wall, from which beautiful views of Hamn i Senja open up between the branches of the trees. After the edge, the path turns to the right. If it has been raining, there is probably quite a bit of mud here.

Next, the trail reaches the intersection. Turn left to the viewpoint, continue right towards Sukkertoppen. From the viewpoint, the path continues down to the other side of road 86, which means you can also go to Sukkertoppen from the east side. On this route you can admire the River Mølnelva and the old dam with the huge Grunnbøtinden mountain towering in the background.

After the crossing, the trail becomes drier and easier to run, and especially when coming down, you can enjoy fast-paced mountain running throughout the middle part of the route. Around here, you will arrive above the tree line.

On the left side is the beautiful narrow Lake Storvatnet, from which a roaring stream rushes down into the valley. According to the map, there is also a path along the eastern shore of the lake. Storvatnet would be a great place for a picnic!

You can run on a flat and only gently rising path for half a kilometer before the relatively steep climb to the Grytvatnet lake. After a rather short, steeper climb, you can run again on a good path to the north of the Grytvatnet lake. The easier section ends with boulders.

After Grytvatnet, the path alternates between flat rocky slopes and a muddy path. In the distance of about three hundred meters, there are fine natural plateaus, from which incredibly beautiful landscapes open out to the sea. Even if you don't want to climb the steepest and more demanding section, the route is relatively easy so far, and the scenery certainly doesn't pale too much next to the scenery at the top of Sukkertoppen.

The Sukkertoppen route has been classified as moderate in several contexts. However, there is a considerable steepness in the very last climb, and especially after the rain, the steep path is very slippery and there is a lot of loose soil on the path. Before reaching the steepest slope before the peak, where there is a chain to help you climb, you climb a slightly airy route with some exposure.

Just before my own trail running trip, it had been pouring rain, so the path was muddy and slippery in most places. I zigzagged about two-thirds of the way up the last steep climb to a platform where the path crosses to the left right at the edge of the vertical wall. There is a nice stone on the edge, which seems to have been created as a place to take a break and admire the scenery.

Perhaps I admired the scenery a little too long, because at the same time strong winds arrived and thick fog formed in seconds in the mountains. The whole Sukkertoppen disappeared in the fog, as did the bigger mountains around it.

There wouldn't have been much trail left to the top (three height curves on the map), but the terrain was already really challenging after the rains. Besides, Sukkertoppen was my first route on my trip to Senja in Norway, and I was just warming up for the mountain running (we don’t have mountains in Finland).

Since the bad weather had been expected and it was only going to turn worse, I decided to turn around for the return trip. The Sukkertoppen route is really nice and fast to run on the way down, except for the steep slope at the very top. The short and fast Sukkertoppen trail is perfect as a first destination in Senja!

Sukkertoppen, Senja

  • Destination: Skaland, Senja, Norway
  • Distance: 2.1 km one way
  • Difficulty: medium, last stretch demanding (difficult in rain)
  • Duration: 2 h (hiking, faster by trail running)
  • When to go: June to August
  • Where to stay: In the hotels of Hamn, you may find a place for a tent in Ballesvika

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