The hike to Trolltunga

The hike through high-mountain terrain up to Trolltunga is long and demanding.
But you are rewarded with magnificent views.

© Shutterstock.com / Riccardo Zambelloni

Trolltunga – a hike to a magical destination

The hike to Trolltunga is demanding because of the great distance. Experienced hikers may hike on their own during the summer. The safest alternative is to join a guided hike, and you need to be in good shape. If you start your hike from parking lot at P2 Skjeggedal, you should allow 8–12 hours (including breaks) for the 27-km round-trip hike to Trolltunga: 13.5 km each way. Be sure to start early in the morning so you can make it safely back down before dark.

If you are driving, take the Tyssedal turnoff from route Rv13 and head for the paid parking at P2 Skjeggedal. Alternatively, you can take the convenient shuttle bus from the town of Odda. If you take the shuttle bus to the upper parking lot, P3 Mågelitopp, or have reserved one of the few parking spots here, then your hike is shorter. Please allow 7–10 hours for the now 20-km round-trip hike to Trolltunga.

The text about the hike continues under the map.

The hike to Trolltunga

Your first steep climbs
From P2 Skjeggedal, walk the narrow paved road that climbs up to P3 Mågelitopp, which is 400 metres higher. This first leg is 4.3 km long and may take you a bit more than an hour. Naturally, if you are starting from P3 Mågelitopp, you save time and effort!

You are now ready to start on the mountain trail itself – another 10 km and you will reach Trolltunga!

Bro på stien til Trolltunga-Aase Marie Evjen

Bridge at Mågelitopp. Photo: Åse Marie Evjen

At first the hiking trail proper is fairly level, following an gentle elevated valley, and the trail is excellent and well-marked. After 45 minutes or so, your route climbs steeply up a long rocky slope to Gryteskaret pass. This is considered one of the most strenuous stretches of your Trolltunga hike. Gradually the impressive view opens up.

Gryteskar-Eva Lovaas

Gryteskaret pass is perhaps the most challenging part of your Trolltunga hike. Photo: Eva Løvaas

 

Trolltunga stone at Gryteskar-Gun Evjen Koch

At the top of Gryteskar, you will find this five-metre high boulder! Photo: Gun Evjen Koch

A grassy valley
Yet another steep incline brings you up to Trombeskar pass and a beautiful grassy valley that is popular with campers. The trail hugs the shore of one small lake, before you have a slight but rather welcome descent to Store Floren. You will soon see a stunning view of Ringedalsvatnet, the lake in the valley that is now far below. This viewpoint is the perfect place for another break and a snack, and perhaps it’s time to fill your water bottle from one of the nearby streams.

Tina and Olav -Ringedalsvatnet

Take a break and enjoy the stunning view of the Ringedalsvatnet lake.. Photo: Åse Marie Evjen

Memories of horses…
The trail to Trolltunga is part of an ancient thoroughfare between western and eastern Norway, across the Hardangervidda plateau. The Store Floren name indicates that farmers used this area as a summer pasture for their livestock. You may also see remnants of the old stables. When the hydropower facilities were built in Tyssedal and the mountains above in the early 1900s, horses were used to transport materials and to assist with the heavy construction work.

At Store Floren there is an emergency shelter. In case of a sudden storm or other emergency, it contains sleeping bags and blankets and food rations.

Emergency shelter Floren-Aase Marie Evjen-1200

The Emergency Shelter Floren at Store Floren. In case of a sudden storm or other emergency, it contains sleeping bags and blankets and food rations. There is a second Emergency Shelter at Endåen. Emergency number 112. Photo: Åse Marie Evjen

Snow in late June
Having reached the mountain plateau, an altitude of 900 metres or so, the terrain ahead is relatively flat – but it’s still rough enough for the trail to have lots of ups and downs. However, the major climbs are now behind you.

Even late in June you may encounter patches of snow, and you may have to cross some meltwater streams – fortunately there are good bridges over every one of them. There is also a waterfall up here.

Your hike continues via Hestaflåene (a place where horses grazed). Be sure to use the bridges to cross Endåen and the other riverbeds, regardless of whether they are dry. It is important that you stay on the trail in order to prevent erosion; the alpine vegetation is exceptionally fragile!

There is a second emergency shelter at Endåen.

Snow at Trolltunga-Aase Marie Evjen

Even late in June you may encounter patches of snow. Remember to bring sunglasses and sun protection! Photo: Åse Marie Evjen

Memories of a waterfall…
The trail again climbs steeply, up to Endanuten. A little further along the trail, at Tyssehøl, you cross a riverbed that once carried water to Tyssestrengene. This twin waterfall was Norway’s highest and one of the most magnificent falls in Europe, with a total height of 646 metres and a 312-metre free fall. In the 19th century it was one of the country’s premier tourist attractions. But in 1967, the waters were diverted to Tysso II, a hydropower plant built deep inside the mountain in Skjeggedal. You also pass a dam – and surprisingly there is also a fine beach up here. From this dam, water is now led into tunnels and speeds down to the turbines of the power plant.

