Discover Jotunheimen – Black Route

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Our 8-day Jotunheimen Black Route Itinerary was designed to meet the demands of those accomplished hikers, in good physical shape and condition, with previous hiking experience from alpine mountain areas, who really wish to challenge themselves and discover the highest and most panoramic scenes in the area. You’ll be accompanied by accomplished local guides for the two most strenuous hikes, Østre- Torfinnstind and glacier hike to peak Uranostind, but sure-footedness is required to enjoy it. Become a real Norwegian mountain goat and discover that hard work does pay off.  The total route is 77km long.

This route gives you the most exciting hikes and peaks in the area. Hike the popular Besseggen trail, a classic adventure for Norwegians. Over the years more and more tourists have been drawn to take the journey across this mountain ridge, in the footsteps of great adventurers. In recent years, an estimate of around 60 000 hikers cross this popular ride annually. It’s attraction lies both in its mesmerising scenery, from the turquoise waters of the Gjende lake, to the spectacular view of mountain ridges and peaks into the far distance, as well as in its demanding terrain; steep descents and ascents, and long trails. Its cultural significance and strenuous nature has made it an important point of reference in Norwegian culture and it is a true rite of passage for Norwegian hikers

Climb the majestic Østre-Torfinnstind (2119 masl), a steep and exciting peak that towers over the Bygdin Lake, and trek through the valleys Svartdalen and Veslådalen. The journey through Svartdalen is one of the most appreciated and respected treks among Norwegian outdoor adventurers. The arduous walk combined with dramatic mountains towering over you from all sides can make you feel like you’re in an old folk tale. On misty days this sentiment is emphasised as the pale light allows for the  “reveal” of indistinct faces in the mountains and mythical mountain creatures hiding behind the cliffs. On clearer days, you can see the magnificent white peaks rising on either side of you, including Knutsholstiden, once believed to be the tallest mountain in Norway. The hike to Fondsbu via Veslådalen is a very popular hike that connects two traditional lodges, Gjendebu and Fondsbu DNT

You will also hike from Memurubu to Gjendebu across Bukkelægret; walking along the Ridge of Sjugurdtinden you will have access to the panoramas on all sides of the ridge; overlooking the Gjende lake in the East, the mesmerising valley of Memurudalen going North-West, the mountainous landscape in the West and the steep peaks towering over the Gjende Lake in the South. This is arguably one of the best and subsequently one of the more heavily underrated views in the area. This hike offers an exciting blend of mountain and nature hiking as well as it allows you to put your climbing skills to the test.

The last day you will explore the glacier journey to the iconic Uranostind (2157 masl). This demanding trek takes you over a glacier with crevasses, and you will do some easy climbing and then crawl out on the top ridge and admire the spectacular view from the summit. The weather at high altitudes in Norway can change quickly, and snowstorms can happen every month of the summer.

Stay in classic and historic lodges such as the Bygdin Hotel, Fondsbu DNT, Gjendesheim, Memurubu and Gjendebu, where people from all over the come together to share their experiences, in peaceful and friendly ambiences in the heart of nature.  

On this tour we also support you with luggage transportation during the trek and with bus transportation to and from Oslo or Bergen.

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

Accommodation, food and drinks:

  • All accommodations 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/to Oslo available as add-on
  • Transportation from end of route to start included

Luggage transportation:

  • Luggage transportation for all the stages are included.

Agenda:

  • Day 1: Bus from Oslo Busterminal to Bygdin Hotel
  • Day 2: Østre Torfinnstind
  • Day 3: Svartdalen
  • Day 4: Bukkelægret
  • Day 5: Bessegen
  • Day 6: Hiking from Gjendebu to Eidsbugarden
  • Day 7: Glacier hike to peak Uranostind
  • Day 8: Departure from Eidsbugarden to Bygdin by boat and to Oslo Busterminal by bus

Lodging:

  • 2x nights Bygdin Hotel
  • 1x night Gjendebu
  • 1x night Memurubu
  • 1x night Gjendesheim
  • 2x nights Fondsbu DNT

