The most famous Glaciers in the Arctic Circle is Okstindan and Svartisen. In winter it can fall more than 10 meters of snow in the Arctic Circle area of Norway. You can take part in snow- and glacier activities all year around, and we have several wintersport arenas of top class. Mo i Rana has fostered both World Champions and Olympic Champions through the years.
The Svartisen glacier is the second largest glacier in Norway. The Svartisen glacier is a park of Saltfjellet / Svartisen national park, wich is Norway´s most various national park. The Svartisen glacier is 375 square kilometer, an thereby covers quite a bit of land. The glacier stretches all the way from the widths in Saltfjellet mountain area, through beautifull valleys with calm rivers, and out to fjords and steep mountains at the coast.
The Svartisen glacier is divided in to two separate glaciers:
The West Ice and The East Ice. The Western valley, that separates the two glaciers, became free of ice just a short while ago. the glacier landscape consists of river plains with sand and clay remains that´s under continous change by the glacier rivers. In some glacier lakes you can be witness to the glaciers calve in to the lake.
Svartisen Glacier is the great tourist attraction of Saltfjellet National Park is the Svartisen (Black Ice) glacier, the largest icefield in northern Scandinavia, extending westwards to the coastal fjords. For the most part the plateau lies between 1,200 metres, 900 ft and 1.400 metres, 600 ft, with individual peaks rising above this, including Snetind (1.599 metres, 246 ft), Sniptind (1.591 metres, 220 ft) and Istind (1.577 metres, 174 ft). The best access from the south is by way of Mo i Rana and from there northwest to Svartishytta or Melfjorden. Both roads end at the foot of an offshoot of the Svartisen glacier.
Okstindan, also said to be the roof of Northern Norway. The Okstindan massive can give you many and exciting adventure in a mountain range filled with contrasts. The scenery changes from sharp peaks, to glacier arms and calm valleys. The weather can change extremely fast in these areas. But no matter what the weather is like, you can enjoy a beautiful and majestic, and sometimes difficult to access, mountain scenery. Here you can climb Northern Norway´s highest mountain, Oksskolten (the Oxe´s head), 1.916 metres above sea level, play in the ice cracks or hike pleasantly through the Speltfjell valley towards the Gressvatn cabin.
Why does this area excite so much? Well, an altitude similar to other alpine areas in Norway. The peaks reaches up to about 1.900 meters above sea level from the bottom of the valleys below at 400 - 700 meters above sea level. There is no mountains in the area that can measure with this for miles and miles. With the peaks surrounding the glacier plateau, you feel like you´re really on the top of the world. The area invites you to combine airy hikes with climbing in blue ice.
Glacier walking on Okstindan or Svartisen with glacier arms that calves in glacier lakes give you a mighty impression. In the peak season you can reach the Svartisen glacier from the Svartisen valley by boat and a three km hike, through the Glom valley in between the two main glaciers, or from Melfjorden in the magnificent and breathtaking Nordfjorden.
Glacier walking is an incredible experience, but it also demands alertness, knowledge and equipment. Glaciers are constantly moving. Deep crevasses and gorges can reveal ancient secrets, but they are also dangerous. Guarantee your safety by using authorised instructors, and never venture out onto or near a glacier on your own.