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.
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)
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.
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.
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 27 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.
Mountain safety tips
Every year, Norwegian volunteer rescue crews go into the mountains to retrieve travelers who have lost their way, are tired or injured, or have encountered problems after dark. These travelers are often dressed in everyday clothes and lack suitable equipment.
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
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.
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.
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. Get the latest weather forecast on yr.no.
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.
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.
There are shuttle buses between Odda, P1 Tyssedal and P2 Skjeggedal. If you prefer to start your hike from the uppermost parking, P3 Mågelitopp, an additional shuttle bus from P2 Skjeggedal will take you there.
You will find information about the hike to Trolltunga, transport and parking at: www.trolltunga.com.
Other hiking routes and activities 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. Try climbing a via ferrata or kayaking on the Hardangerfjord, and go summer skiing or glacier hiking on the Folgefonna glacier.
Some of the most amazing hikes in Norway are in the Hardangerfjord region – Trolltunga of course, but also the four waterfalls trail in Husedalen valley, HM Queen Sonja’s panoramic hiking trail and the Hardangervidda national park. Check out the routes below.
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