Botanical excursion to Guolasjávri

26.06.2019 Christensen, Karen Marie

Join us for at botanical excursion to Guolasjávri in Kåfjord on Monday 8 July. Leave from the Botanic Garden in Tromsø at 08:00 in own cars. Welcome!



The pictures here taken very recently (Tuesday 25 June) show that there is now full spring flowering at Guolasjávri in the Kåfjord mountains, featuring Rhododendron lapponicum (lapprose) and Cassiope tetragona (kantlyng). The dirt road is bumpy, but OK also for normal cars with its speed limit of 30 km/h. No mosquitos yet. So why not join the Botanic garden for a botanical excursion there?


Practicalities: The four cars available by the Garden staff are full already. We do not arrange transport and we do not how many persons will turn up, but we hear that several persons plan driving there. Please, announce your intentions on Facebook so you can share cars:

The primary departure is by the ferry across Ullsfjorden departing from Breivikeidet at 0900, continuing across Lyngen, so passengers should be ready in their cars for departure from Tromsø at 0800. After the Lyngen ferry crossing we meet at the Coop shop at Birtavarre (and visitors should be aware that there is a quite nice local handicraft shop just across from the grocery store) and around 11:15. There is also a possibility for cars to drive without ferries, and if you miss our planned ferry you will also be able to catch up with us.


After a 10-km drive up  the valley, we reach a place where three large canyons meet and ruins of a 100-year old copper mine are signposted and easy to see. 1.5 km or so above a bridge (airy, but completely safe) we park our cars and leave for a 1.8 km walk through a nice birch forest to a tourist attraction, Gorsabrua, an amazing and dramatic suspension bridge over the most narrow part of the canyon. Drivers must return or drive directly further by their cars, while the others can walk up another 2 km through the valley to the road above a hut (Paulanhytta), near the tributary river Sabetjohka.

Above the road, below a water-fall, the staff will establish a ‘pop-up restaurant’ serving marinated salmon for lunch. If you insist, you can pay 100 NOK in cash there + 50 for coffee/cake, but we also trust you to pay at the Bot. Garden café or donatometer later. We plan serving for 10 cars of people or so, but please bring some extra food also.

Then we will visit some 900 m hills and slopes with a lot of flowering next to depressions still covered by snow, although less so than in coastal mountains close to Tromsø.

Cars can return together or individually, and if the descent does not match ferry crossings one could drive the E-6 and E-8 roads back to Tromsø. There is a nice cafeteria at Vollan 60 km before Tromsø.

The excursion is offered by the Botanic Garden, but its organization is not our responsibility, thus each car needs to assure that all its passengers are brought back. It is often windy there, although in the rain shadow in westerly weather, but bring very good clothing, incl. cap, scarf and gloves.

An extensive presentation of the Guolasjávri mountain flora is planned for our new journal ‘Cassiope’. At this time a pdf of the present manuscript will be posted, but it is not finished yet. Then will the two exclusive species Pedicularis hirsuta (lodnemyrklegg) and P. flammea (brannmyrklegg) be found flowering during the excursion? We hope so, but do not guarantee….


Download The Guolasjávri area in easternmost Troms – and its exclusive mountain flora by Arve Elvebakk (pdf) 

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Opening hours and prices

1.6. - 31.8.:

1.9.- 31.5.:
Mon - Fri 10.00 - 16.30
Saturday 12.00 - 15.00
Sunday 11.00 - 16.00

Open every day, except for 1. and 17.5., 24. and 25.12.

Opening hours during Christmas 2019

Visiting adress:
Lars Thørings veg 10
Phone: +47 776 45 000

Ticket prices:

Adults: 70 NOK
Children (7-18)/Students/seniors: 35 NOK
Children under 7 years: free
Family ticket (2 adults + children): 140 NOK
Groups (minimum 10 persons): 50 NOK pr person

Combination ticket Tromsø Museum/Polarmuseet/MS Polstjerna:   100/50/200 NOK
Students and employees, UiT: Free

Opening hours
1.9–31.5:             11.00–17.00
1.6–31.8:             09.00–18.00

Open every day, except for 1 and 17 May.


Visiting address:
Søndre Tollbodgt 11

Phone: 77 62 33 60


Ticket prices:

Adults: 70 NOK
Children (7-18)/Students/seniors: 35 NOK
Children under 7 years: free
Family ticket (2 adults + children): 140 NOK
Groups (minimum 10 persons): 50 NOK pr person

Combination ticket Tromsø Museum/Polarmuseet/MS Polstjerna:   100/50/200 NOK
Students and employees, UiT: Free



Visiting adress:
Hjalmar Johansens gate 10 (by Polaria)
Phone: 77 62 33 60

Please observe that the stairs inside the ship are very steep. Visitors not comfortable with climbing ladders are advices to stay on the main deck. Regrettably, wheelchairs can not get onboard the vessel. Due to some high thresholds and dim lighting in parts of the ship, we recommend visitors with vision impairments to be accompanied.

Ticket prices for MS Polstjerna

Adults: 40 NOK
Children (7-18)/students/seniors: 20 NOK
Children under 7 years: free
Family ticket (2 adults + children): 80 NOK

Groups over 10 persons: 30 NOK pr person

Combination ticket MV Polstjerna/Tromsø Museum/Polarmuseet: 80/40/160 NOK

Combination ticket MV Polstjerna/Polaria:
- Adults: 115 NOK
- Children: 60 NOK
- Students: 75 NOK
- Seniors: 90 NOK


The Botanical Garden is open 24/7.

(The Botanical Garden has only outdoor displays.)

The cafe in Botanical garden

Summertime (1.6. - 31.8.)
Every day: 11.30-15.30

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