Walking and Hiking in Jotunheimen National Park

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– Grab your boots, pack your bag and wander off on a hike into Jotunheimen’s beautiful landscapes and stunning wilderness.

When hiking in Jotunheimen National Park, you will have thousands of kilometres of walks, covering all kinds of magnificent terrain, to choose from. Walk for for half an hour, a day, a week or a month! Choose the track that suits your ability and schedule.

About hiking in Jotunheimen

Jotunheimen is one of Norway’s most alpine areas with sharp peaks and deep valleys. The dramatic landscape is made up of snow, ice, rocks and vegetation. In the Jotunheimen National Park you will find one of Norway’s most popular and stunning hikes, the narrow Besseggen ridge that runs between a green and a blue lake. Our national park offers Northern Europe’s most beautiful vistas and dramatic walks. If Jotunheimen is the heart of Norway, thousands of kilometres of tracks are its veins. Are you ready?!

Walking in Jotunheimen can be everything from a short one-day hike to a multiple-day trek. From the Bygdin Lake in the East, discover the stunning summit of Synshorn (1,475 m.a.s.l.), a nice and short trip with beautiful views over Jotunheimen, Raslet, Kalvåhøgde, Heimdalen and Østre Slidre. Try also the longer hike to Bitihorn (1607 m.a.s.l.), that lies at the entrance to Jotunheimen National Park. Get on the boat M/B Bitihorn and travel across the Bygdin Lake to Torfinnsbu to hike the mysterious Svartdalen Valley or attempt the impressive peaks of Torfinnstraversen or Nørdre Kalvehøtinden. Here you will be accompanied by local guides as the ascents require skill, climbing and special equipment.

North of the Bygdin Lake lies the emerald green Gjende Lake, surrounded by Veslefjellet, Besseggen, Memurutunga, Bukkelægret, Gjendtunga and so much more. These hikes can be enjoyed individually and you can catch the boat Gjendebåten, or you can combine them and experience the trekking of a life time.West for Bygdin Lake you will find Eidsbugarden, and access to a range of hikes, including short family friendly trips to Utsikten or Torshamaren, and glacier walks to Uranostind.

Maps of the Jotunheimen National Park trails can be obtained in local stores, hotels and tourist information offices as well as online or in upscale bookshops across Europe and the rest of the world.

When to hike in Jotunheimen

The best time of year for hiking in Jotunheimen is from the middle of July until the middle of August. June and September or even early October may also offer pleasant hiking conditions, depending on weather conditions and the amount of snow.

Hiking possibilities in Jotunheimen

There are more than 50 marked routes within the national park and about a further 70 in the surrounding areas. The duration of the hikes vary from one hour up to eight or ten hours. There are also plenty of opportunities for multi-day hikes, lasting from three to ten days or even longer. For hikes to the higher areas of the Jotunheimen National Park, an average physical condition is recommended and previous experience is definitely a benefit. Families and non-experienced hikers may prefer one of the flat, easy routes in the valleys. There are also short, easy hikes outside the park, for example in Beitotstølen, Lom or in the Skjåk municipality.

Jotunheimen is incredibly popular amongst hikers and climbers, in particular the famous Besseggen-trail, and the Norwegian Mountain Touring Association (DNT) maintains a number mountain lodges in the area, as well as well-marked trails that run between the lodges and others up to some of the peaks.

Route suggestions

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Besseggen

Hike duration: 6-9 hours
Hike length:: 13.6km
Climbing height: 1100m
Elevation at peak: 1738m

It is the most spectacular hike in ‘The Home of the Giants’, Jotunheimen National Park. Along the way you pass the dark blue and emerald green of Bessvatn and Gjende lakes.

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Svartdalen Valley

Hike duration: 5-8 hours
Hike length:: 14km
Climbing height: 610m

As you wander through this lush valley, majestic towering peaks will surround you, several of which are over 2000 meters high.

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Bukkelæret

Hike duration: 6-8 hours
Hike length:: 10km
Climbing height: 760m

One of the most spectacular hikes in Jotunheimen, between Memurubu and Gjendebu. 10,5 kms, takes 5-6 hours. Steep up from/down to lake Gjende. Great variety of plants in the area…

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Vettisfossen

Hike duration: 4-5 hours
Hike length:: 11km
Climbing height: 310m

With a free fall of 275 metres Vettisfossen is the highest protected waterfall in Norway. You can get there on foot by walking up the beautiful Utladalen in Øvre Årdal.

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Utsikten

Hike duration: 2-4 hours
Hike length:: 5.5km
Climbing height: 410m

Utsikten is a short, easy tour with spectacular view over the great nature landscape of Jotunheimen. Its about 410m height meters to ascend, but short and fits beginners well.

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Ridderspranget

Hike duration: 15-20 min
Hike length:: 1km

Ridderspranget is a beautiful but also hazardous place.