Østre Torfinnstind

  • Difficulty: Demanding
  • Distance: 6 kilometers (Out and back)
  • Elevation Gain: 1060 meters
  • Duration: 5-6 hours
Jotunheimen Travel
Østre Torfinnstind 
Petter Olsen, Mountains of Norway
Østre Torfinnstind 
Jotunheimen Travel
Østre Torfinnstind 
Jotunheimen Travel
Østre Torfinnstind 

Østre Torfinnstind or “Eastern Torfinnstind” is the highest one of the mountain Torfinnstindane’s three peaks. At 2119 meters above sea level, it rises majestically in the sky behind Torfinnsbu, and can be seen from most mountains in the southern area of Jotunheimen. The hike is of the more challenging sort, and requires you to be in good physical health. But once you reach the top, the trip is well worth the challenge. In addition to magnificent views of the spectacular surroundings; one can – on a clear day – see almost all the way to Oslo. Do not forget to bring your camera!

Svartdalen valley (Torfinnsbu to Gjendebu)

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

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”.

Facts

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

Bukkelægret

  • Difficulty: Demanding
  • Distance: 10 kilometers (point‑to‑point)
  • Elevation Gain: 760 meters
  • Duration: 6-8 hours
Yngve Ask
Bukkelægret 
Yngve Ask
Bukkelægret 
Yngve Ask
Bukkelægret 
Yngve Ask
Bukkelægret 

Bukkelægret has a steady steep climb/descent on both sides of the route, with a longer flat plateau in the middle. The hike will take you through a variety of beautiful trout-filled lakes – a great place to catch your lunch. The high mountain offer great views of Gjende.

In the steepest areas the route is secured with chains and wires to hold on to.

Facts

  • “Three in Norway, by two of them” is the famous travelogue written by Englishmen during their summer spent in Jotunheimen in 1882. You can see remnants of where they camped near the Memurubu Lodge.
  • Bring your fishing pole (and be sure to buy a fishing license) if you would like to catch some fresh trout along the route from Memurubu to Gjendebu.

Besseggen Ridge

  • Difficulty: Demanding
  • Distance: 13.1 kilometers (point-to-point)
  • Elevation Gain: 1,300 meters
  • Duration: 7–9 hours
©Jotunheimen Travel
Besseggen 
©Jotunheimen Travel
Besseggen 
©Jotunheimen Travel
Besseggen 
©Jotunheimen Travel
Besseggen 

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

Gjendebu to Eidsbugarden

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Distance: 15.8 kilometers (point-to-point)
  • Elevation Gain: 500 meters
  • Duration: 5–7 hours
Jotunheimen Travel
Eidsbugarden 
Yngve Ask
Gjendebu 
Yngve Ask
Gjendebu 
Yngve Ask
Gjendebu 

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.

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

  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Duration: 10-11 hours
  • Distance: 17 kilometers (Out and back)
  • Elevation Gain: 1050 meters
©Jotunheimen Travel
Uranostind 
©Jotunheimen Travel
Uranostind 
©Jotunheimen Travel
Uranostind 
©Jotunheimen Travel
Uranostind 
©Jotunheimen Travel
Uranostind 

The iconic Uranostind lies at 2,157 m.a.s.l. This demanding 10-11 hour hike is great for experienced hikers. 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 trek takes you over crevasses, and you will do some easy climbing and then crawl out on the top ridge and admire the spectacular view from the summit. The weather at high altitudes in Norway can change quickly, and snowstorms can happen every month of the summer.

The hike is long, but the spectacular view at the summit is well worth the trip.

Relaxing Scenic Bus Ride

Ride with Valdresekspressen!

Enjoy the scenic journey from Oslo to the Valdres Region. After leaving the bustle of the capital you will soon find yourself on countryside roads passing through small towns and surrounded by lakes and fields. As you get further into the country, you will see the mountains in the distance and before you know you’ll find yourself climbing the steep roads that take you straight into the national park. The coach has adjustable seats, free WiFi, outlets with USB charging ports and toilet facilities on board.

Book your Discover Jotunheimen tour now:

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