Do you like mountain adventures, amazing views, and challenging yourself with something more than a mountain hike? Then, you should try Loen Via Ferrata – a prepared climbing path suitable for usually fit people, with the longest hanging Via Ferrata bridge in Europe. If the exposure doesn’t take your breath away, the views towards blue Nordfjord, turquoise lakes, and sparkling glaciers surrounding Loen surely will. Have a look at how to climb Loen Via Ferrata in Norway.
Loen Via Ferrata in Norway
After climbing Hemsedal via Ferrata, and Trolltunga via Ferrata last year, I had my eyes on one of the most spectacular via Ferrata routes in Norway – Loen Via Ferrata.
Via Ferrata in Italian means “iron path”. It is a protected climbing route, typically with metal ladders, grips, and wires. Loen Via Ferrata is special due to its spectacular views, accessible route, and the longest Ferrata bridge in Europe, measuring 120 meters. It also allows you to switch to a different, harder, route if you need a bigger challenge or to try some of the hanging rope bridges.
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Loen Via Ferrata – The Facts
The details below are about the most popular route for Loen Via Ferrata of difficulty C.
Length: 6 km
Total time: 5-6 hours
Elevation gain: 730 m
Highest point: Mt. Hoven
Difficulty: Normal route is A/B/C with variants of D and E. Ragnarok is extreme via Ferrata of difficulty F.
Routes: Normal route with difficult variants or Ragnarok Extreme
Season: Summer, it usually opens 1st May and stays open until the end of October (weather-related).
Starting point: The hike starts from the car park in front of Loen Skylift lower station.
Drinking water: not much on the way, but possible to fill it up in the restaurant on the top.
Direction: One way, it’s not possible to go down via Ferrata due to a high number of people going up.
Return: You can go down with Loen Skylift or by following the hiking path down (7 km to the car park + 5km to Loen) – more about it below.
How to climb Loen Via Ferrata
You can climb Loen Via Ferrata with a guide through Loen Active, or, if you are experienced with these types of routes, you can also do it by yourself.
If you don’t have the equipment, you can rent it from Loen Active for 450 NOK. I think it’s quite expensive for one-time rental, so if you are planning to climb more Via Ferrata routes in the future, I recommend buying your own set (see below what you need).
Gear you need to climb Loen Via Ferrata
The gear you need for climbing Loen Via Ferrata include:
- climbing harness
- Via Ferrata lanyard
- climbing gloves
- sturdy shoes
- carabiner with resting sling
- comfortable stretchy trousers
Other things worth taking with you for Loen Via Ferrata are:
- suncream – I always take this suncream as it has great protection, good skincare, and is perfect for kids and adults on face and body.
- enough food and water for a day (you can fill up water on the top in Hoven restaurant of Loen Skylift)
- a small camera that you can attach to your helmet or bag
- small and light backpack
How to get to the beginning of Via Ferrata Loen
The start of the route is near the car park for Loen Skylift. If you park near Loen Active, then you need to walk a bit more, to get to the Skylift, and then turn right into the forest to the uphill path. It’s signposted all the way.
Loen Via Ferrata Climb and the Route
Loen Via Ferrata has several routes of different difficulty. The most popular route has sections of A/B, B/C, and C. You can also do a part that has the difficulty of D and D/E.
Another route, that is for experts is called Ragnarok and has difficulty E/F.
All of that is explained at the beginning of Ferrata.
Return from Loen Via Ferrata
The Loen Via Ferrata finishes on top of mountain Hoven at 1011 m. To get back down to Loen from there, you have several options. The quickest, but also the most expensive is to take Loen Skylift down. Loen Skylift is a cable car that runs from the top of Mt. Hoven back down to Loen. One way trip costs 400 NOK. You can check prices and schedules here.
Alternatively, you can hike all the way down. The hike down is 7 km by gravel road to the car park (on google maps it’s Parkering for Rakssetra/Oppheimsetra/Årheimsfjellet/Skogsvei til Hoven), and from there another 5 km to get back to Loen. If you have access to two cars, I recommend leaving one in each car park, so the return is easier.
If you decide to hike back down after via Ferrata, I recommend stopping by the picturesque old mountain farm Rakksetra.
Where to stay while climbing Loen Via Ferrata
Hotels near Loen:
Hotel Alexandra Loen – individually decorated rooms with views of the fjord and a balcony. Indoor and outdoor pool. Check prices and availability here
Stryn Hotel – Located by the green Stryneelva River, it has great views and clean rooms. Check prices and availability here
Olden Fjordhotel – located on Nordfjord’s waterfront, beautiful views and library to relax in. Check prices and availability here
Campsites near Loen:
Nesset Fjordcamping – Wooden cottages and place to camp, Free WiFi and free parking, BBQ facilities. Check prices and availability here
Oldevatn Camping – cottages, caravan area, and camping area. Located by one of the most beautiful lakes in the area. Check prices and availability here
Olden Camping Gytri – stunning views of the mountains and lake. BBQ facilities, clean bathrooms. Camping area and cottages. Check prices and availability here
Would you like to climb Loen Via Ferrata? Or maybe you already did? Let me know in the comments!
QUICK PLANNING TIPS FOR TRAVEL AND CAMPING IN NORWAY
- Find the best flights to Norway with Skyscanner.net
- Book your accommodation with Booking.com – here you can find the best cheap hotels in Oslo
- Find best car rental deals on Rentalcars
- Activities to try in Norway you can find on Get your Guide and Viator
- Read Norway on a budget travel guide
Read more about Norway:
Tips on how to travel Norway on a budget
Kjerag hike without the crowds – Kjeragbolten
Best Norwegian gifts and souvenirs to bring back from your trip
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