The hike to Trolltunga, our third of four hikes in Norway, was amazing. Kjeragbolten was our favorite, but this hike was not far behind. The scenery along the hike is phenomenal with views out over the fjords and of snow capped mountains, and posing on Trolltunga for photos is a blast.
Note: This post has been updated August 2016.
Hiking to Trolltunga
The hike is 23 kilometers out and back the to Trolltunga. This was our longest hike during our time in Norway and it would really test Tyler and Kara’s endurance, not to mention our own. At the time of this hike, Tyler was 10 and Kara was 8 years old.
From our research prior to the trip we knew to plan for ten hours to complete the hike. Starting at 10:30 am put us at finishing at 8:30 pm today. It was going to be a long but very fun day!
The funicular is now closed. We did the hike in 2013 when the funicular tracks were still open. It’s unfortunate that the funicular is closed, it was one of the most unique parts of the hike. But it is dangerous. There is a very steep portion on the track…one false step and you could be rolling down the hill like a bowling ball, taking out other hikers!
About Our Experience:
The most challenging portion of the hike is the first 1.7 km, a walk up the steps of an abandoned funicular line (please note: the funicular steps are now closed. For more information, scroll to the bottom of this page). It was crazy standing at the bottom and looking at how high we were going to climb.
At first it was a shallow incline so it was pretty easy. But it didn’t take long until the tracks made a sharp turn upward and we were really climbing. Basically, we were ascending a ladder while holding onto a metal wire with our right hands. Along the way we would stop and take breaks and to look down at what we had accomplished and then look up at the work we still had to do. At one point the tracks were very steep which really had our thighs burning.
The four of us made it to the top of the funicular track in forty minutes. We were hot and sweaty and already our legs were tired. Just 10 km to Trolltunga.
Best Views in Norway?
During the hike we made one more large climb and then walked out to the lake. The views from here were magnificent. Hiking is one of the best ways to see Norway.
We continued our trek, dodging mud puddles, climbing over boulders, and crossing numerous streams and creeks. It took another three hours to reach Trolltunga, including time to stop for snacks, enjoy the ever changing views, and take plenty of goofy family photos. Our photos tell a lot more than I could ever put into words.
The views over Trolltunga and out over the lake were awesome. There were tons of people here, some waiting in line to step out onto the ledge and others were waiting to take their photos. Tyler and Kara were two of the three kids we saw during the entire hike. Go kiddos!
Kara and I went first onto the tongue (after 45 minutes of waiting in line). After stepping out onto Kjeragbolten this did not seem scary at all. Kara and I did a few poses, then I took her back to sit on a rock and wait for me. I went back out to the tip of the tongue to sit with my feet hanging over the side. It was a very cool experience and I wasn’t freaked out at all.
Next it was Tim and Tyler’s turn. By now we were all “shivering cold.” Temperatures were in the high 40’s (8 – 9°C) and it was early August.
Fortunately, the line was a little shorter for Tim and Tyler. Here they are, posing for the camera.
It took an hour and a half for all of us to have our photos taken. By now we were very chilly and already somewhat tired. All four of us were hoping the walk back to the car would be quicker than the walk out.
The Return Hike
The walk back was faster. We did not need to stop for sunscreen, photos, or much food now. The signs counting down the kilometers kept us going, and we snacked on lots of cookies.
Before we knew it we were back at the funicular track. From here we could take the steps down or we could walk down a switchback trail through the woods to the parking lot. Both Tyler and Kara adamantly wanted to take the steps. So, the funicular steps it was.
At first the steps were easy. But the track dropped off in front of us like the first hill of a roller coaster. Walking down that steep part was freaky. In fact, it was freakier than walking out onto the tongue. One misstep with a fall forward and we would all be rolling down all the way to the bottom.
Fortunately, we all were fine. Halfway down leg fatigue was setting in and if we stopped to take a break we could all feel our legs shaking. Finally, three hours after leaving Trolltunga, we were back to our car.
About the Hike
When to go
The main hiking season in Norway is from mid-June to mid-September. Outside of this season, you can book guided hikes with Trolltunga Active (click here to go their website).
How Long is the Hike?
The return hike to Trolltunga is 23 km. Allow 10 – 12 hours to complete the hike. We did it in a total of 8 hours, but we are very fast, even with kids.
Getting to the Start of the Hike:
From Tyssedal, drive 7 km on Skjeggedalsvegen to the car park at the start of the hike. This is where the funicular steps and the hike up the mountain are located. There is a small parking lot here with toilets. Parking cost us NOK200.
You Should Bring
- Hiking shoes
- Plenty of food and water
- First Aid Kit
- Rainjacket and warm clothing (the weather can change rapidly!)
About the Funicular:
As of July 2015 we learned that the funicular track is closed. Next to the funicular tracks, there is a trail that climbs up the mountain with an ascent of 1000 meters. Be prepared for a strenuous climb to the top. If you do not like the idea of the hike, there is a combination cycle trip and Via Ferrata climb (The Sky Ladder) to get you to Trolltunga. The Via Ferrata was not option when we did the hike so we do not have much information about it. For more information on the Sky Ladder click here. Please note, if you take the hiking option you will see the same scenery that is in our photographs. The cycling/hiking/via ferrata option will take you on a totally different route.
Where We Stayed
We spent two nights at Vik Pensjonat go Hytter in Eidfjord. We had a two bedroom apartment which Kara described as “epic.” From Eidfjord, it is a gorgeous one hour drive to Tyssedal and the start of the Trolltunga hike.
Hiking to Trolltunga with Kids
At the time we did this hike, Tyler was 10 and Kara was 8 years old. They both did awesome. They were happy and having a good time for almost the entire time (Kara struggled a little with the walk down the funicular line).
We only saw one other child (about 10 years old) on the trail. A very adventurous child, eight years or older with lots of long distance hiking experience, should be able to handle this hike.
Did you like this post? Keep Reading:
- 10 Best Day Hikes in the World
- The Kjeragbolten Hike: A Complete Guide
- Hiking to Pulpit Rock with Kids
- Hiking Romsdalseggen Ridge in Norway
- 10 Day Norway Itinerary
- Norway Travel Guide
Want to learn more about traveling in Norway? Check out our Norway Travel Guide.