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A man ascending a mountain in Jotunheimen on skis accompanied by a dog a sunny winter day. Eastern Norway.
A man ascending a mountain in Jotunheimen on skis accompanied by a dog a sunny winter day. Eastern Norway.
Ski touring in Jotunheimen.
Photo: Martin Andersen
Ski touring in Jotunheimen.
Photo: Martin Andersen

Ski touring in Jotunheimen

Alpine terrain, cloud-capped peaks and untouched runs await in Scandinavia’s most mountainous region Jotunheimen - the home of the giants.

Located three to four hours from Oslo, access to the Jotunheimen National Park is a breeze, making it one of the most popular ski touring destinations in the country – particularly in spring when the snow conditions are at their best.

Jotunheimen (which means "the home of the giants" in Norwegian) is characterized by a varied landscape with expansive mountain plateaus and steep couloirs, offering an accessible challenge for ski touring enthusiasts of every level. The diverse terrain also makes it a popular destination for Nordic skiing, kite-skiing and cross-country skiing.

The most enticing route for winter adventurers however is the Haute Route (Høgruta), which includes eight glaciers and seven two-kilometre summits. It is a six-day randonnée that encompasses nearly 80 kilometres of remarkable ski touring terrain, including a total of seven kilometres of steep descents.

Each stage is approximately 15 kilometres with elevation gains of 1,000–1,500 metres over some of the country’s most iconic peaks – including Norway’s highest summits, Galdhøpiggen and Glittertind.

The route includes five sleep-overs across a selection of mountain cabins run by the DNT (the Norwegian Trekking Association). Extending a warm welcome and an authentic taste of mountain culture, many guests are surprised by the size and comfort offered by DNT accommodation. Jotunheimen also has a wide selection of full-service hotels and mountain lodges, so this region is a great option even if you are not ready to take on the Haute Route.

Last but not least: Stay safe and find out about the avalanche risk before you set out. Read more about safety in the mountains here and about local conditions on varsom.no.

Quick facts (Jotunheimen)

Main ski touring season
March to early May

Level recommended
Beginners to experts

Epic run
Dyrhaugstinden (2,147 metres): A Hurrungane classic along a ridge with many vertical metres and a beautifully exposed summit. Crampons and ice axe are needed to reach the top, so an option is to turn at the smaller Nordre Dyrhaugstind.

Types of skiing terrain
Alpine peaks
Open mountain plateaus

Types of accommodation
DNT huts (self catered or serviced)
Mountain lodges and hotels
Camp sites and B&Bs in the lowlands/valleys

Discover Jotunheimen

Ski touring in Jotunheimen
Winter and spring is a wonderful time for skiing in Jotunheimen. The area is easily accessible, and you can choose long walks inward gentle terrain… Read more
Fyrst og Fremst | Skiing and skimountaineering in Jotunheimen
Jotunheimen cross-country trail is stretching through gentle forest areas and rough mountain terrain, from the area north of Lemonsjøen, westwards to… Read more
Jotunheimen cross-country trail | Discover Norway
    Show Details
    Statens Kartverk, Geovekst og kommuner - Geodata AS

    Getting here and around

    Get in-depth travel information at the National Park Region's official website.

    • Jotunheimen car (ski touring)

      By road

      By car, follow the E6 from Oslo or the E16 via Lærdal from Bergen. The Sognefjellet Mountain Road usually opens again in late April, giving you access to many interesting runs in the area. There are car rental companies in most bigger cities and entry airports in Norway.

      The Jotunheimen area can also be reached by express buses from Oslo, Bergen, and Trondheim several times per day.

    • Jotunheimen train (ski touring)

      By train

      From Oslo or Trondheim, take the train to Otta – the nearest train station to the skiing terrain in Jotunheimen. From there, you can take a local bus to several places in the Jotunheimen area.

    • Jotunheimen plane (ski touring)

      By plane

      The nearest airports are Oslo Airport Gardermoen and Trondheim Airport Værnes. You can travel by train from both airports to several destinations in the Jotunheimen region.

      If you prefer your own car, there are several car rental services at both Oslo Airport and Trondheim Airport.

    Safety in the mountains

    Norway is an incredible place to explore, with untamed mythical landscapes, mountains, valleys, and fjords. Before you enter the outdoors, get familiar with the nine simple rules of the Norwegian mountain code to help you stay safe.

    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. This is especially the case for ski tourers - check the current situation in your area on varsom.no and make sure you follow the advise given.
    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.

    Get inspired

    Let the adventure begin.

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