Vancouver Island @ LOW Tide

BestHike editor Rick McCharles

I was born in the Rocky Mountain foothills, 1km above sea level.

Lived 10 years on the high prairies of Saskatchewan.

So when I get to my parents place on VANCOUVER ISLAND, I walk the coast at dawn. With coffee. The scenery is different every day.

BEST is Rathtrevor Beach at dawn.

BEST is when dawn coincides with low tide.

You can wander the ocean bottom nearly a kilometre out into the Straight of Georgia.

Click PLAY or get a glimpse on YouTube.

Climbing Holandsmelen Hill, Loftofen, Norway

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles

On leaving the famed Haukland beach, I walked to the nearby trailhead of Holandsmelen.

The unmarked, but well worn trail is easy to follow and relatively bog-free by Lofoten standards. That means it takes 20 minutes before your shoes are soaked rather than the usual 10 minutes. 😀

I found a possible campsite close to the trailhead parking lot — then hid my gear in a waterproof bag in the trees.

What I liked about Holandsmelen, relative to other Lofoten peaks, is that the going is not an unrelenting climb. There are flat sections on this half dayhike.

As usual, the views from the top are Lofoten breathtaking.

Looking over to Leknes

Here’s my favourite photo from the hike. I believe these tiny berries are edible.

Once again, sunset was long and astonishing.


Climbing Veggan from Uttakleiv Beach, Lofoten, Norway

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

My best campsite in Norway was at Uttakleiv beach. $20. The only time I paid for camping in a nation where you can camp almost everywhere free.

Early next morning I had to decide whether to climb Veggen or the more popular Mannen.

For no particular reason, I decided on Veggan (“the wall”) which is a bit higher at 489m. Starting early morning, I had the summit to myself.

Like many day hikes in Norway, it’s an unrelenting climb with one good photo stop at lake Vasskarvatnet.

On departing Uttakleiv, I enjoyed the walk along the coast to Haukland beach rather than try to walk through the automobile tunnel.

BONUS ➙ more footage of the beach. Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Hiking Sandbotnen beach to Ryten Summit, Lofoten, Norway

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles

There are a few options for climbing Ryten. And connecting other summits and beaches.

A beautiful day, I opted to start on Sandbotnen Beach, messing around for an hour before finally starting up the super popular Ryten hike.

With side trips that ended up about 12km and 673m elevation gain.

Click PLAY or get a glimpse on YouTube.

I stayed at the excellent nearby Lydersen Rorbuer hostel.

It is amazing to see beautiful sand beaches well above the Arctic Circle.

Sandbotnen beach, Lofoten

It’s muddy to start, though — for a welcome change in Norway — there are some helpful boardwalks.

Part way up there are some pretty lakes.

Sheep near the top of the mountain.

The weather was typical: sunny, rainy, windy, calm … with threatening lightning. 😀

That’s Kvalvika Beach way down below. I didn’t make the detour but wished I had done so.

Kvalvika Beach

Great views from the top.

Ryten summit cairn

On the way down, clouds formed in the cooler valleys.

There’s a mountain hut on Ryten.

Of the many famous day hikes I’ve done in the Lofoten archipelago, Ryten is one of my favourites.

related – Earth Trekkers Trip Report

Hiking out of Bodø, Norway

The gateway to the wonderful Lofoten archipelago is the town of Bodø, the end of the train line north.

It’s usually cheaper and easier to fly as the train is a 17 hour overnight journey from Oslo. The town is so compact that you can easily walk from the airport to the train station.

On my two trips to the awesome Lofoten hikes, I’ve spent quite a few days in Bodø — supposedly in transit.

It’s worth wandering the streets of Bodø.

ALSO — there is some hiking available walking from the centre of town.

I went first to Bestefarvarden. An interesting scramble among rocky cliffs overlooking the sea.


The “hike” starts close to this beach, well above the Arctic Circle.

I left a Summit Stone there.

Click PLAY or get a glimpse on YouTube.

From there, I walked through an industrial zone to reach the city fortress (redoubt). Small, but interesting. With good views over to Bodø centre.

In addition, many tourists visit Saltstraumen, a small strait with one of the strongest tidal currents in the world. 

There’s more to Bodø than only a transit point.

Oregon Coast Trail is NOT REALLY a Trail 😀

Forced off the Pacific Crest Trail due to forest fire, Ryan (Kodak) Brown and his partner Ilse Cinnamon Praet decided on Oregon, instead.

The two cofounded Wilderland Media.

It’s more of a ROUTE, not a continuous trail. More than 150 miles (240 km) of the route is on pavement.

Walked in its entirety, linking each trail/beach section, the distance is approximately 425 miles. …

The northern trailhead is at the base of the south jetty of the Columbia River, approximately 4 miles (6 km) north of the campground of Fort Stevens State Park and about 13 miles (21 km) from the city of Astoria.

The trail runs north-south along the entire Oregon Coast, following the shore as closely as practical.

For many portions of the route, it is beach walking, mostly on sand. In populated areas it often follows the nearest street to the shore.

Many parts of the trail leave the beach and take an inland path, usually where land formations make the shoreline impassable, such as at Cape Kiwanda.  …


Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

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