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Gaustatoppen.
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com
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Gaustatoppen and five other beautiful autumn hikes.

Norway from up above

Throughout Norway, you will find majestic mountains with magical views of fjords, mountains and plateaus. From the peak on Gaustatoppen mountain, you have the broadest view of them all.  

At 1,883 metres above sea level, Gaustatoppen is far from being among the highest mountains in Norway. Still, it towers nobly in the terrain where it stands in lonely majesty in Tinn in Telemark.

Gaustatoppen Gaustatoppen
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Gaustatoppen.
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com

Visit the peak on a clear day and you'll see a sixth of mainland Norway. This means that you can enjoy views to Jotunheimen in the north, the Nordmarka Hills near Oslo to the east, and the Hardangervidda mountain plateau to the west all at the same time, and if you are extra lucky, you'll spot the lighthouse at Færder - furthermost out in the Oslo Fjord.

15 minutes to the top

If you think it seems a bit far up to the top, you have nothing to worry about. Inside the mountain, just south of the UNESCO World Heritage site at Rjukan, there is a secret facility dating from the Cold War that enables you to get all the way up to the top without hardly taking a single step.

Deep within Gaustatoppen Mountain, there is a tramway unlike anything you will find anywhere else in Norway.

The Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) estimates that Gaustatoppen is visited by nearly 100,000 visitors every single season. This is largely thanks to the Gaustabanen tramway, which was ultimately opened to the public in 2010. Even if the mountain is high, it only takes fifteen minutes to get to the top.

Gaustatoppen Gaustatoppen
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Gaustatoppen.
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com

A cold gust of wind hits you in the face when you enter the mountain. The first part of the trip is by tram which takes you along an 850-metre route inside the mountain, before you switch over to a cable car on rails.

From here, you have a spectacular 1,145-metre journey at an incline of 40 degrees before you arrive at the view point at the top.

Krossobanen cable car

Once you're already at Gaustatoppen, it is a short distance to other easily accessible and spectacular hiking areas. One of them is Krossobanen, which is the Nordic region's oldest double-track cable car in regular operation.

The cable car was built in 1928 and, according to Visit Rjukan, it was a gift from Norsk Hydro which enabled Rjukan's residents to take trips up into the sunshine during the winter months. Today, the Krossobanen cable car is a tourist attraction which is open every day, all year round.

The two cars are called Tyttebæret (Lingonberry) and Blåbæret (Blueberry) and they take you up to Gvepseborg Panorama Café.

You can eat dinner up there, grab a coffee, or just enjoy the view of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Rjukan, Vemork, the Vestfjordalen and Gausdalen Valleys and, of course, Gaustatoppen Mountain which towers high above it all.

Hardangervidda
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Hardangervidda.
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com

Credits
Hardangervidda.
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com

Biking on the plateu

Thanks to the Krossobanen cable car, it is a short distance from Rjukan to Europe's largest high mountain plateau, the Hardangervidda mountain plateau.

Many visitors choose to pedal their way inward across the slightly hilly terrain on bicycle; a trip that is also well suited for the young ones. If you do not have a bicycle, you can rent one from Stig Inge Bjørnerud at G-Sport in Rjukan city centre. He offers bike rentals from when the snow is gone to when the snow returns.

Hardangervidda Hardangervidda
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Hardangervidda.
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com

When you exit the Krossobanen cable car, there are first two kilometres of steep trail before you reach gently sloping, fine gravel roads that will take you into the high mountains.

Riding bikes here makes for a nice day trip with a packed lunch and a fishing rod, but you can also check into the possibilities for lodging at the DNT cabins, Kalhovd or Mårbu.

Five beautiful autumn hikes

On the threshold of winter, Norway is a nature-lovers paradise, offering a variety of autumn adventures, rejuvenating walks and unspoilt mountain vistas. 

Below you'll find five tips for hiking in the Norwegian autumn, suggested by The Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT).

Tafjordfjellet

Reindalseter, Tafjordfjellet Reindalseter, Tafjordfjellet
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Reindalseter, Tafjordfjellet.
Photo: Martin Hauge-Nilsen / Den norske turistforening

Reindalseter lodge is centrally located in the walking grid of Tafjordfjella mountain range. The valley surroundings remains exceptionally beautiful in the fall, with ancient pine-forest, sparkling lakes and a diverse array of plants and wildlife. In this time of year, Reindalseter lodge is self service only.

Duration: 4 days. Zakariasvatnet – Reindalseter – Veltedalshytta – Reindalseter - Zakariasvatnet 

Femundsmarka

Raudsjødalen, Femundsmarka
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Raudsjødalen, Femundsmarka.
Photo: Julie Maske / Den norske turistforening

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Raudsjødalen, Femundsmarka.
Photo: Julie Maske / Den norske turistforening

Breathe in the fresh air of spectacular Femundsmarka, one of the largest continuous, unspoilt wilderness regions in Southern Scandinavia. A soothing walk for both body and spirit.

Duration: 4 days. Ellefsplass – Raudsjødalen – Knausen – Tynset

Suldalsheiene

Stranddalen, Suldalsheiene
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Stranddalen, Suldalsheiene.
Photo: Odd Inge Worsøe / Den norske turistforening

Credits
Stranddalen, Suldalsheiene.
Photo: Odd Inge Worsøe / Den norske turistforening

The rural and mountains regions of Suldalsheiene accommodates for extensive trekking in beautiful terrain. This particular walk passes one of Stavanger Tourist-unions most delightful huts,  Stranddalen, and is especially well suited for a weekend excursion.

Duration: 3 days. Sandsa – Stranddalen - Sandsa

Saltfjellet

Saltfjellet
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Saltfjellet.
Photo: Elisabeth Schei / Den norske turistforening

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Saltfjellet.
Photo: Elisabeth Schei / Den norske turistforening

Most of the trails and lodges in Saltfjellet is situated in the eastern part of the region. The terrain is mainly flat, and is suitable for everyone for great outdoor experiences.

Bjellåvasstua is a lodge scenically located in the north end of Bjøllåvatnet- one of Nordland county´s most stunning freshwater lakes. With an increasingly strong population of arctic salmon, the area provides ample fishing-opportunities with an approved license.

Duration: 3 days. Tverrbrennstua – Bjellåvasstua – Tretnes i Saltdal.

Langsua

Langsua nasjonalpark
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Langsua nasjonalpark.
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com

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Langsua nasjonalpark.
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com

With stable, fair weather and minimal downpour, Langstua National Park offers easily accessible walks with gorgeous views of Jotunheimen. Start walking from the north for short, daily stretches.

The area is especially well suited for families and inexperienced walkers. For seasoned mountaineers, DNT recommends an excursion to one of Langstua´s several peaks.  

Duration: 3 days. Storhøliseter - Storkvelvbu - Skriurusten - Storhøliseter

With a view of Norway
Most of the trails and lodges in Saltfjellet is situated in the eastern part of the region. Read more
Saltfjellet
Breathe in the fresh air of spectacular Femundsmarka, one of the largest continuous, unspoilt wilderness regions in Southern Scandinavia. Read more
Femundsmarka
The rural and mountains regions of Suldalsheiene accommodates for extensive trekking in beautiful terrain. Read more
Suldalsheiene
With stable, fair weather and minimal downpour, Langstua National Park offers easily accessible walks with gorgeous views of Jotunheimen. Read more
Langsua
Reindalseter lodge is centrally located in the walking grid of Tafjordfjella mountain range. Read more
Tafjordfjellet
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