Besseggen ©Visit Norway, Chris Arnesen
Besseggen ©Visit Norway, Chris Arnesen

Besseggen (Memurubu ↔ Gjendesheim)

The popular Besseggen ridge is a route route of about 6-8 hours (breaks included). The Besseggen hike takes you over the spectacular, steep, and some places very narrow trails which plunge four hundred meters straight down into the lake below.

Hiking: Besseggen (Memurubu ↔ Gjendesheim)

Difficulty: Difficult
Time: 7-9 hour(s)
Distance: 13 kilometers
Ascent height: 1300 meters

About Besseggen (Memurubu ↔ Gjendesheim)

- the most spectacular hike in​ the Jotunheimen

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 Besseggen Hike Description

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.

Hike from Memurubu

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.

Alternative Besseggen hiking routes

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.

Reason to go to Besseggen

  • National Geographic has listed Besseggen as one of the world’s top 20 most exciting hikes, and it is not hard to understand why.
  • The route takes you through the very heart of Jotunheimen’s wild and beautiful wilderness.
  • On your journey, you may very well encounter a herd of reindeer, and you may taste fresh clean mountain water right from the source.
  • Embark on personal challenges, crossing demanding passages, and putting your fear of heights to the test.

Who is Besseggen Hike Suitable for

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.

Best time to go to Besseggen?

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.

Sleep & Accommodation

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.

Besseggen ©Visit Norway, Chris Arnesen
Besseggen ©Visit Norway, Chris Arnesen
Besseggen ©Visit Norway Chris Arnesen
Besseggen ©Visit Norway Chris Arnesen
Besseggen – Visit Norway, Chris Arnesen
Besseggen – Visit Norway, Chris Arnesen
Besseggen ©Visit Norway, Morten Helgesen
Besseggen ©Visit Norway, Morten Helgesen

Our product(s) with Besseggen (Memurubu ↔ Gjendesheim):

Discover Jotunheimen: Red Route (8-days)
Expand on your “Green Route” with a guided hike over the Besseggen ridge, and an extra day with a guided hike to the Uranostind glacier.
Included Hiking Board: Breakfast, Lunch to go & Dinner

Discover Jotunheimen: Black Route (8-days)
Join us for some of the highlights in Jotunheimen. Uranostind, Besseggen and Østre Torfinnstind! We support you with a guide and equipment for the two most demanding hikes.
Hiking Board: Breakfast, Lunch to go & Dinner

Historical Route Jotunheimen (7-days)
Follow the path of the pioneers in Norway’s mountaineering history on the historical route from Gjendesheim to Eidsbugarden, through Jotunheimen National Park.
Included Hiking Board: Breakfast, Lunch to go & Dinner

Read more

Historical Route Jotunheimen (5-days)
Follow the path of the pioneers in Norway’s mountaineering history on the historical route from Gjendesheim to Eidsbugarden, through Jotunheimen National Park.
Included Hiking Board: Breakfast, Lunch to go & Dinner

Read more

Discover Besseggen: Gjendesheim (2-days)
Catch Valdresekspressen from the central busterminal in the middle of Oslo, and a few hours later you will find yourself in the home of giants. Besseggen is one of the most known and famous hikes in Norway! Join the tour and find out why!
Hiking Board: Breakfast, Lunch to go & Dinner

Discover Jotunheimen: Besseggen and Svartdalen (4-days)

Try the Jotunheimen highlight combination of two of the best hikes in the area, Svartdalen and Besseggen. The tour is a great fit for hikers in good physical condition and with some previous hiking experience.

Included Hiking Board: Breakfast, Lunch to go & Dinner

Grand Tour Jotunheimen (10-days)
The Grand Jotunheimen route, perfect for the expert hiker who wants to see it all. The route does not offer luggage transportation and is tailored with the experienced hikers in mind.
Included Hiking Board: Breakfast, Lunch to go & Dinner

Read more

Besseggen (via Bessvatn from Bessheim)

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– At 2,457 m above sea level, Glittertind is the second highest mountain in Norway, located within the municipality of Lom. It’s easy to grasp why the hike to Glittertind is so popular; not only is it an exciting hike that takes you over a glacier, which in itself is reason enough to go, b Read more

Hjelle - Vetti Gård

Vetti can be reached by foot or by horse-carriage from the nearby Hjelle farm to the south. The scenic route between Hjelle to Vetti Gård is well marked and is more like a well groomed road than the normal trails we are used to in Jotunheimen. Vetti is no longer regularly inhabited, but it is no Read more


Enjoy hiking through the scenic mountain terrain with views of Jotunheimen and Langsua National Parks. Read more


Next to his bigger brother Besseggen, you will find the 1517m high peak of Knutshøe. Knutshøe offers outstanding views towards the peaks towering all around and the surrounding lakes. Read more


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