About The Lyngen Alps Waterfalls and the Kafjord Waterfalls
The Kafjorden Waterfalls page (more accurately spelled Kåfjorden in Norwegian or Gáivuotna in Sami) was a page where I’m attributing the waterfalls we’ve seen as we were driving the E6 highway as well as the ferry ride hooking up the Lyngseidet and Olderdalen.
Although the real-estate we’re covering on this page spans a fairly expansive area, we’re primarily focusing on three main parts…
- Waterfalls seen on the Lyngseidet to Olderdalen Ferry
- The Lyngen Alps Waterfalls
- The Kåfjorden Waterfalls
I felt the need to do this because we saw so many waterfalls that were apparently unnamed.
Perhaps this was a very telling aspect about Norwegian Waterfalls – there are so many of them in the country and in small stretches like this, that they tend to be taken for granted!
Nevertheless, we’re doing the waterfall descriptions in this order because we actually did all three sections on our return trip to Norway in 2019.
On that trip, we first went across the Lyngen Channel via ferry, then we drove north on the E6 eventually up to Alta before turning back and driving all the way back south through the Kåfjorden along the way (as well as another go at the Lyngen Alps before that).
Waterfalls seen on the Lyngseidet to Olderdalen Ferry
First and foremost, we had to do this ferry as a direct way of leaving Tromsø to return to the E6 across the Lyngen Channel.
The drive along between the first ferry (at Breivikeidet and Svensby) and the second ferry (at Lyngseidet and Olderdalen) was enough to make us want to pause as long as we could without missing out on the nearest scheduled ferry departure.
While we easily could have lingered on the western side of the Lyngen Alps for longer (where undoubtedly we would have experienced more waterfalls), we can only describe the waterfalls we did observe on the ferry itself across the Lyngen Channel.
During the ferry ride between Lyngseidet and Olderdalen, we spotted a handful of waterfalls towards the south on the east-facing wall of the Sørfjorden.
I didn’t know their names though so that kind of makes it harder to discuss other than to show pictures.
Looking in the other direction, I spotted very thin waterfalls near the mouth of Kåfjorden as well as behind the town of Olderdalen.
The Lyngen Alps Waterfalls
With respect to the Lyngen Alps, I’ve had co-workers see my desktop photo of Julie, Tahia, and I smiling before mountains that rise up sharply out of the water behind us. And their initial guess at the photo location was that we were at the Grand Tetons.
It turned out that this scenery came from Northern Norway (specifically the Lyngen Alps), where the mountains rose up sharply out of the saltwater Lyngen Channel (as opposed to the Tetons rising up out of the man-made freshwater reservoir of Jackson Lake).
With such steep terrain topped by snow and glaciers, there had to be many waterfalls tumbling down to sea level, and that’s exactly what we witnessed.
There are simply too many waterfalls to single out (where sometimes it’s hard to tell snow gullies versus waterfalls apart).
However, one waterfall in particular that I felt the need to single out was a particularly giant one that I believe flowed on one of the streams either as far north as Vakkasjohka or the Store Rensa or as far south as a stream tumbling into Landvindshamna.
If I interpret the topographic maps correctly, this waterfall could be as tall as 450m!
It was hard to tell from just eyeballing the waterfall from across the Lyngen Channel.
But one thing I do know for sure was that it was right across the channel from Djupvik (“deep bay”) where the E6 started to curve more inland to the northeast as we were going north.
There were a few unsigned pullouts that we took advantage of to get a view of this waterfall.
And it was from one of these pullouts that we also just took our Lyngen Alps shot (the very one I put on my desktop wallpaper at work right after our 2019 Scandinavia Trip).
The rest of the waterfalls were primarily south of the big waterfall we’re singling out here, and they seemed typical of the kind of waterfalls you’d typically encounter when glaciers melt.
Especially in a Global Warming world where such waterfalls become more plentiful and the flow starts to diminish as the ice pack also diminishes, who knows what other new waterfalls pop up and which existing ones start to disappear?
The Kåfjorden Waterfalls
This page originally started off as just a dedication of the waterfalls found in Kåfjorden, because Julie and I first drove through here twice back in July 2005 towards the end of that first visit to Norway.
We didn’t expect to have to make a page out of it, but we happened to spot so many of them, that we couldn’t ignore them any longer.
Assuming that we were driving along the northern side of the fjord (say from Olderdalen) and heading south, the first waterfalls we would have noticed were a pair of thinner waterfalls tumbling side by side somewhere near the mouth of a side valley called Manndalen.
Continuing further south along the E6, we then encountered the next side-by-side pairing of waterfalls, which I’d imagine were probably the most spicuous of the bunch of waterfalls tumbling into Kåfjorden.
I believe these waterfalls fell on the Ytre Iselva and the Indre Iselva.
We certainly noticed these waterfalls on both of our trips (in 2005 and 2019), and I recalled there were enough unsigned pullouts to take pictures of them safely.
As we moved to the head of Kåfjorden we noticed another waterfall further inland within the Kåfjorddalen.
I believe this waterfall tumbled on the Okseelva, and we managed to take either distant photos from the E6 or slightly more inland in the valley itself.
However, we didn’t explore any further to see if there were more ways to experience it.
As the road swung around to the south side of the fjord, the E6 pretty much went through a couple of long tunnels. I didn’t recall those tunnels being there before in 2005, but I also didn’t recall the scenery being that compelling anyways on this side.
The stretches of waterfalls were segregated into three main sections on this page.
The first stretch was pretty much the Fv91 between Svensby and Olderdalen via Lyngseidet. You can easily route to either side of this stretch as they both involve ferries.
We did the drive coming from Tromsø before rejoining the E6 at Olderdalen.
The second stretch went north of Olderdalen along the E6 towards Djupvik and beyond.
While almost the entire way we could peer across the Lyngen Channel to see the Lyngen Alps, the main waterfall in this stretch could be seen closer to Djupvik.
According to my GPS logs, the pullouts where we stopped the car to see the big waterfall were at about 12km north from Olderdalen to the first pullout on the left side of the road.
Another pullout we stopped at, which was closer to Djupvik, was at about 5km further to the north along the E6.
Again, the pullout was on the left side of the road.
Finally, the last stretch went south of Olderdalen along the E6 towards the head of Kåfjorden or the mouth of Kåfjorddalen.
Most of the waterfalls we’ve cited here were mostly visible from the road though you have to be opportunistic about pulling the car over because pullouts were both easy to miss and quite infrequent.
For geographical context, Olderdalen was about 14km (under an hour ferry ride) east of Lyngseidet, 46km (about 45 minutes drive) south of Storslett, 210km (about 3 hours drive) west of Alta, 89km (about 2.5 hours drive with a ferry) or 183km (about 2.5 hours drive without a ferry) east of Tromsø, and 273km (under 4 hours drive) northeast of Narvik.
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