Mjølkevegen is a long distance cycling route through beautiful mountain landscapes and mountain pastures between Vinstra in Gudbrandsdalen and Gol in Hallingdal, across large parts of Valdres. It is signposted in both directions from Ruten Fjellstue in Espedalen to Storefjell Resort at Golsfjellet. Mjølkevegen has been voted one of Norway's finest cycling tours and is part of National Cycle Route No. 5.
Mjølkevegen starts at Vinstra train station or at the first accomodation along the route, Ruten Fjellstue, which offers a pick-up service from the train station for those who want to skip the tough first leg with an inclination of over 1000 m.
From Ruten you cycle towards towards Skåbu and exit onto the gravel road Jotunheimvegen to Haugseter. This leg, too, starts with a tough climb until you reach the mountain plateau. Not far from the highest point you reach a Mjølkevegen restshelter, and from here the route descends to the northern shore of Lake Vinstre. Haugseter Fjellstue offers good food and accommodation in a beautiful setting on the lakeshore.
From Haugseter, continue for approx. 12 km along Jotunheimvegen and exit onto the main road fv51 towards Bygdin and Beitostølen (approx. 14 km) where you will find a wide variety of restaurants and top quality accommodation, including the Radisson BLU Mountain Resort.
From Beitostølen town centre, turn right down towards Beito, and then follow the signposts towards Slettefjellvegen. There is a good climb up to the top of Slettefjellet (1315 m), which is the highest point of the whole trip. At the top there is a picnic area where you get an amazingly beautiful view over large parts of Jotunheimen. The road now descends steeply towards Vang. Be careful here and make a few stops to take in the view!
At the barrier, turn left and follow Høresvegen past Høre Stave Church (worth a stop) and continue downhill to Ryfoss where you find a gas station, grocery store and cafe. At Ryfoss, use the underpass under the E16 and exit towards Syndin. Now you face another tough climb for approx. 10 km unto the next mopuntain plateau and to your next accommodation, Syndinstøga. We recommend to make use of the pick-up service offered by Syndinstøga.
From Syndinstøga, Mjølkevegen continues to Vaset in a friendly and open, undulating mountain terrain. Make sure not to miss the right turn at the southern end of Lake Søre Syndine. You are now entering a 2 km trail section which can have wet parts where it might be necessary to push the bike in some places. The route then continues on a firm gravel road to Murkelie and all the way to Vaset, with lake Vasetvatnet on your left hand side.
At Vaset there are several lodging options, such as Vasetstølen and Gomobu Fjellstue. The latter is situated 3 km uphill further along the route towards Brattåsen.
From Gomobu, cycle to the Brattåsen crossing and continue via Gauklie to Furuset. In the crossing here keep straight ahead, following the signs to Oset, crossing the dam over the outflow of Lake Tisleifjorden on a cycling path. Approx. 2 km after passing Oset Mountain Hotel, turn right uphill towards Storefjell Resort Hotel.
From Storefjell, follow the signage via Einarset towards Lauvsetstølen, but keep left downhill to Robru. Use the side road along the northers side of the river to Gol in order to avoid the main road 52. Alternatively, you can make use of the transport between Storefjell and Gol station offered by Storefjell Resort Hotel.
If you make use of the transport services to/from the train stations, the cycle route is reduced to approx. 195 km.
The route can be cycled in both directions, but is somewhat more demanding if you start from Gol than from Vinstra.
For trains to/from Vinstra and Gol, see VY www.vy.no
For buses from Lillehammer to Skåbu, see www.innlandstrafikk.no, route 200 (request that the bus stops at Ruten Fjellstue).
For buses from Gol to Fagernes (stop Fjellheim), see www.jvb.no
Transport from Vinstra to Ruten Fjellstue can be requested at Ruten Fjellstue, tel. (+ 47) 61 29 73 20.
Transport from Gol to Storefjell Resort Hotel can be requested at Storefjell Resort, tel. (+ 47) 32 07 80 00.
Taxis are available at the train stations.
For baggage transport, please contact your accommodations or book a tour package.
Summer route: Mjølkevegen via Bygdin and Eidsbugarden (270 km)
During the summer season - from approx. late June to early September - you can take the scenic boat trip across Lake Bygdin to Eidsbugarden with the historic boat M/B Bitihorn as an alternative to the demanding stage between Beitostølen and Ryfoss over the Slettefjell pass.
Then, from Eidsbugarden, continue to Tyinholmen and cycle along the shoreline of Lake Tyin and along road 53 to Tyinkrysset. At Tyinkrysset there is a sports shop with tourist information, a grocery store, restaurants and accommodation. If you are cycling this tour with an e-bike, you can charge the battery at the Filefjell Turist Office/Intersport at Tyinkrysset, either inside the store or outside on the wall next to the garbage containers. Also, there are chargers available for Shimano, Bosch og Yamaha.
Tyinholmen Fjellstue is a great place to stop for both dining and accommodation, as well as to explore the area.
From Tyinkrysset, instead of following the main road E16 which is highly trafficed, you can cycle along the historic King's Road to Øye. From here, follow the road along the northern shore of Lake Vangsmjøse until the crossing with Slettefjellvegen at Hensåsen where the two routes meet each other. Continue along Høresvegen towards Ryfoss and Syndinstøga as described above or return to Beitostølen over the Slettefjellet mountain pass.
For time tables, prices an reservations (for you and your bike) on the boat, see www.jvb.no/bitihorn
Stages and elevation gain (in meters):
Vinstra st.−Ruten ca. 29 km / 1089 m
Ruten−Haugseter ca. 47 km / 933 m
Haugseter−Bygdin ca. 14 km / 219 m
Bygdin−Beitostølen ca. 12 km / 142 m
Beitostølen−Ryfoss ca. 36 km / 873 m
Eidsbugarden−Tyinholmen ca. 3,5 km / 75 m
Tyinholmen−Tyinkrysset ca. 20 km / 161 m
Tyinkrysset−Ryfoss ca. 41 km / 678 m
Ryfoss−Syndinstøga ca. 10 km / 656 m
Syndinstøga−Vaset ca. 20 km / 228 m
Vaset−Storefjell via Gauklie ca. 30 km / 600 m
Vaset−Storefjell via Langestølen ca. 34 km / 811 m
Storefjell−Gol stasjon ca. 24 km / 125 m
The route in total (Vinstra-Gol via Slettefjellet): approx. 220 km / 4865 m