Trolltunga is one of the world’s most photographed rocks and frequented hikes and for good reason. There is no denying that the rock is impressive with views to jaw drop and silence even the most vocal hikers. The scenery along the walk is absolutely breathtaking, completely worth the visit and not talked about enough.
The tranquil, blue water at the base of fjords where waterfalls cascade down from the snow-capped mountains is an image imprinted in my mind for a lifetime. The snow and glaciers make for phenomenal snow play and amazing backdrops for photos.
This hike truly is like no other in the world and to maximise our time and embrace all we could we camped at the top of Trolltunga. A truly unforgettable experience and one I’d recommend for all providing you have the appropriate alpine camping gear. Even in the peak of summer, the nights are cold and the winds are icy so pack appropriately.
You will need vehicle access to get you to the base of Trolltunga. Please see here information provided by Visit Norway on directions to Trolltunga. Drive to Tyssedal (6 km from Odda) on route 13. Follow signs to Skjeggedal and Trolltunga. After about 7 km you reach the parking lot in Skjeggedal.
The main car park is in Skjeggedal, which is also the starting point for the walk. If this car park is full you can park at Tyssohallen in Tyssedal. At Tyssohallen in Tyssedal, you may see signage claiming that there is no availability at Skjeggedal. I would highly recommend continuing the journey to Skjeggedal to check this out for yourself as there is a high turnover of people departing throughout the day. If this carpark is full then park at the Tyssedal carpark and either hitchhike, Uber or taxi from the first car park to save your legs.
The parking rate at Skjeggedal is NOK 300/ 12 hours and 600/12-24 hours. In comparison, the parking at Tyssohallen in Tyssedal is NOK 150/day. The parking fee is used to finance public facilities in the area and these prices are as of July 2017.
What to expect:
The weather can be cool and it’s common for it to be windy at the top, even throughout the summer season, so ensure you pack yourself some warm thermals, a beanie and a windproof jacket to maximise your enjoyment at the rock. You have walked all that way and certainly deserve some great photo opportunities and rest with a view.
The image above shows the times you can and cannot hike Trolltunga independently. It would be advised to read this carefully and consider this when planning your trip to Trolltunga. Check out Trolltunga Active if you require a guide for your trek.
Waterfalls and freshwater streams are common along the way so there are ample places to refill your water bottles. This will save you breaking your backpacking like a camel.
Stay tuned to Check out my Future Post What to pack for Trolltunga for info on recommended clothing and items to be in your hiking pack.
Total time to Trolltunga (one way) – 3 1/2 hrs for medium to high fitness 5 hours for moderate fitness.
Total distance 11 km (one way, 22 km return) –> If the first/last 1 km of the track becomes considered too dangerous the course may be closed off for descendants and therefore will need to walk the roadway which adds an extra 5 km.
0-1 Km Steep, Incline, rocky, muddy. 30 mins
We had been advised prior to depart that the first 1 km is steep but I just don’t think my back with an overnight pack had accurately anticipated this climb. I will forewarn you that yes it is steep, with an incline the entire first Km but this is the hardest part of the trek as your heart rate flies from resting to workout instantly. I would rather talk it up and you surprise yourself then become overwhelmed. Please also take into consideration that our hike was done with packs for overnight hiking containing camping gear, food etc.
The track is clear to follow with stone stairs and further up with ropes and chains over the rocks, attached to the rocks and the trees to support and guide you. There are rest stop benches for you to relax along the way and if you turn around the views of the lake and fjords are lovely (see image above). If you can get through this you will be fine. You’ve got this!
1-2 Km Muddy, rocky, undulating
Km 1-2 is a breeze compared to 0-1 Km. Here you will find a small stream for water. This track flattens out however it is still really muddy and rocky as you find yourself hopping over streams.
There is another river crossing before you start climbing again. The track is surrounded by lush greenery and grassy areas. The rocks act like stepping stones through the mud.
Around 1.5 km you will reach a plateau. Sigh! Breathe! The rocky pathway undulates so watch your step. From here look up and take in the great views of the snow-capped mountains.
2-3 Km Beautiful Scenery, Plateau before Incline
This Km has more rocks and paths on the plateau so it is an easy start to the km. Here we saw some kids selling ‘Trolltunga pancakes’ for 10 km so take your coins and grab a sweet treat on your walk, soon you will need your energy back again.
There are multiple creek crossings prior to the second ascent. The second ascent begins just before the 3 km mark. It is a steep incline (nothing like your first km) compacted dirt and rock path with large sections of rock stairs. It zigzags the way up the mountain. At the top is where we got our first glimpse of snow up-close which made for some fun snow play penguin action down the glacier.
4 km Glaciers, Creeks and views
You made it! Here you reach the top of the second ascent. This area is a rocky plateau which is a saddle between the two peaks. As the snow melts dozens of small creeks from down the mountain. This water is as cold as it is clean and perfect to fill up your water bottle.
4-5 Km Easy, Mountain views
This area is a relatively easy walk with short climbs and downhill areas where you stroll between small lakes.
As you reach another small peak and begin descending you can begin to see the sheer cliffs of the fjord.
5-8 Km Breathtaking views, undulating path
This is a longer section where you continue to wind along the cliff of the fjord through undulating terrain. There are steep parts of this track and some sections are muddy. You will hop across some small waterfall creeks on rocks acting as stepping stones.
The views of the blue water below and waterfalls cascading down the cliffs are breathtaking. The landscape here is postcard perfect and a great place to stop and take it all in, have a rest and admire the outstanding nature Norway is offering you.
8-9 Km Tough Ascent, cliffs
You pass down another hill with snow and ice to your left with the path crossing over a creek before starting another tough ascent along the edge of a cliff.
The path is wide and safe so no risk of danger. However, do take your time to take in the great views to be seen. You climb from the 8.5 km mark until you reach a short-lived plateau.
9-11 Km Ascent to Trolltunga
You can actually see Trolltunga from here which is much easier to identify once you have been there and seen it.
Along this section, you walk over large rocks and over snow and streams. The track becomes a bit vague here as the end is in sight and people tend to veer off. We walked to Trolltunga via a small stream and back over the higher rocks.
The stream is the easier path to Trolltunga. Hug the rocky mountainside where there is a waterfall to refill your drink bottles.
Continue down past a glacier before walking along the top of one until you reach the rocky flat. Keep your eyes peeled for the red T marker on rocks for an easier stroll to the destination.
You will notice a large dam to your left as you climb up over rocks ascending to Trolltunga. Continue following the red T’s which will lead you to Trolltunga. Give yourselves a high five and take in the beauty of the fjords.
What did you love about hiking Trolltunga? What section was challenging for you?