Trailrunning from Haukland to Uttakleiv

From Haukland via Mannen to Uttakleiv

StoriesJune 2024

If you like trail running, you will love this track. The tour above the most beautiful beaches of Lofoten is a must for anyone who appreciates the combination of sea and summit.

Some days start so badly that they can only get better. This day is one of them and before we can start our trail run from Haukland to Uttakleiv, we get into a really bad mood. In the end, however, we are rewarded with an unexpected summit and a breathtaking view.

The roads on the Lofoten Islands are not exactly the best, but who is surprised: icy winters, snow, frost and moisture leave their mark, often in the form of potholes in the asphalt. Most of the time, we manage to get around the holes, which are sometimes as big as if they could swallow up an entire vehicle. But just before we reach the parking lot at Haukland Strand, our starting point for this tour, we unfortunately miss one of the deeper ones and our van crashes right through it. There is a huge bang, it feels like all the furniture breaks out of its anchoring and then nothing works for a while, apart from the warning message on the display. We roll a few more meters to the side of the road, but the engine is off and won't start again for the time being. A great start to the day, we think to ourselves and with grumpy faces we set about troubleshooting. 20 minutes, an internet search and a call to the garage later, we have actually managed to fix the problem, get the engine running again and we are finally standing on Haukland beach. I pay the 40 crowns for the parking fee with a smile, happy to be able to park here at all. Then we set off.

Our first steps take us past the entrance to the tunnel that leads through the mountain to Uttakleiv, across the road. From now on it's uphill. To warm up, we follow the small road towards Solstadvatnet, but shortly before we reach the lake, which remains hidden to most visitors who only come for the sandy beach, we turn left and follow the hiking trail. We quickly gain altitude in short hairpin bends and after a short time we reach the small Klumpan pass.

Our plan for this tour was to walk over this crossing to Uttakleiv and around the Veggen back to Haukland. We skipped further research on this trail and are now quite surprised to see that there is another hiking trail to our left leading uphill. So why not climb a little further up to the next hilltop and enjoy the view. But as is the case with "the next hilltop", there is usually more to come and so we follow the path, which is a little muddy but otherwise easy to walk on, until we reach the summit of the Mannen (as we check later on the map).

We hadn't expected such a magnificent view and the extra 200 meters in altitude were definitely worth it. The view over to Veggen and down to the turquoise waters of Haukland beach is truly overwhelming and we both have big grins on our faces. After all, we are looking at the most beautiful beach in Norway, according to the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet. Behind us, Himmeltind rises into the sky and in front of us lies the small lake Vasskarvatnet in a hollow. Sometimes you just have to follow your nose and the rest takes care of itself. The pothole disaster of just over an hour ago is long forgotten and at this moment we are simply enjoying our good fortune.

A muesli bar for refreshment, then we set off on the descent. Instead of potholes, up here we encounter muddy paths that are at least just as treacherous and, coupled with the little snow that is still lying here, this results - at least for me - in a running style that is more reminiscent of raw eggs than solid trail running. I can probably still work on my grace, but in the end I also make it back to the Klumpan crossing unscathed. Back on our planned route, we follow the path towards Uttakleiv, which looks like an old road on the north side and on which we can run side by side and make good progress.

Back (almost) at sea level, we follow the road for a while to reach the parking lot near Uttakleiv beach. In April and May, there is actually hardly anything going on here, only a few cars are parked in the parking lot and a few tourists have made themselves comfortable with their packed lunches in the midday sun and with a magnificent view of the beach with its spherical rocks. For us, on the other hand, the next few minutes are rather uncomfortable, as our route takes us further along the north side of the Veggen in its shade. The air temperature is still quite cool at 6°C and without the warming rays of sunshine, we immediately feel a little shivery. But we have no choice for the next kilometer, so we put on our collars.

Thanks to the flat road, which was the official connection to Uttakleiv until 1998 when the tunnel was opened, we make rapid progress and within a few minutes we reach the westernmost section of our trail running loop around Veggen. Back in the sunshine, we tackle the last few kilometers and are rewarded once again at the end with a tailwind, sun on our faces and a view of Hauklandstrand.

At ten kilometers, this trail from Haukland to Uttakleiv is not exactly one of the longest trails we have run so far, but it is definitely one of the most beautiful. The detour to the summit of Mannen was definitely worth the extra meters of altitude, the views from high up are extremely impressive and the flat final stage allows us to enjoy this incredible landscape again at sea level. For us, this trail is definitely one of the top runs in the Lofoten Islands.

Share article

About Marina Kraus

Marina Kraus
Marina tells emotional stories in her authentic texts and invites readers on exciting mental journeys to breathtaking landscapes. From the majestic Alps to the endless expanses of the North Sea, she takes her readers on sporting adventures and takes a look behind the scenes. Her texts reflect her passion for the small and large wonders of nature and invite readers to experience the world with all their senses.
Read biography