Welcome to our amazing 8-day Jotunheimen Red Route Itinerary to the most impressive peaks and valleys in the region, intended for adults in good physical shape and condition, with previous hiking experience from alpine mountain areas. You’ll be accompanied by experienced local guides for the most strenuous hike, the Glacier hike to peak Uranostind, but sure-footedness is required to enjoy it. This will be a rewarding experience that’ll allow you to tick some classic Norwegian summits off your bucket list! The minimum total route is 70 km, but maximum route can vary between 75 km and 80 km.
This is an extended version of our Green Route, designed for those who have some more hiking experience and who want to challenge themselves. 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 .
You will climb the majestic Bitihorn (1607 masl), and take the the M/B Bitihorn across the beautiful Bygdin Lake, and trek through 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 trek to Fondsbu via Veslådalen is a very popular hike that connects two traditional lodges, Gjendebu and Fondsbu DNT
The last hike, is 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.
This itinerary includes a free day for you to get a chance to rest and enjoy a relaxing day at Gjendebu Lodge. Alternatively you could spend this day exploring an optional hike such as the 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 trek offers an exciting blend of mountain and nature hiking as well as it allows you to put your climbing skills to the test.
As another option, you can try a less arduous hike, namely Gjendetunga. This is perfect for those who want to indulge in a nice, relaxing and shorter trek, but who don’t want to go without a panoramic view experience. Towering over Gjendebu, Gjendetunga lies at 1516 masl and is “a not to miss” hike if you’re in this area. On clear days you can enjoy your lunch at the top of the mountain overlooking Gjende and its surrounding mountains. This is a road less travelled, but the Gjendetunga hike has earned its rightful place as one of the best ways to experience Gjende.
Stay in classic and historic lodges such as the Bygdin Hotel, Fondsbu DNT, Gjendesheim 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.
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 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.
- Bus transportation round-trip from/to Oslo is available as add-on
- Transportation from end of route to start included
- Luggage transportation for all the stages are included.
- Day 1: Bus from Oslo Busterminal to Bygdin Hotel
- Day 2: Hiking Bitihorn
- Day 3: Hiking from Bygdin Hotel to Gjendebu (Svartdalen hike)
- Day 4: Free day at Gjendebu (Bukkelægret optional hike)
- Day 5: Besseggen hike
- Day 6: Hiking from Gjendebu to Eidsbugarden (Veslådalen hike)
- Day 7: Glacier hike to peak Uranostind
- Day 8: Departure from Eidsbugarden to Bygdin by boat and Oslo Busterminal by bus
- 2x nights Bygdin Hotel
- 2x nights Gjendebu
- 1x night Gjendesheim
- 2x nights Fondsbu DNT
Hike Agenda / Stage Information:
- Difficulty: Medium
- Distance: 7 kilometers (Out and back)
- Elevation Gain: 550 meters
- Duration: 5-8 hours from Bygdin (4-6 hours from the parking)
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.
- Difficulty: Demanding
- Distance: 13.1 kilometers (point-to-point)
- Elevation Gain: 1,300 meters
- Duration: 7–9 hours
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.
Svartdalen valley (Torfinnsbu to Gjendebu)
- Difficulty: Demanding
- Distance: 14 kilometers (point‑to‑point)
- Elevation Gain: 610 meters
- Duration: 6–8 hours
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”.
- 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.
Gjendebu to Eidsbugarden
- 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.
- 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: 6 hours
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:
For more options, see all our excursions.