Mollisfossen was perhaps our favorite of the waterfalls we had encountered north of the Arctic Cricle so far. It was said to have a total drop of 269m that started off with upper cascades before making its final plunge into the Reisa Valley (Reisadalen) as you see in the photo at the top of this page. In order to even reach this waterfall, we had to take a traditional riverboat (which were really more like motorized canoes) up the Reisa River, but that involved a big of logistics to contend with. Otherwise without the riverboat option, just getting to this waterfall would be a very taxing 8-hour hike leading to an overlook of the falls from the rim of Reisadalen (where the upper cascades of the falls should be seen; at least I knew it was possible from a photo on a brochure I came across in the visitor center in Storslett). Further upstream along the Reisa River, there was said to be another waterfall called Imofossen, which we didn’t get a chance to do.
Our riverboat trip to this waterfall almost didn’t happen due to logistical complications. It turned out that we needed help from the friendly receptionist at the Storslett Norlandia Hotel to help us make a call to one of the boat operators (especially since the guy on the phone didn’t speak English, which was actually the first instance of this on our trip). During our July 2005 visit, the boat ride costed 1200kr per boatload (which could take up to 4-5 people with the cost shared amongst the participants). Unfortunately for us, our boatload only consisted of Julie and I so this tour wasn’t cheap. Besides, we had come all the way out to this remote part of Northern Norway so if money was the only thing holding us back, we bit the bullet and went for it. And we were glad that we did!So after all was said and done, we had arranged to meet at the banks of the Reisa River at this place called Saraelv. Once we saw the boat operator (who spoke little to no English and was probably the same guy we spoke to on the phone), we braved the wasps and mozzies to get right onto the boat after paying the operator in hard cash of Norwegian kroners. And with that, we sat in the lawn chairs set up on the canoe by the driver, and we were headed upstream.
The boat ride up Reisaelva took about 30-45 minutes on average each way. It actually took longer on the way there since we were going against the current. The river seemed shallow in spots, but the operator skillfully avoided rocks and shoals even though it seemed like we had lots of close calls. Along the boat ride, we were flanked by the moderate-sized cliff walls with a few small waterfalls along the way. Eventually, we started to see parts of Mollisfossen plunging high above the trees along the banks of the river, and once we docked at the trail leading to the base of the falls, the boat operator gave us a few minutes to spend before we had to return to the boat.
As Julie and I did the short walk from the boat to the base of Mollisfossen, we saw that there were many wildflowers blooming in the grassy area before the falls as well as a beautiful rainbow arcing across its misty base. We also had to contend with a few wasps (including one that wouldn’t leave me alone), which was probably about the only thing that kept this place from being a complete nirvana. There were also some Norwegian locals picnicking here as well (as they also took a boat tour similar to what we did).
After having our fill of Mollisfossen, we then returned to the boat operator who then took us back to Saraelv. The overall amount of time we spent on this excursion was between 2.5- to 3 hours. From there, we drove back to Storslett, but not before we started to notice quite a few waterfalls throughout Reisadalen between Saraelv and Storslett that for some reason we didn’t notice on the way in.
The nearest main town to Reisa National Park was Storslett, which was about 312km (under 5 hours drive) north of Narvik and 178km (2.5 hours drive) southwest of Alta; both along the E6. Storslett was also 137km (3.5 hours drive) east of Tromsø
From Storslett, we then headed south on Road 865 for about 44km to either Bilto or Saraelv (we did the latter). This road eventually degenerated into unpaved road towards the end of the drive. There was a rough unpaved road before Saraelv, which branched off the main unpaved road on the south side of the Reisa River (that other route led to a more formal car park, but the boat operator had us park in a more hidden clearing instead). It was here where we met with our river boat guide, but it was also here that the trail into the Reisa Valley began.
Overall, we spent about 60-75 minutes driving from Storslett to Saraelv.
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