Besseggen is one of Norway's most famous mountain hikes, and each year around 60,000 hikers enjoy the breathtaking view from the top of the ridge.
Emergency telephone numbers
The Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) has the overall operational responsibility during mountain search and rescue operations.
51 51 70 00 – JRCC Southern Norway
75 55 90 00 – JRCC Northern Norway
For other emergencies:
110 – Fire
112 – Police
113 – Ambulance
120 – Emergency at sea
22 59 13 00 – Poisons Information Center
1412 TDD (textphone for the deaf or hearing impaired)
In the winter, the ridge is filled with snow and ice, and it is often snow on the ridge until the middle of June. A normal season for hiking Besseggen is when the boats are running on Lake Gjende – from mid-June to mid-October.
6–8 hour hike
The hike over Besseggen takes six to eight hours including breaks and is recommended for experienced hikers. The ridge is both windy and steep, so if this is the first time you are hiking in the mountains, it might be a good idea to choose an easier alternative. To ensure that your mountain hike will be a good experience, it is important to prepare yourself before you start. We recommend that you have at least two days at your disposal to increase the chances of nice weather.
If you are inexperienced or feel unsure about doing the trip, we recommend that you join a guided hike. A good guide can turn a bad day into a fantastic experience.
Rescue operations are triggered by hikers every year. To make sure you won’t be one of them, prepare yourself properly for the hike, and join a guided hike if you’re not an experienced hiker.
Also, read up on mountain safety before you go.
Research the length, duration, and recommended physical conditioning for the hike you want to do.
Check the weather conditions and always listen to local mountain residents.
Buy or rent the right equipment for your trip.
Always bring enough food, drinks, and an extra change of clothes in your backpack.
Check out the possibility of joining a guided tour or use a local guide in order to minimize risks.
Do not wear jeans, trainers, or other everyday clothing.
Do not start your trip too late in the day, as you might risk having to hike in the dark.
Never start your mountain hike without being in good enough physical shape.
Do not depend on a map on your mobile device, as there is not always coverage in the mountains.
Don’t leave anything, including trash, behind.
Weather conditions in the mountains
Even if sunshine and fair weather are predicted, the weather conditions can change quickly. Always check the weather forecast before you start your trip, and make sure that you are prepared for changing weather. Do not hike if the forecast predicts strong winds, heavy rain, or fog. Get the latest weather forecast on yr.no.
The mountain safety code
1. Plan your trip and inform others about the route you have selected.
2. Adapt your planned route according to your ability and the conditions.
3. Pay attention to the weather forecast and avalanche warnings.
4. Be prepared for bad weather and frost, even on short trips.
5. Bring the necessary equipment, so you can aid yourself and others.
6. Choose safe routes. Recognise avalanche terrain and unsafe ice.
7. Use a map and a compass. Always know where you are.
8. Don’t be ashamed of turning around and going back.
9.Conserve your energy and seek shelter if necessary.
Proper hiking equipment
Pack a 30-litre backpack to be sure that you have enough room for everything you need in the Norwegian mountains. A map and compass, first-aid equipment, a fully charged mobile phone, and a headlamp are just some of the things we recommend you keep in your backpack. Scroll down the page for a complete packing list video.
Warm, suitable clothing
With an elevation gain of nearly 1,000 metres, it is crucial to wear suitable shoes. Use hiking boots and leave your trainers at your base. There may be occasional strong gusts at Besseggen, so please wear wind and waterproof outerwear. Always pack an extra set of clothes, including a cap, a scarf, and gloves or mittens.
Food and drink
Always bring enough food and drink when you set out on a trip. It is important to have enough refills to make sure your energy reserves last all the way, not just to the top of the ridge.
Summer packing list
There are no toilets along the trails, so do your business before you start your hike. If you have to go along the way, keep downhill from the trails and well away from streams and lakes. Bring your rubbish back to a bin.
How to get there
There are two options for getting to Besseggen. You can either start hiking from the Gjendesheim tourist lodge or take the boat from Gjendesheim to Memurubu and start your hike from there. The latter is the easiest route, as you’re going uphill. To ensure you’ll get on the boat, you should reserve tickets in advance. You can stay overnight at both Gjendesheim and Memurubu and start the day fresh and fit the next morning.
Other hiking routes in the area
There are many other hikes around Besseggen and in the nearby areas, including easier options. Check out other hiking alternatives in Jotunheimen.
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