Julie Rivenbark on Trolltunga

Trolltunga: A Fabulous Hike Packed with Incredible Scenery

Julie Norway 27 Comments

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 April 2017.

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!

Map of the Trolltunga hike

The Funicular

Tyler and Kara at the start of the hike.

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.

Trolltunga Funicular

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.

View from Trolltunga Funicular

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.

Hiking to Trolltunga

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.

Tyler and Kara

Posing

View of the Lake

Hiking

Kara

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.  It was a very cool experience and I wasn’t freaked out at all.

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 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 June 15 to September 15. 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.

MAP

Driving directions from Tyssedal to the start of the hike.

You Should Bring

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

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.

Hiking Trolltunga with Kids

Did you like this post? Keep Reading:


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

Trolltunga Guide for Hiking and Traveling with Kids

Comments 27

  1. 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!

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      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

  2. 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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      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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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!

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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
  10. 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

  11. 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

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      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!

  12. 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

  13. 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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