Veslådalen (Gjendebu → Eidsbugarden)
The hiking route between the Gjendebu and Eidsbugard takes you from Lake Gjende to Lake Bygdin through Jotunheimen National Park. Starting off from the birch forest by Gjendebu you follow the Veslådalen valley before heading down to Lake Bygdin and Eidsbugard.
The hike is long but moderate with no steep ascents. Most of the trail is on soft soil and along the way are views of many of Jotunheimen’s highest peaks.
Eisbugarden and Fondsbu Lodge have welcomed royalty, celebrities, and hikers from all over the world. This region is the most-visited mountain area north of the Alps.
Hiking: Veslådalen (Gjendebu → Eidsbugarden)Difficulty: Moderate
Time: 5-7 hour(s)
Distance: 16 kilometers
Ascent height: 516 meters
About Veslådalen (Gjendebu → Eidsbugarden)
The hike connecting Gjendebu and Eidsbugarden isn't of the challenging kind, nor does it offer the spectacular Jotunheimen views most of seek. However, it's a very popular hike as it's perfect for those days you want to go on an easy hike. This is the easiest route between the principal mountain lakes in the area, Gjende and Bygdin.
From Gjende, follow the marked trail through Vesleådalen valley, along the river Vesleåi. As you reach the top of the valley you'll see the view towards the Gjende Alps, the Gjende Lake, Besseggen and Besshøe. The slanted descent will take you down to Eidsbugarden.
Nature and the Surroundings
The first part of the trail takes you through a mountain birch forest. The lush forest provides an important environment for birds, animals and plants. The early summers are the best time to experience this wildlife, as this is the season for bird hatching, and you can see busy mothers feeding their little ones. Starting early in the morning from Gjendebu you'll hear right the concert from thrushes (troster), larks (lerker), robins (rødstrupe), bluethroat ( blåstrupe), cuckoos (gjøk) and ptarmigans (ryper). Amongst the mammals, there are rodents, mice, hare and Norway lemming.
Further up the valley, the forest is replaced by areas of moss, lichen, and some flower species. On the other side of the river there is an old stone hut which is well worth exploring if you have the time. We don't know when it was constructed, but it is still used from time to time by local reindeer hunters.
The Bygdin lake was dammed in 1936 for power generating purposes for the Vinstra hydro-power plant. The lake carries visible proof of the regulation as the water can be regulated 8-9 meters, leading to naked and out-washed shores. The level lies between 1048 and 1057 m.a.s.l.
Who is this Hike Suitable for
This hike is medium and suitable for those in average physical shape, and children from the age of 6.
The main season is summer/late summer. This is when the area is most suitable for trekking.
Stay at Gjendebu Mountain Lodge is located on the bank of Bygdin Lake. You can also stay at Fondsbu DNT and walk the opposite way.
How to Get There
You can access the area from Gjendebu and Eidsbugarden.