The Historical Route Jotunheimen (4-Days Self-guided)


This summer you can join us for a full week, and around 50km of the best hiking tracks in Jotunheimen! The Historical Hiking Route takes you from cabin to cabin through Jotunheimen and for an upgrade your luggage will be transferred separately and arrive at each cabin. This trek is self-guided and intended for adults in good physical shape and condition, with previous hiking experience from alpine mountain areas.

The route goes from the Gjende Lake in the East to Bygdin Lake in the West; starting from Gjendesheim you will hike the popular Besseggen trail over to Memurubu, 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 .

From Memurubu you will hike to Gjendebu across Bukkelægret. As you walk 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.

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 to 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.

From Gjendebu you will venture through Svartdalen valley to Torfinnsbu. 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.

You will visit some of the most well known DNT cabins and hotels in the area; Gjendesheim, Gjendebu and Bygdin, as well the privatly owned cabins at Memurbu.

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:

  • Luggage transportation for all the stages is available as add-on.


  • Day 1: Arrival Gjendesheim
  • Day 2: Hiking Besseggen
  • Day 3: Hiking from Memurubu to Gjendebu
  • Day 4: Free time (optional day available as add-on)
  • Day 5: Hiking Svartdalen Valley and Departure


  • 1x night Gjendesheim
  • 1x night Memurubu
  • 1-2x nights Gjendebu

Hike Agenda / Stage Information:

Besseggen Ridge

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

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.


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

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.


  • “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.

Svartdalen valley (Gjendebu to Torfinnsbu)

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

The hike from Gjendebu to Torfinnsbu 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.

Optional Hike on Free Day:


  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 10 kilometers (out-and-back)
  • Elevation Gain: 520 meters
  • Duration: 3,5-4,5 hours
©Jotunheimen Travel
©Jotunheimen Travel
©Jotunheimen Travel
©Jotunheimen Travel

Gjendetunga is the perfect hike for those who want to indulge in a nice, relaxing and shorter trek, but who doesn’t want to go without a panoramic view experience. Towering over Gjendebu, Gjendetunga lies at 1516 MASL (4973, 7 feet) 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 in the East and the mountains ranges in the West. This is a road less travelled, but the Gjendetunga hike has earned its rightful place as one of the best ways to experience Gjende.       

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.