Keen to hike a classic tour route this summer? If so, be sure to check this overview.
According to the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT), these routes are the ten most popular in Norway. We have conducted a phone survey among people who are familiar with the routes to determine when we can lace up our hiking boots.
Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) has had a high frequency of visitors all through the winter, in spite of the trail being iced over at numerous places.
“There is actually no reason to wait until the winter is over,” says Henriette Gill, communication adviser at Stavanger Trekking Association.
Crampons can be rented at Preikestolen Mountain Lodge, making your hike less hazardous.
“If the weather conditions are such that it would be irresponsible to hike without crampons, we encourage people to rent a pair, but we do not force this on anyone. From now on, the need for crampons will not be as great, as the conditions are much better,” says Gill.
Besseggen will be ready for summer hikers in the start of June.
“There has been minimal snow there this winter, so I am quite sure that the season will get going when Gjendesheim opens on 9 June,” says Kari Merete Horne, communications director of DNT for greater Oslo.
The Gjendesheim Tourist Lodge is a preferred starting place for hikers who intend to walk the route across Besseggen. There is shuttle boat service from here during the summer season, which takes you across Lake Gjende and further in to the Memurubu Tourist Lodge. From Memurubu, you walk across the ridge and back over to Gjendesheim.
“Due to the popularity of Besseggen, a larger boat will be put into service this year. It is also possible to book a ticket on gjende.no in advance so that you won’t need to stand in the line on the dock,” says Horne.
There are still conditions for skiing on Gaustatoppen, and Ann Kristin Karlsson, hostess of the tourist lodge at the peak, hopes the snow will remain until the May 17th national holiday.
“If there is snow, people will come up here with their skis and national costumes to celebrate. I expect the snow to disappear soon after May 17th. It is already possible to make the trip up here in your hiking boots, as long as you use crampons,” she says.
The lodge closes on 20 May, but reopens on 23 June and is open daily thereafter. Karlsson believes the trail to the peak will be relatively free of snow by then.
Kjerag is still covered by snow.
“It is still full on winter there, including some extreme weather conditions” says Per Henriksen, operations supervisor of Stavanger Trekking Association.
He recommends people to follow via Instagram and other social media with regards to both #Kjerag and #Preikestolen as well as other popular routes.
“This will give you an impression of what the conditions are like,” says Henriksen.
In previous years, it has been bare on the route to Kjerag in June-July. However, it is possible to make the trek in on snow, as soon as the Lyseveien highway, Rv 500, gets ploughed.
According to the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, the snow ploughing will occur by 17 May at the latest. However, due to there being minimal snow this year, the snow ploughing might be done even earlier.
Rallarvegen is still full of snow which means that bicyclists must wait a few months.
“Last year, we biked it on 3 July, and we ended up having to use a shovel to dig our way through some snow drifts on the road,” says Heidi Grindvoll, supervisor of training events and conferences at the hotel, Finse 1222.
Although there is less snow there this year, new snow arrived in April. It can also snow in May.
“It won’t be bare until the turn of the month in July-August,” says Grindvoll.
There are a number of popular routes to Galdhøpiggen, Norway’s highest mountain. Hikers generally choose to start out from Spiterstulen or the Juvasshytta Tourist Lodge.
"By 20 May, there is usually ample bare terrain up from Spiterstulen. The remaining snow there tends to be more packed than slushy,” says Bjørn Andreas Ovesen, one of the hosts at the tourist lodge.
He considers the period from 15 June to 15 July to be best. This is when the weather conditions are stable and there are long, well-lit evenings, and a bit of snow on which you can hike up and sled down.
He asks that people are cautious and take necessary safety measures.
“We advise against parents using baby carriers. Not only will the child struggle to keep warm, but there is also a risk that the adult could tumble down into a scree with the child on their back. It is better to wait until the child is around five years old, and then they can manage on their own two feet,” says Ovesen.
If you start from the Juvasshytta Tourist Lodge, you must cross a glacier to reach the peak. You must therefore do the hike with a rope team accompanied by a guide.
“The first summer hike is held 27 May, and then daily starting on 1 June,” says Anne Vangen, manager of the Juvasshytta Tourist Lodge.
It is already wide open for summer tourists to cross the plateau from local mountains Fløyen to Ulriken in Bergen.
“I have a view over toward Mount Ulriken from my location, and there is not much snow visible,” says Ole Hugo Anderson, operations and maintenance supervisor of Mount Fløien’s funicular, from his base atop Mount Fløyen.
He believes the last of the snow will disappear by 1 May.
You can add the walking tour through Aurlandsdalen Valley to your itinerary starting at the end of May.
This is the estimate of Kari Merete Horne, communications director of DNT for greater Oslo:
“On 24 May, we open the Aurlandsdalen Tourist Lodge. This was formerly the Østerbø Tourist Lodge, which is now a DNT lodge. A special event will be held here on opening day, and we expect that visitors will be able to start walking the route through the valley from this date on.
At Slogen, there are still good skiing conditions, and the snow is expected to remain until well into June.
“The arrival of spring determines when the hiking season will start, and it has been quite cool thus far. It snowed just a few days ago. You can probably start hiking here on foot starting in the end of July,” says Tone Drabløs, communications staff member of Ålesund- Sunnmøre Trekking Association.
The Romsdalseggen Ridge is usually accessible from the end of June.
“You must cross a river at the start of the route, and we are the ones who set up the bridge each year once we determine that it is safe to hike up the ridge,” says Atle Frantzen, outdoor recreation adviser at the Molde og Romsdal Trekking Association.
They must wait a while if the water level of the river is high. This is also necessary if there are large, unstable snow cornices up on the ridge, because it can be tempting to walk out onto them.
“The season generally starts in the end of June, and this is when a shuttle bus service is set up from Åndalsnes to the bus route’s staring point.” says Frantzen.
1. Plan your trip and inform others about the route you have selected.
2. Adapt the planned routes according to ability and conditions.
3. Pay attention to the weather and the avalanche warnings.
4. Be prepared for bad weather and frost, even on short trips.
5. Bring the necessary equipment so you can help yourself and others.
6. Choose safe routes. Recognize avalanche terrain and unsafe ice.
7. Use a map and a compass. Always know where you are.
8. Don’t be ashamed to turn around.
9. Conserve your energy and seek shelter if necessary.