Trolltunga: A Fabulous Hike Packed with Incredible Scenery

Julie Norway 35 Comments

Trolltunga is one of Norway’s most popular hikes for good reason. It is an incredibly scenic hike, ending at the Troll’s tongue, a thin sliver of rock perfect for creative photographs. This is definitely a hike to add to your bucket list.

For us, the hike to Trolltunga was our third of four hikes in Norway. Kjeragbolten was our favorite, but this hike was not far behind. The scenery along the hike is phenomenal with views out over lakes and snow capped mountains, and posing on Trolltunga for photos is a blast.

Note: This post was updated August 2017.

Trolltunga Norway Hike

Facts About the Hike

  • Distance: 22 km (13.6 miles) out and back
  • Elevation Gain: 900 meters (2,950 feet)
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Length of time: 10 – 12 hours
  • When to go: June 15 to September 15 (without a guide). At all other times of the year you must hike with a guide. For more information, visit the Visit Norway website.

Getting to Trolltunga

From Tyssedal, drive 7 km on Skjeggedalsvegen to the car park at the start of the hike. This is where the trailhead is located.  There is a small parking lot here with toilets. Parking costs NOK300.

MAP

About Our Experience

We did this hike in August 2013 when the funicular tracks were still open. At the time we did this hike, Tyler was 10 and Kara was 8 years old.

Hiking to Trolltunga

The first ascent of the hike is the most strenuous. It is 1 km of constant, steep climbing on stone steps before the trail levels out.

Happy to be hiking

Over the next 10 km, there are several smaller climbs, but the higher you go, the better the view.

Hiking to Trolltunga

Tyler and Kara

We continued our trek, dodging mud puddles, climbing over boulders, and crossing numerous streams and creeks. It took us just under four 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.

Earth Trekkers

Trolltunga Cabin

Posing

View of the Lake

Hiking

Kara

Stepping out onto Trolltunga

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!

Trolltunga

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.

Julie and Kara

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.

Tim and Tyler

Tim

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 funicular 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.

Wonder Why the Funicular Steps are no longer allowed?

Descending the funicular was more dangerous and more scary than standing out on Trolltunga. When we stood at the top of the tracks, they dropped off in front of us like the first hill of a roller coaster. Walking down that steep part was freaky. One slip and we would roll all the way down the tracks, taking out hikers below us.

The funicular line was dangerous, especially as the Trolltunga hike grew in popularity and more and more people were on the trail.

We took the funicular steps down and our legs were shaking by the time we reached the bottom.

Now, the stone steps may not be as thrilling, but they are much safer!

We are very fast hikers, even with kids. The four of us hiked to Trolltunga in 8 hours (3.5 hours to get to Trolltunga, 1.5 hours for photos, and 3 hours to hike back to the car). We were constantly overtaking other people. If you take your time or encounter marshy, snowy terrain, this hike can take as long as 10 to 12 hours.

You Should Bring

  • Waterproof hiking shoes
  • Plenty of food and water
  • Sunscreen
  • First Aid Kit
  • Rainjacket and warm clothing (the weather can change rapidly!)
  • Camera

Alternative Route to Trolltunga

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.

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.

Hiking Trolltunga with Kids

About the Trolltunga Funicular:

It’s unfortunate that the funicular is closed, it was one of the most unique parts of the hike. But it is dangerous. One false step and you could be rolling down the hill like a bowling ball, taking out other hikers!

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 real climbing began. 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 look down at what we had accomplished and then look up at the work we still had to do.

Photos from the Funicular

Tyler Rivenbark

Funicular

View from Funicular

Read Next:
10 Day Norway Itinerary
Hiking to Pulpit Rock with Kids
10 Best Day Hikes in the World

 


Want to learn more about traveling in Norway? Check out our Norway Travel Guide.

Trolltunga Guide for Hiking and Traveling with Kids

Comments 35

  1. Hi. I’m planning a trip to Norway and I’m wondering what you would pick if you had to chose between Trolltunga or Kjeragbolten? I’m not that fit, so I’m really doubting if I can handle the walk to Trolltunga…

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      Author

      We liked Kjeragbolten slightly more than Trolltunga. Kjeragbolten is a fun hike, with chain-assisted climbs and awesome views of the fjords. Plus, it’s a little shorter and more manageable for most people. Have fun! – Julie

  2. Hi! I just did the kjerag hike today and thinking of doing trolltunga in two days… Is the climb the same… meaning a series of chains and rock navigation… or is it purely stone steps?

    Thanks!!

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      Author

      The two hikes are different. For Trolltunga, it’s a steep climb at the very beginning of the hike on stairs and a steep trail. Then, it levels out, for the most part, with smaller ups and downs until you get to Trolltunga. The hike to Trolltunga does not have steep climbs on the granite (with chains) like Kjerag has. Trolltunga is longer and a little more difficult, but it’s worth it! Have fun! – Julie

  3. Hi,
    Nice post! Were you all charged any entrance fees? What would you suggest as a minimum budget per day to get around Norway.