Stay back from the edge!
A little farther ahead, as the trail narrows, you should be very mindful of the high drop. Suddenly the Trolltunga comes into view!

Perched 700 metres above Ringedalsvatnet lake, it truly is one of the most impressive rock formations in the world. There is likely to be a queue to climb down onto Trolltunga itself – and to partake in the magnificent photo-op. Unless you have hiked with friends, just ask someone nearby to take your photo, and offer to take theirs.

Four iron rebar steps make it easy to climb down onto Trolltunga. Enjoy the break from your long hike, rehydrate with water or whatever beverage you brought, and eat your snack or lunch. And get to know your fellow hikers. They may have good tips about other nearby attractions, and interesting stories to tell.

Always stay at least a couple of feet back from the edge of the cliff. Needless to say, a fall would be fatal.

Aase and Gun at Trolltunga

Trolltunga – one of the most impressive rock formations in the world! Photo: Trolltunga AS


Tina at Trolltunga

You can also have someone take a photo of you with Trolltunga in the background. The perfect moment is when someone has just left the outcrop and Trolltunga is empty. Photo: Åse Marie Evjen

Be mindful on your return hike!
Your return hike will take less time. But make sure you start early enough to make it down before darkness, and stay on the trail. In rain, the wet rock can be slippery. Stay focused even though you may be tired.

Many Trolltunga adventure options

Choose between these main options for visiting the magnificent Trolltunga:

Hike the Trolltunga Trail

Most people choose a one-day hike, starting from P2 Skjeggedal or P3 Mågelitopp. In the months June–September, experienced hikers can hike on their own.

A guided Trolltunga day hike

We strongly recommend hiking the Trolltunga Trail with a guide, especially for people with limited mountain hiking experience. Your guide will keep you safe and really enrich your Trolltunga experience!

The Trolltunga Via Ferrata

Are you yearning for a more challenging and exciting adventure? Then Trolltunga Via Ferrata is perfect for you! We cycle 6 km along Ringedalsvatnet lake, then climb the 250–metre Via Ferrata route, before walking the final 3 km to Trolltunga. Our return is a hike down the Trolltunga Trail.

If you wish, the Trolltunga Via Ferrata may be combined with a night on the mountain.

Guided hike – and a night on the mountain

Trolltunga Active and Trolltunga Adventures both offer a guided Trolltunga hike with an overnight stay at their comfortable camp. It’s a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the mountain experience, hear your guides share their knowledge and tell stories around the campfire, and enjoy tasty traditional food!

Camping on your own

You may wish to slow your pace and savour your mountain experience. Please read and follow our guidelines for camping on the mountain. Pitch your tent only in the areas allowed – and leave no trace of your stay.

Carrying all the equipment you need can be rather heavy. If you choose a guided hike with an overnight stay, everything including food is provided for you.

 

To see details and additional options, including winter adventures and longer treks, please visit the websites of Trolltunga Active and Trolltunga Adventures.

How difficult is the Trolltunga hike?

In Norway and internationally, hikes are rated according to their degree of difficulty: Easy, Medium, Challenging or Expert. Because it is longer than 20 km, the Trolltunga hike is automatically rated as Expert. Although the Trolltunga Trail is excellent, you must be in very good shape, have excellent endurance and be used to mountain hiking. You must also have good hiking boots and be equipped for sudden rain or cold. Be sure to bring plenty of food and water.

Trolltunga
– one of Norway’s most popular attractions!

Graph showing visiting numbers from 2010 (800) to 2020 (36500)

Trolltunga is the most impressive rock formation in Norway. Our numbers speak for themselves. In less than a decade, the annual number of visitors has increased from less than a thousand to more than 80,000 hikers per year. In 2020 the number was reduced by more than half, and due to Covid-19 safety measures we expect lower numbers than usual also in 2021. If you dream of a Trolltunga hike, this is the perfect year to visit our uncrowded mountains.

Key links

Check the weather at Trolltunga!

Always check the weather forecast before heading for Trolltunga – and always be prepared. Even on a sunny summer day you need to bring warm and waterproof clothing for unexpected bad weather. Please study our Hiking tips and Suggested equipment.

Videos – guided tours

Videos:

Hiking Trolltunga. Safety first:

When to go

You can go to Trolltunga almost year-round.

June 1st – September 30th 

We recommend hiking with a guide, but experienced hikers can hike on their own.

October 1st – May 31st

You should hike only with a guide!

Note that the weather can change fast.
You should adapt your preparations and the equipment you bring accordingly.

Queue of people waiting to taka a photo at Trolltunga

© Scott Sporleder / Matador Network / Fjord Norway