Besseggen is definitely one of the most famous hike and mountain ridges in Norway! The spectacular view with Gjende and Bessvatnet separated with just the small mountain ridge is breathtaking even for the most traveled hiker. Join the around 60 000 yearly other hikers and hike the Besseggen ridge!
The Besseggen mountain ridge is forged by Thor, and one of the most known places in “The Home of the Giants” and Jotunheimen National Park. The unique aspects of this hike is the view across the ridge. The spectacular view is made from the two lakes the Gjende lake with the distinct green color, one the one side of the ridge and 400 meter above on the other side we find Bessvatnet with its blue color typical of other lakes. The colors from Gjende is a result from glacier runoff containing clay and rock flour. Looking down towards Memurubu one can see the nearby river Muru coloring the water with a light colored runoff.
The famous view point is in the middle of the trail, and the total hike will take between 6 and 9 hours. Make sure you are in good shape, and are ready for a long full day hike. The trail is steep, long, and demanding! Start or end your Besseggen tour with a cruise on the Gjende lake with Gjendebåten. The boat has up to 7 departures every day in high season! Most people choose to walk Besseggen by taking the boat from Gjendesheim to Memurubu and then hike back to Gjendesheim. Gjendesheim to Memurubu is the most used stretch and even with two boats and several departures you should make sure to pre book your ticket! The tour is very popular and several departures can be fully booked. You can also walk from Gjendesheim to Memurubu along Besseggen and take the boat back to Gjendesheim. On busy days, this alternative can be a good idea if you did not already get your boat tickets! The peak reaches 1743 meters, and the total elevation is around 1100 meters for this tour.
The first hour from Memurubu will be a steep incline. Once you warm up, the land flattens out and takes you towards the most known part of the trail. “The Strip”, with the blue 1374 meter Bessvatn on the left and 984 meters emerald Gjende Lake on the right. This is a great spot to catch your breath, and take in the scenery. The Besseggen ridge is quite narrow, and a bit of a challenge if you run into fellow hikers going the opposite direction. Some parts are both steep and demanding, and the tour can be extra demanding in rain. Once you have descended the ridge, the trail takes you over Veslefjell Mountain towards Gjendesheim. Veslefjell Mountain is the ‘roof of Besseggen’. Here you pass large piles of rocks that serves as a marker for the highest point of the hike. Once you reach the top, the remaining kilometers back to Gjendesheim is like ‘a (now and then steep) walk in the park’. When you are one kilometer from Gjendesheim there will be a fork in the trail. Left-hand side will take you to Glitterheim and Bessheim. The right-hand side takes you back to Gjende and Gjendesheim.
Most people hike from Memurubu, but it is also possible to start from Gjendesheim. You can hike from Gjendesheim and return by boat from Memurubu. From here you can also continue further into Jotunheimen with the Bukkelægret hike from Memurubu to Gjendebu. Another option is to start at Bessheim, hike to and around Lake Bessvatn and ascend to Besseggen.
This trip is considered demanding, and is recommended for experienced hikers and people in good physical health. The ridge is both steep, demanding and windy, and the track becomes extremely difficult in rainy weather.
In order to make sure your trip is a good experience, you should be well prepared, and plan your trip according to the weather. Even when sun and good weather are forecasted, the weather conditions can change quickly. Therefore, you should always check the forecast and ask local experts for advice before you set of on your trip. They often have knowledge of signs of rain and increased wind, even when the weather forecast has predicted calm and nice weather.
In winter, the ridge is filled with ice and snow, which can make it a dangerous place to roam. There are some specialised guides and tours in the winter. Make sure you travel with a professionelle guide service!
The snow usually lies until early June, and the best season to cross Besseggen is summer and fall. Between mid-June and mid-October is the best season and also the same time when the Gjende boats run.
During high season in July and August, as well as on weekends, a great number of tourists hike this trail. At this time, the track can be somewhat crowded, and the boats fill up quickly. If you plan your trip outside the high season and on weekdays, there are fewer people around, and you can better enjoy the tranquillity of nature in these wonderful surroundings.
There are a number of places to stay in or around Besseggen. You can start your Besseggen hike from the doorstep of Gjendesheim DNT or Memurubu. But if you are looking for more of a high end accommodation, Herangtunet boutique hotel, is the place to be.
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