Jotunheimen National Park

To visit Jotunheimen National Park, is to meet Northern Europe’s highest mountains and most colourful lakes. Two of these lakes, Gjende and Bessvatn, are connected by the famous Besseggen trail. This hiking trail takes you over the Besseggen ridge that runs between the emerald green Gjende and the 200 meters higher and deep-blue Bessvatn lake.

More colour can be found at Jotunheimen’s glaciers that present the whole colour spectrum from pitch dark via snow white to ice-blue. Many of the glaciers can be visited, with professional guides or on your own, by foot, on skis or even by bike. The largest ice-mass is the Smørstabbreen. This giant covers 15 square kilometres and breaths with the seasons.

Standing guard over all of these majestic lakes, glaciers and mountains is the 2469 meters high Galdhøpiggen. This giant overshadows the ice covered summit of its smaller brother Glittertind during the endless mid-summer nights. In winter, the stone brother’s and their 2403 meters’ tall sister "Store Skagastølstind" reign the Hurrungane mountain range, covered by a blanket of snow that offers perfect winter sport conditions.

Walking & Hiking in the 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. The area is also the home of Galdhøpiggen, the highest peak in Northern Europe at 2,469 metres above sea level. Maps are sold in local shops, tourist information offices and hotels around Jotunheimen. You can also find maps of Jotunheimen in well stocked bookshops all over Europe as well as online.

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
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 varies 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.

The Highest All Norwegian peaks over 2300 mtr are Located in the Jotunheimen National Park with Galdhøpiggen 2469 mtr and Glittertinden 2452 mtr (glacier height in 1999: 2472 m.) as the highest.

Mighty they stand. Northern Europe’s highest mountains. Untamed and rich with wildlife.  Cut through by glaciers, rivers and valleys. This is Jotunheimen, ‘Home of the Giants’.

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