Laksforsen was probably the first substantial waterfall that we had seen in a while as we had made a brutally long drive from Trondheim (in Sør-Trøndelag County) north to Mo I Rana (in Nordland County) during our June-July 2005 trip to Norway. The last waterfall that we had seen prior to this one was Grongstadfossen some 170km to the south in Nord-Trøndelag County. It was probably a good thing that made our stop when we did because I recalled getting really road fatigued as the hours upon hours of driving on the E6 really took its toll. A sign by the car park (see directions below) for Laksforsen saying the E6 was one of the most dangerous roads in the country underscored that point!
In any case, as we took our Laksforsen break, we were treated to viewing the scenic waterfall tumbling 16-17m in height while completely spanning the width of the Vefsna River. The car park itself was probably our favorite spot to check the falls as we were able to see the whole thing in a pleasing context (as shown in the photograph above). We also took a short, somewhat steep, and surprisingly slippery (due to a combination of gravel and the worn smooth rock surface) walking path besides the cafes and souvenir shops here that took us down to a more frontal view of the falls from the large plunge pool by the Vesna River.
Even though Julie and I felt like we really earned our visit to Laksforsen by sitting in the rental car for several hours, we did notice there were quite a few tour buses occupying the large car park. Thus, this place was very popular, and the infrastructure that was here certainly ensured that would be the case. That said, we definitely took advantage of our time in the cafe here eating something more substantial besides chips or other junk food in the car (even if it was hot dogs (pølser) or other things that they had in mid-afternoon well after middagen).
The name of Laksforsen was interesting in that they used the word “fors” instead of “foss.” I had read that this had more to do with a mix of regional and cultural influences from the indigenous Sami people mixed with Swedish. The front part of the waterfall’s name laks means salmon. We had seen a handful of people with angling rods downstream of the falls trying their luck at salmon fishing though I’d imagine it might have also been an opportunity to get a closer look at salmon trying to leap their way above the falls, especially given that there was a 270m salmon ladder as well (said to be the largest at the time it was finished in 1894).
As mentioned earlier, we came up from Trondheim so the driving directions are described as if starting from there. Note that Trondheim was 495km (about 6.5 hours drive) north of Oslo. We drove north on the E6 for some 362km (probably around 6 hours on the E6 alone). At that point, we saw a well-signed turnoff on our left, which then continued for another 200m to the large car park for Laksforsen.
The nearest major town to the falls was Mosjøen (I think is pronounced “MOO-shuew-un”), which was 28km further to the north on the E6. Julie and I were spending the night at Mo I Rana, which was 115km (over 2 hours) further to the north along the E6. Mo I Rana seemed to be a more suitable base for tourists given that it was also the gateway to a lot of glacier (especially Svartisen [“the Black Ice”] Glacier) and cave excursions.
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