    Any advice/ideas on that would be great.
    Thank you.

    1. Post
      Author

      The only fee we paid to do this hike was the parking fee, which Visit Norway currently has listed as NOK300. To get around Norway, the most convenient transportation is renting your own car, especially if you are going to out of the way places like Trolltunga. Contact several rental car companies to get updated prices (we were here several years ago so our pricing may not be accurate). The cheapest way to get around Norway is using public transportation, such as buses, and if you are planning on doing this, visit the Visit Norway website for more information. If you enjoy hiking, we highly recommend hiking Trolltunga and/or Kjeragbolten…they are spectacular!! The best time to go to Norway, especially if you have plans to go hiking, is between June and August, but be prepared for lots of people on the trails. It’s a short hiking season in Norway unless you plan to hike with a guide. The fjords are beautiful, also, especially Geirangerfjord. If you want an idea for a 10 day itinerary, click here. Happy planning, and let us know if you have more questions. Cheers, Julie

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      Author
  4. hi, i would like to ask about your hiking both Preikestolen and Trolltunga, Did you take any guided tours up there, or it is possible to hike without guided tours, in case we got lost or something as there would be no phone coverage up there. and another thing, along the trail up to the peak, how do we know we are on the right tract, are there any sign along the trail? im planning to go there this summer . thanks!

    1. Post
      Author

      Hello Zack. We did not have a guide for Preikestolen or Trolltunga. Hiking Preikestolen without a guide is very easy. The hike is well-marked and it’s almost impossible to lose the trail. You can only hike Trolltunga without a guide between June 15 and September 15. Again, the train is well-marked and easy to follow. Just follow the red “T’s” spray painted along the trail and you should not have a problem. Give yourself plenty of time for Trolltunga, budgeting for a 10 – 12 hour hike, although it might not take that long. Cheers, Julie

  5. Hi, I’ll be visiting early september 🙂 Is it possible to camp at the top of Trolltunga? I know wild camping is allowed aslong as we leave no trace etc which we would do without saying but do many stay up there?

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      Author

      Hello Rachel. It is possible to camp near Trolltunga. We saw one tent set up along the trail. You can always double check with the Visit Norway website…they have a lot of very up-to-date information about the hikes. – Julie

  6. Hi ! Thanks for that amazing post on the trail which just seems to be a wonderful experience. I am intending to hike it on the 15th of June this year, but I have some trouble finding a map for the trip. Did your family hike the trail with one ? Would you described the trail as well marked and easy to follow for beginners ? And lastly do you know if maps are available in Odda to buy ?

    Thank you so much in advance for your help and keep enjoying our wonderful world wonders 🙂 !

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      Author

      Hello Eloise. The trail is very well marked. You will not need a map. There will probably be enough people on the trail that you can just follow everyone else. It wasn’t crowded when we went but there was just enough people to know that we were walking in the right direction. There is a large map posted at the start of the hike. You can take a photo of it with your phone and refer to it if necessary. Have a good time. This hike is a beauty!! Cheers, Julie

  7. Hi Julie,
    Amazing images, truly amazing. My friend and I will be coming to Trolltunga in June. And I just wanted to ask you when you hiked up? I know the weather can be unpredictable, but I am just hoping June 15th will be a good time to do the hike. What do you think?

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      Author

      Hello. We did the hike early to mid August. We had great weather…comfortable temperatures and we got lucky that it did not rain. By August, there was no more snow on the ground. I have heard reports that snow can linger on the trails as late as mid July. I know that the Visit Norway site recommends hiking to Trolltunga between June and August so I assume you will be fine. Just make sure you have waterproof hiking boots just in case you do come across some snow on the trails. Rain is unpredictable but I think that August tends to be wetter than June. You will have to keep your fingers crossed about the rain! Have fun and I think you should have a good time in June. – Julie

  8. This is incredible! I’m inspired that you do this with your children – what unbelievable experiences for them and memories as a family. Also, thank you for the detail you put into your posts…. My sister and I recently started researching a trip to Norway this summer and it has been a little daunting to sort through the information. Reading your posts make it sound totally doable 🙂 It’s now become a must do trip! I only stumbled on your blog this morning but I have a feeling I’ll be delving into it for the rest of the day!!

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      Author

      Hello Jennifer,

      Glad you found us. We know what that’s like to do some trip planning and research and never finding enough information. Now that our around the world journey is over, I am going back and writing “how-to” sections to help people, now that we have learned so much. Let us know if you have any questions. And check out our Norway Travel Guide.

