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A person on the mountain plateau Trolltunga above Lake Ringedalsvatnet in the Hardangerfjord region, Fjord Norway
Safety tips for summer hiking to Trolltunga.
Photo: Kristian Paulsen (selvestepaulsen.no) / Iver Bostad / Bleed / Visitnorway.no Photo: Till Hanten / Destination Hardanger Fjord

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Hiking to Trolltunga

Trolltunga is no doubt one of the most awe-inspiring cliffs in Norway, situated about 1,100 meters above sea level and hovering some 700 metres above Lake Ringedalsvatnet.

At the western edge of the Hardangervidda mountain plateau and near the town of Odda, Trolltunga (the troll’s tongue) and the valley below were carved out by an icecap that covered most of Scandinavia during a series of ice ages. Every year, travellers from all over the world come here to do the hike and get a picture of themselves on or in front of the world-famous cliff.

Season

The hiking season lasts from 1 June to 31 August. Guided hiking is recommended, but experienced hikers can go on their own. Start your hike before 8 am to make sure you’ll get back before it gets dark.

In the winter season from 1 October to 31 May, always go with a guide. Several companies offer guided snowshoe or skiing trips so that you can enjoy the view of a snow-clad Trolltunga.

Trolltunga safety wheel

10–12-hour hike

The hike through high-mountain terrain up to Trolltunga (1,180 metres above sea level) is long and demanding both physically and mentally. You need to be properly equipped and in good shape, if you want to embark on this hike. But if you do, you will be rewarded with magnificent views!

From the main trailhead in Skjeggedal, the round-trip hike is 28 kilometres with an ascent of almost 800 metres, so you have to be prepared for a hike of 10–12 hours including breaks.

From the trailhead at Mågelitopp, the hike there and back again is 20 kilometres with an ascent of about 320 metres. Estimated hiking time is 7–10 hours.

Signs along the trail show the remaining distance to both Trolltunga and back to the trailhead.

We recommend that you have at least two days at your disposal to increase the chances of nice weather. Trolltunga is surrounded by steep cliffs and there are no fences. Falling from a cliff because of fog can certainly be fatal, so be aware.

Guided hikes

If you are inexperienced or feel unsure about doing the trip, we recommend that you join a guided hike. The guides know the local conditions and can handle weather changes.

Safety measures

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.

In the summer season, a mountain guard will be present at Trolltunga day and night.

There are two rescue cabins on the way to Trolltunga. These are for emergencies only and are not intended for overnight stays.

There is mobile phone coverage along most of the trail.

Read up on mountain safety before you go.

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.

Weather forecast from Yr, delivered by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK). Download Yr’s free weather app for iOS or Android.

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. Check out our Hiking tips page for a complete packing list for summer hikes or watch the video below.

Warm, suitable clothing

With such an elevation gain, it is crucial to wear suitable shoes. Use hiking boots and leave your trainers at your base. You will walk through wet marsh, mud, and water at several points along the way. It will also be colder as you get higher, so be sure to bring some warm clothes. Wear wind and waterproof outerwear, and 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, including plenty of water and energising snacks such as chocolate and fruit. You can fill your water bottles at the parking lot in Skjeggedal.

Lysefjorden
Summer hiking packing list.
Photo: Kristian Paulsen (selvestepaulsen.no) / Bleed / visitnorway.com
Summer packing list – What to prepare for your hike
PLAY VIDEO

Toilets

There are no toilets along the trails, so use the facilities at the car parks in Skjeggedal or Tyssedal 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 the bins at the car parks.

How to get there

There are three car parks in the area: Tyssedal, Skjeggedal, and Mågelitopp. Note that there is a limited number of parking spaces.

Shuttle services connect the town of Odda with Tyssedal and Skjeggedal, and there is a shuttle bus with limited capacity between Skjeggedal and Mågelitopp.

Get an overview of the hike to Trolltunga.

Tourists hiking in the mountains with umbrellas
Top mistakes tourists make.
Photo: Film production: Kristian Paulsen (selvestepaulsen.no) / Bleed / visitnorway.com
Top mistakes – Experiences from hikes during summer in Norway
PLAY VIDEO
Mountain safety tips

Every year, Norwegian volunteer rescue crews go into the mountains to retrieve travellers who have lost their way, are tired or injured, or have encountered problems after dark. These travellers are often dressed in everyday clothes and lack suitable equipment.

Do this:
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.

Avoid this:
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.

Be prepared and pack your backpack like a pro with our hiking tips.

Other hiking routes in the area

The Hardangerfjord region has been an important European tourist destination since the 19th century. The area offers spectacular nature and a living culture and is a perfect choice whether you want an active or a more relaxing holiday.

Some of the most amazing hikes in Norway are in the Hardangerfjord region – Trolltunga, the four waterfalls trail in Husedalen valley, HM Queen Sonja’s panoramic hiking trail and the Hardangervidda national park. Check out the routes below.

Mountain safety tips

Every year, Norwegian volunteer rescue crews go into the mountains to retrieve travellers who have lost their way, are tired or injured, or have encountered problems after dark. These travellers are often dressed in everyday clothes and lack suitable equipment.

Do this:
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.

Avoid this:
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.

Be prepared and pack your backpack like a pro with our hiking tips.

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