Discover Jotunheimen – Red Route

The Red Route itinerary is intented for adults in a good physical shape and condition, with previous hiking experience from alpine mountain areas. You’ll be accompanied by experienced local guides for the two most strenous hikes, but sure-footedness is required to enjoy it. The reward will be wonderful hikes with views you’ll never forget.

On this self-guided tour we also support you with luggage transportation and with transportation to and from Oslo or Bergen.

For a shorter and less challenging route, we also have the green route.

 Keep reading to learn more about this route. Or scroll down to make a reservation.

Accommodation, food and drinks:

  • All accommodation included
  • Food and drinks are served at accommodations
  • “Hiking-Board” meal plan with 3 meals a day included in the price! For more information read more here.

Transportation:

  • Bus transportation round-trip from Oslo to start and end of tour 
    included
  • Transportation from end of route to start included

Luggage transportation:

  • Luggage transportation for all the stages are included.

Agenda:




Bitihorn

Day 2: First stage of the Discover Jotunheimen Red/Green hike

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Distance: 6.4 kilometers (Roundtrip)
  • Elevation Gain: 550 meters
  • Duration: 2–4 hours
Bygdin Høyfjellshotell - View of the sea
Bygdin Høyfjellshotell – View of the sea

Bitihorn at 1607 meters above sea level is one of the classical and easier hikes suited well for beginners in the area. The route start at the doorstep of Bygdin hotel and takes you up to a fantastic panoramic view over Valdres.




Besseggen ridge

Day 3: The 2nd Stage of the Discovery Jotunheimen Red hike

  • Difficulty: Demanding
  • Distance: 13.1 kilometers (point-to-point)
  • Elevation Gain: 1,100 meters
  • Duration: 7–9 hours

The popular Besseggen ridge is a route route of about 6-8 hours hike (breaks included). The Besseggen hike takes you over the spectacular, steep, and some places very narrow which plunges four hundred meters straight down into the lake below.

For the complete information on Besseggen see our designated page for the stage here.




Svartdalen valley
(Torfinnsbu to Gjendebu)

Day 4: The third Stage of the Discovery Jotunheimen Red hike

  • Difficulty: Demanding
  • Distance: 14 kilometers (point‑to‑point)
  • Elevation Gain: 610 meters
  • Duration: 6–8 hours

The second stage of the discovery Jotunheimen tour takes you from Torfinnsbu to Gjendebu along the least vertically demanding stage.

Gjendebu has made its name within the musical history of Norway. Gjendine Slålien was born in 1871 at Gjendebu and christened in the waters of Gjende lake. During the summers in the late 1800’s, she spellbound the world-renowned Norwegian composer, Edvard Grieg, with her beautiful folk songs. Grieg was inspired by Gjendine and used many of her folk songs in his music which would reach worldwide acclaim.

The hike from Torfinnsbu to Gjendebu takes you through Svartdalen (Black Valley) where you are surrounded by towering peaks, many of which have been the root of arguments between mountaineers back in the days. Knutsholstinden (2341 meters above sea level) was originally thought to be the most demanding peak in the region, but William Cecil Slingsby, who was the first person to climb Store Skagastølstinden (2405 meters above sea level), brought a local milkmaid on his ascent on Knutsholstinden, to prove that it was “a ladies peak”.

Trail description

After the first climb from Torfinnsbu, the hike through Svartdalen will be relatively flat for 8 kilometers before descending to Gjendebu.

During the last stage of the hike, you will be shadowed by the majestic mountain, Knutsholstind (2342 meters above sea level) to the west.

Before you will take on the steep desent the last few hundred meters to Gjendebu Lodge. 

Facts

  • Knutsholstind (2342 meters above sea level) was thought to be Norway’s highest mountain in earlier times.
  • Torfinnsbu boasts the easiest entry to the most 2000 meter peaks of all DNT cabins.



Gjendebu – Eidsbugarden


Day 6: The sitxh Stage of the Discovery Jotunheimen Red hike

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Distance: 15.8 kilometers (point-to-point)
  • Elevation Gain: 500 meters
  • Duration: 5–7 hours

The hiking route between the Gjendebu and Eidsbugard takes you from Lake Gjende to Lake Bygdin through Jotunheimen National Park. Starting off from the birch forest by Gjendebu you follow the Veslådalen valley before heading down to Lake Bygdin and Eidsbugard.

The hike is long but moderate with no steep ascents. Most of the trail is on soft soil and along the way are views of many of Jotunheimen’s highest peaks.

Trail description

From Gjendebu look for the sign to Eidsbugarden leading up through the Veslådalen valley. The trail starts by crossing two bridges over the Storåe river. There is a trail junction right after the second bridge, bear right here.

This trail continues up the valley, with the characteristic Gjendetunga on the right-hand side. After a few kilometers, the mountain birch forest is left behind. The landscape will gradually open up as you hike further up into the valley. 

Four kilometers into the hike you will near the top of the valley and a trail heads off to the right towards Olavsbu and Skogadalsbøen. Follow the trail straight ahead passing the small mountains peaks Geithøi and Rundtom as you move towards Bygdin lake. Hike for a further three kilometers where you will meet the trail coming from Torfinnsbu. 

This part of the trail is fairly flat until Høystakktjernet lake. At the southern end of the lake, cross the bridge across the river and then follow the trail as it dips down to Bygdin lake. The quick 200-meter descent makes this section of the trail the steepest of the entire route.

The next four kilometers lead due west along the Bygdin lake. Sometimes the trail goes by the shoreline and sometimes further up in the terrain before finishing at Eidsbugarden.

Facts

  • Eisbugarden and Fondsbu Lodge have welcomed royalty, celebrities, and hikers from all over the world
  • This region is the most-visited mountain area north of the Alps



Glacier Hike to Uranostind

Day 7: The seventh Stage of the Discovery Jotunheimen Red hike

  • Difficulty: Demanding
  • Duration: 8–10 hours
  • Audience: Experienced hiker

This is a long 8-10 hours hike for experienced hikers only! The hike will take you past Urdadalsvannet on the way to Koldedalen. Once you reach the Glacier there will be a short change of equipment before the hike continues to Uraknatten and the climb to Uranostind.

The hike is demanding even for experienced hikers, but the spectacular view at the summit is worth the trip.




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For more options, see all our excursions.

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