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  • May 22, 2020 16:24

4 Hiking tours in Jotunheimen NP offering the best views

Thirty years old national park is home to the highest mountains of Norway and offers great possibilities of spending time in pure nature. It´s only 4 hours drive from Oslo and has many wonderful spots for camping with your camper or tent. 

Whether you are strong hiker looking for steep challenges, tourist seeking for new easy-accessible views or a leisure spectator of natural beauty preferring flat terrain, there are possibilities for all of you. Following tips are our experiences from life in the western part of the park

 

Galdhøppigen (2 464 m)

Distance: 6 km (one way), 6 km back by the same path

Duration: 2 h (one way)

Terrain: rocky, not demanding

Starting point: Spiterstulen - parking lot by mountain cabin

 

Jotunheimen (eng. Land of Giants) is home to the highest mountains in Norway, with the top one Galdhøppigen. The hike is not demanding as you might expect. Or it could be! There are three ways to the top with various difficulties. We write about the easiest one.

 

After the first two kilometres that are a little bit steep, views open towards Visdalen valley or Spitehoe mountain. After passing the ridge under the top, there is a need to pass several meters of a glacier, but no need for special equipment. At the peak buy yourself energizing chocolate bar in DNT cabin and enjoy the views! 

 

Tip - Enjoy hot shower after the hike in Spiterstulen cabin (free of charge)!

 

Besseggen Ridge (1 743m)

Distance: 14 km (one way), 10 km by lake Gjende

Duration: 6-7 h (one way)

Terrain: rocky and sometimes steep

Starting point: Gjendesheim (ferry or walk)

 

One of the world´s best hiking tours according to National Geographic is visited each summer by 30k visitors. Ridge prevents Bessvatnet lake from draining into lake Gjende - 400 vertical meters below! 

 

Besseggen connects Gjendesheim with Memurubu and it's up to you which one will be your starting point for the hike. Any you choose, park your camper in Gjendesheim. The most popular tactic is to catch the morning ferry from Gjendesheim to Memurubu and then hike back. You can refill your bottle with water from, as it's said, the clearest lake in whole Norway - Bessvatnet.

Tip! - Why is renting a camper the best option for your road-trip in Norway

Memurubu → Gjendesheim

Pros: You don't have to hurry to catch a ferry or sleepover in Memurubu.

Cons: You are not going to be only one on the ferry, which means you will start your hike together with other tens of people. 

The view is behind you.

 

Gjendesheim → Memurubu

Pros: The view is in your sight, not in your back.

Cons: You might not catch a ferry back to your parked camper van. There are two options then: walk back by the lake for another 10 km or sleepover in Memurubu cabins or your tent to wait for the morning ferry. 

 

Ferry schedules may be found here. They operate from June until October but check out the dates mainly in the beginning and end of the season.

Lake Gjende and Bessvatnet from most demanding part of Besseggen

Lake Gjende and Bessvatnet from most demanding part of Besseggen

 

Knutshø (1 517 m)

Distance: 6 km (one way), 6 km back by lake ØvreLeirungen and it's rivers 

Duration: 2 h (one way)

Terrain: Two sections require gripping with hands

Starting point: Free parking lot by the main road

 

Knutshø is small brother to Besseggen. The views are comparable, try to spot little people on Besseggen ridge or look down to a valley with ØvreLeirungen lake. The hike is not that demanding, but there are few fake peaks as we use to call ones that only seem to be the top of the mountain. 

 

After passing the real peak, the view opens, the noisy waterfall offers you with freshwater and cooling your feet after the hike. Or do you prefer a chilly swim in the lake?

Two points, in the beginning, and at the peak, require to use your hands. Bring water with you, a refill is possible only at the end of the ridge. The trek is quite steep, so better follow the path so you don't get stuck somewhere.

 

Tip - Because of thousands of mosquitos use insect repellent!

 

View on Knutshø and lake Gjende from Bessegen

View on Knutshø and lake Gjende from Bessegen

 

River and lake ØvreLeirungen from descending Knutshø

River and lake ØvreLeirungen from descending Knutshø

 

Synshorn (1 475 m)

Distance: 3 km (one way), back by the same path

Duration: 1-2 h (one way)

Terrain: easy, family-friendly

Starting point: Parking by Bygdin hotel 

 

This little mountain that offers a beautiful 360° view towards two-thousands peaks might be your refreshing hike after a few hours of driving. It's not demanding, the terrain is little steep in the beginning. A waterfall appears in late summer, but reindeers, you can spot them any time! So have your eyes open.

 

There are two most popular ways to the top. One is to hike it by well-marked path for free of charge and another one is Via Ferrata that belongs to climbing guides. Everyone in good physical shape can participate, you don't need any previous experience or equipment. They will provide it all.

 

Tip - Stop by in Bygdin fjellhotell for an amazing homemade waffle with typical Norwegian brown cheese. Yummy!

 

Fjellhotell Bygdin and mountain Bitihorn from top of Synshorn

Fjellhotell Bygdin and mountain Bitihorn from top of Synshorn

 

If you wondered what to see in Jotunheimen National Park, we hope we answered your questions. These tips are only for a short visit because there is much more to be seen or to be done. There are plenty of opportunities in fishing, cycling or skiing in winter. Jotunheimen is home to many DNT (Norwegian tourist) cabins so if you don´t make it in time to one of Benzini´s campers, don´t worry and spend the night there.