      Cheers, Julie

  9. Good for you, guys!
    It’s amazing that your kids can accompany you in such a hard treks! The day when I hiked Trolltunga I remembered as the hardest (physically) day of my life :))
    Quite sad to hear this hike becomes so popular that one need to wait in a queue to make a photo. In 2012 when I was there it tooks only 5 or 10 minutes of waiting and it was August too.
    Sorry, and one thing to correct you – a water which you can see down the mountains near Trolltunga actually is a lake, not fjord, as you mention in the post)

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      Author

      Hello,

      Thanks, I just recently realized that about the lake but have yet to update the post. 🙂 I am glad we were there in 2013, it seems like Trolltunga is becoming even more popular. Now I see photos of it all over the internet!

  10. Hi,
    Great blog–what fun adventures! My husband and I are looking to hike Trolltunda (and a few others that you have blogged about) in mid-April. Based on the date of this blog post, it looks like you hiked it at a similar time of year–is that a safe assumption? It’s hard to figure out what the conditions will be like in April. And it’s great to hear that camping is allowed along the trail; I think we will plan to do that.

    Thanks for any insight about the weather/hiking conditions!

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      Author

      Hello Mackenzie,

      We did the hike in August, I wrote this post the following year once we got the website up and running. The best times to go hiking in Norway are between June and August. May and September can be OK also but this is when there begins to be a better chance for snow. It is possible to hike in April but not recommended. The trail and Trolltunga are snow covered this time of year. If you can wait until May or even June conditions would be much better.

      Cheers! Julie

  11. Hi, Thanks for this report! It looks amazing and I plan to visit in July next year (2016) I’ve heard of people camping up Trolltunga and we will have equipment with us, Did you see anyone camping up there?

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      Author

      Yes, we saw people camping about 6 km away from Trolltunga, just off the hiking path. There are plenty of flat areas to pitch a tent and it looked like an awesome place to spend the night.

      Cheers! Julie

  12. Great pictures and information. I found that there wasn’t a heap of detail about the trek online to use for planning but when you get there it’s all pretty easy and obvious. I did the walk a couple of months ago and absolutely loved it!

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      Author
  13. Thank you for posting very nice description of your hiking in Norway.In two weeks I am off to Norway with my husband.Next year we will take kids with us .Beata

  14. Hi… Very good experience. In Trolltunga… people wait for the photo neatly?
    Photographs are taken with your own camera by other tourists or professional people?
    Thanks

    1. Post
      Author

      Hello,

      While we were there, people waited in line for their photo and it was all very orderly. It took about 45 minutes of waiting for it to be our turn. Make sure you have some warm clothes, we froze while waiting for our turn. The photos you see were taken with our camera. First, I went out on the rock with my daughter while Tim took our pictures, and then I photographed Tim and Tyler. This meant that we had to wait in line twice but there is no other way to do it with your own camera. If you are hiking solo it is going to be very hard to get this photo. The viewpoint for the photo is not very close to where you wait in line. If you are hiking solo, make friends with a group along the way and maybe someone in the group can take your photo. Hope this helps!

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      Author

      Yes, it was a great experience for our family. Norway still remains one of our favorite places in the world. The scenery is stunning and the hiking is world class. What a beautiful place!

  15. Hi Earthtrekkers

    Great blog and pictures. You managed Trolltunga 3 hours quicker than I could manage, but hey it was never about how long i took but how much joy I got out of the trek.

    I was terrified going both up and down the funicular tracks. They have now closed the funicular tracks . I was fortunate to be the last person to go up that way as they were boarding it up as I was going up.

    Seeing your pictures brings a wry smile as like you I was there to experience that amazing view from Trolltunga. I am sure you all had a wonderful time and can say i did too.

    I also did Kjeragbolten and Pulpit Rock. My favourite of the three was the Kjerag trek. Absolutely awesome ! Only regret is I did not have the bottle for the shot on the rock. I go again in September 2014, so may be then I will have the courage.

    Thanks for sharing your post . I have yet to get round to writing my report, but will soon , ,as many friends want to hear of my travels.

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      Author

      Hello Vinod,

      They closed the funicular tracks??!! Wow, that’s kind of sad, but I can see why. People are always amazed that we stood on Trolltunga, but it was climbing and descending those tracks that was so dangerous. We still talk about it today. What a great experience you had and we had to be able to do something like that. We really miss hiking in Norway. I can’t wait to go back again.

      Thanks for reading!!

      1. Hi Julie

        I am so amazed you have been so bold to make such a radicle change to your life , to take 12 months out and travel the world with your children.

        They may not realise it now , but , you have given them a gift very very very few parents could even contemplate, let alone put into action.

        I shall follow your travels with great interest and sincerely wish you well with the remainder of your time out on the road.

        If it is not already obvious I am so envious.

        Bon Voyage for the rest of your journey.

        Vinod

  16. I saw the story on your family in the Baltimore Sun today and decided I had to follow your adventures. I have to tell you, just the pictures from these hikes in Norway were enough to make me dizzy. You are really creating a priceless experience for your family. I’m looking forward to a vicarious adventure with the four of you.

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