The Scenic Hikes Jotunheimen program is ideal for adults in good physical shape and condition, with previous hiking experience. The most difficult stage of the tour is 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. This full day hike will challenge most hikers and leave you with the sweet sense of achievement that follows an arduous trek. 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.
The journey through Svartdalen is one of the most appreciated and respected treks among Norwegian outdoor adventurers. This rigorous hike 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.
For this tour you can also add a guided mountain peak tour to the Østre Torfinnstind. This majestic summit lies at 2119 MASL over-looking Bygdin Lake, and includes many a steep ascents and spectacular views. Alternatively you can try a softer hike to Utsikten at Eidsbugarden and enjoy a nice lunch a the famous DNT Cabin, Fondsbu.
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 Oslo to start and end of tour
available as add-ons.
- Transportation from end of route to start included
- Luggage transportation for all the stages are included.
- Day 1: Arrival at Gjendesheim
- Day 2: Besseggen hike
- Day 3: Svartdalen hike (or optional bus to Bygdin)
- Day 4: Departure (Add-on: Østre Torfinnstind, or Utsikten hike & dine)
Hike agenda / Stage information:
- Difficulty: Demanding
- Distance: 13.1 kilometers (point-to-point)
- Elevation Gain: 1,140 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.
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 the easiest entry to the most 2000 meter peaks of all DNT cabins.
- Difficulty: Easy
- Distance: 5,5 kilometers (Out and back)
- Elevation Gain: 410 meters
- Duration: 2-4 hours
Utsikten is a short, easy tour with spectacular view over the great nature landscape of Jotunheimen. Its about 410m height meters to ascend, but short and fits beginners well.
- Difficulty: Demanding
- Distance: 6 kilometers (Out and back)
- Elevation Gain: 1060 meters
- Duration: 5-6 hours
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!
Book your Scenic Hikes tour now:
For more options, see all our excursions.