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Synshorn

Hike duration: 1,5-2,5 hours
Hike length:: 4.5km
Climbing height: 450m
Elevation at peak: 1457m

Synshorn at 1464 meters above sea level invites to a fantastic view of Jotunheimen. The trail is easy to follow and climb, and varies from soft terreng to rock closer to the peak.

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Bitihorn

Hike duration: 5-6 hours
Hike length:: 11km
Climbing height: 600m
Elevation at peak: 1608m

Bitihorn at 1607 meters above sea level is one of the classic and easier hikes suited well for beginners in the area.

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Gjendetunga

Hike duration: 3.5-4.5 hours
Hike length:: 10km
Climbing height: 520m
Elevation at peak: 1516m

This little treat of a peak, lies at 1,516 m.a.s.l. and is accessible from Gjendebu. It’s a nice short trip and is the perfect hike on a rest day, in between two full days of larger hikes. Climb the mountain Gjendetunga and get the views of the turquoise Gjende lake in the East and the stunning mountain landscape of Gjendealpene, Storådalen, and Semeltinden in the West.

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Gjendebu-Eidsbugarden (Vesleådalen)

Hike duration: 5-7 hours
Hike length:: 15.8km
Climbing height: 400m
Elevation at peak: 1400m

 

Starting off from the birch forest by Gjendebu, you’ll follow the Veslådalen valley before heading down to Lake Bygdin and follow the lake bank towards Eidsbugarden. 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. This region is the most-visited mountain area north of the Alps.

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Torshamaren

Hike duration: 3-4 hours
Hike length:: 6.5km
Climbing height: 380m
Elevation at peak: 1440m

The hike to Torshammeren is easy and great new beginners. The climb is fairly steady, with only 370 height meters from start to peak. In no time you will feel the presence of Jotunheimen’s mountain peaks surrounding you. At the peak you will find yourself at the gates of Jotunheimen’s wilderness.

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Vetti Gård

Hike duration: 1-1.5 hours
Hike length:: 4.5km
Climbing height: 160m

From Hjelle car park, the scenic route 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 gård (farm) is no longer regularly inhabited, but it is now used as a cafeteria and bed and breakfast for mountain hikers during summer months. During your hike you will be walking next to rivers and be surrounded by mountain peaks,  and pass several waterfalls. The hike is suitable for all ages and fitness level

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The King’s Road

Hike duration: 2h to multiple days

The King’s Road was built by hand by thousands of workers, forming the main road between Oslo and Bergen during the 18th and 19th century. Today, most of the route is still in very good condition, making it a cultural heritage site and one of the best maintained hiking tracks in the area

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Stetinden

Hike duration: 5-6 hours
Hike length:: 10.5km
Climbing height: 700m
Elevation at peak: 2020m

Stetinden is a popular hike from Lom, a municipality that covers both Jotunheimen and Gudbrandsdalen. This hike starts from Leirvassbu Mountain Lodge.

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Rasletind

Hike duration: 5-8
Hike length:: 15.1km
Climbing height: 760m
Elevation at peak: 2105m

Rasletinden is one of the many inviting peaks between Gjende and Bygdin. From this peak you’ll enjoy the spectacular view of Leirungsdalen and the Gjende Alps. On your way to the mountain you’ll pass Flytjerni Lake and walk through Steindalen Valley.

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Kyrkja

Hike duration: 3.5-5.5 hours
Hike length:: 8.1km
Climbing height: 620m
Elevation at peak: 2032m

This hike starts from Leirvassbu Mountain Lodge in Lom.  Kyrkja’s characteristic church spike shape stands out and is easy to recognise among its neighbouring mountains. At over 2000 m.a.s.l., the view is tremendous and from below the hike looks very challenging. But in reality, the trip is easier than it looks!

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Reinsvangen to Gjendeosen

Hike duration: 1-1.5 hours
Hike length:: 2.1km
Climbing height: 130m

This short hike connects the docks of Gjende Lake to the car park at Reinsvangen. It’s a nice and easy walk, taking you through typical mountain terrain such as wetlands and birch woods.

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Gjende Lake Nature Walk

Hike duration: 1.5-2 hours
Hike length:: 4.2km
Climbing height: 20m

Take a nice and easy walk alongside the shore of the Gjende Lake. From the docks by Gjendesheim follow the path that takes you along the Northside of the lake going west. Rising above you on your right is the magnificent Besseggen.

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Sløtafjell

Hike duration: 2.5-3.5 hours
Hike length:: 5.9km
Climbing height: 350m
Elevation at peak: 1350m

Sløtafjell lies North of Torshamaren Mountain and West of Eidsbugarden. The peak is a lovely viewpoint over Jotunheimen and nearby sights such as Bygdin Lake and Vennisstordalen. Starting from Eidsbugarden, you’ll follow the trail going towards Tyinholmen and then onwards to Sløtabekk. It’s a nice and easy hike, with some steep parts as you reach closer to the top.

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Knutshøe

Hike duration: 4-6 hours
Hike length:: 12.3km
Climbing height: 690m
Elevation at peak: 1517m

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.

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