Segla hiking trail is one of the most popular hikes in Norway. Over the years, its popularity has skyrocketed due to its widely shared pictures on social media but most of those pictures are not taken from Segla but from the neighbouring Hesten peak which has the postcard view of Segla and surrounding mountains. I have hiked to the top of Segla and Hesten in both Winter and Summer season and in this blog, you will all the information you should know before visiting.
The hiking trail starts from the village of Fjordgard which is along the stunning Ornfjord and surrounded by steep mountains. It is connected to the rest of the island of Senja by a series of three dark road tunnels. The Segla trail is at the entrance of the village by taking the first left turn. There is parking for visitors. The village is very small and has only a couple of streets so it won't be difficult to reach the trailhead of Segla and Hesten.
To get the Hesten trailhead, take the second left turn and continue till the end of the street. It is hard to find parking near the trailhead but you can parking in the street.
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The hiking trail is well-trodden and well marked. The late afternoon is probably the best time due to the possibility of low clouds in the area. The summit of the Segla is usually above the clouds and during the summer you can enjoy midnight sun from the top. Another option would be to hike to the neighbouring Hesten peak or you can first hike to Segla and later Hesten.
In my opinion, the views from the Hesten are even better especially from the summit of Hesten you will have the postcard view of the Segla mountain. The trek is also a lot easier compared to Segla and only the last section is a steep climb. There are different viewpoints and you can easily spend more than an hour at the top.
The hiking trail of Segla in winter is very difficult to climb due to ice and snow but the Hesten hiking trail is still an easy hike. Depending on the snow conditions you might need snowshoes. We went there in March and there was a path and we didn't need snowshoes. Only the last section was a little difficult due to soft snow. It is a popular winter trek on the island and we met many hikers some wearing snowshoes.
The weather was perfect, clear blue sky and expected to stay like that during the night. We checked the Northern Lights index and it was 3 so we were really looking forward to seeing the Aurora Borealis over Segla mountain. After a couple of hours of hiking, we reached the top and found a nice flat area to pitch our tent.
After only a few minutes at the summit, I noticed my body was cooling down and I had to put on more warm clothes before setting up our tent. Due to intense sun during the day, there was a lot of soft snow and we struggled to pitch our tent. We finally managed to pitch the tent and the trick is to bury the cords under the snow, compress it by stepping on the soft snow.
After the sunset, the temperatures dropped significantly. We cooked our dinner and waited patiently for the Northern Lights. It didn't take long before the more intense display of the light started. Even though it was predicted to be an index of 3 but for at least one hour it was very intense before the intensity went down. It was very windy and my tripod fell down with my camera on it. Unfortunately, the intervalometer pin hit the ground first and due to the weight of the camera it broke. Now the only way to take pictures for a nice timelapse was to manually press the shutter which I did for the next couple of hours. I was able to get some awesome pictures but my hands and feet were so cold that I had almost no feelings for at least 3 weeks after that night.
There are a number of flat spots for camping on the Hesten mountain with a perfect view of the Segla mountain. If you want to do camping in winter, you should be fully prepared and carry a good winter sleeping bag with you.