Hiking Trolltunga: Everything You Need to Know to Have the Best Experience

Julie Norway 60 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.

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.

Important Update:  There is a new car park that shaves off the first big climb of the hike. If you park here, the hike will be shorter with less elevation gain than is listed above. I don’t have the exact numbers, but parking in this new lot does save you a lot of time (about 1.5 hours). However, there are only 30 spots so you need to get here very early in the morning. Read more below.

Hiking to Trolltunga

The First Big Climb

The trailhead for Trolltunga is at the Skjeggedal carpark.

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

There were once old funicular tracks here that you could climb instead of the rocky trail. This is what we did in 2013 (so we have photos of the funicular tracks but not the first part of the trail.)

A Series of Several Shorter Climbs

Once you conquer the first 1 km climb, things get easier. The trail levels out, for just a little bit, and then you will have several smaller climbs. However, these are nothing like what you just did.

Trolltunga with Kids

Happy to be hiking

Just before the start of the another climb.

 

Trail Marker Trolltunga

Follow the red T’s to get to Trolltunga.

 

Nice View

Looking out over the valley and what we just hiked. If you look closely, you can see the faint line of the hiking trail.

 

Another Climb

One more climb. After this, the trail levels out for awhile.

 

Granite face climb of Trolltunga

Standing on the granite face of the trail.

 

Hiking to Trolltunga

This is the view from the top of that last climb.

One of the tricks to having a good experience is to take breaks along the way. From this altitude, you have amazing panoramic views of Norway. Sure, getting to Trolltunga is the goal but enjoy this whole journey…it’s awesome!

Tyler and Kara

We continued our trek, dodging mud puddles, climbing over boulders, and crossing numerous streams and creeks. Once you climb that granite face, the hike levels out, for the most part. There are several small climbs but nothing too difficult. Here are more photos of the trail until you get to Trolltunga.

On the Trolltunga Trail
Earth Trekkers

Trolltunga Cabin

Posing

View of the Lake

Hiking

Kara

Trail to Trolltunga

Stepping out onto Trolltunga

It took us three and a half hours to hike from the carpark to 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 slightly 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. It took us three hours to hike back to a car, shaving off about a half hour from the hike to get to Trolltunga.

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.

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 and we had perfect weather conditions. If you take your time or encounter marshy, snowy terrain, this hike can take as long as 10 to 12 hours.

How Do You Get to Trolltunga?

Trolltunga is located in southern Norway near Hardangerfjord. Most people stay in Odda or Tyssedal to hike Trolltunga.

Distances to Trolltunga:

  • From Bergen: 3 hours
  • From Oslo: 5 to 6 hours
  • From Stavanger: 3.5 hours

Lately, we have been getting a lot of questions from people who want to day trip from Bergen, hike Trolltunga, and then drive back to Bergen the same day. That is possible to do, but it will be a very long, tiring day, and I don’t recommend it. The hike to Trolltunga can take 12 hours. Add in 6 hours of driving for the day and that’s a very long day. Plus, you will have to drive all of the way back to Bergen after hiking 22km (almost 14 miles). It will be a much more enjoyable (and safer) experience if you stay near Trolltunga, at least for one night.

The best way to get around this region of Norway is by car. Having a rental car gives you the freedom to take your time, stop and enjoy the views (this part of Norway is gorgeous!), and visit small towns and off-the-beaten-path destinations.

However, if you are relying on public transportation, you can get to Odda by bus and by train.

Getting to Odda By Bus

Getting to Odda By Train

The Bergensbanen connects Bergen and Odda.

Where to Park

Main Lot

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 NOK500 (250 spaces).

MAP

Map of the drive from Tyssedal to the parking lot in Skjeggedal.

 

Skjeggedal

The road from Tyssedal to the car park (looking back towards Tyssedal and Sorfjord).

Trolltunga Road Lot

There is a second, much smaller parking lot that holds 30 cars (NOK 600). This road is very steep, you need to have good driving skills and be able to drive tight, hairpin turns. Driving to this parking lot eliminates the first climb and final descent of the hike. The gates open at 6 am and you cannot reserve a spot in advance.

For more information about the upper parking lot, click here.

Sue, one of our awesome readers, wrote in with more information about the new car park. She states that the road is now paved and although it is steep, you no longer need a 4×4. There is also a shuttle that can take you from Skjeggedal to the upper lot. Learn more here. You can read her full report in the comment section below. Thanks Sue! 🙂

Best Places to Stay Near Trolltunga

There are people who hike Trolltunga on a day trip from Bergen but we don’t recommend it. You are setting yourself up for a very long, exhausting day. For the best experience, plan on staying in one of the small towns near Trolltunga: Tyssedal, Odda, Kinsarvik, or Eidfjord.


Read our detailed post on the best places to stay near the hike.


How to Have the Best Experience

Start early! This is a long day and you want to give yourself as much time as possible. Try to hit the trail no later than 8 am.

Don’t underestimate this hike. It’s a long, tiring hike. And yes, it really can take 12 hours. Over the course of the day, you will essentially be hiking a half marathon with lots of elevation gain. You wouldn’t just plan on rolling out of bed one day to go run a half marathon, right? 🙂 You need to be in good shape to do this.

There is no fee to hike Trolltunga. However, if you have a car, you will have to pay for parking.

Use the bathroom in the car park before starting the hike. This is your only chance to use a toilet until you get back to the parking lot.

Between June 15 and September 15 you do not need a guide to do this hike. There are enough people on the trail, and the trail is marked well enough, that you should have no issues finding your way to Trolltunga. Once you are at Trolltunga, you can have another hiker take your photograph (if you are hiking solo).

If you are hiking from September 16 to June 14, Visit Norway recommends hiring a guide. Every year there are numerous rescues for people who got in over their heads. Don’t be one of these statistics.

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

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

Alternative Route to Trolltunga

If you do not like the idea of the hike, there is a combination cycle trip and Via Ferrata climb 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 Via Ferrata click here.

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 was 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

Help Keep this post updated

Have you hiked Trolltunga? Is there something we missed? Let us know in the comments below so we can keep this post updated. Thanks!! And happy hiking. 🙂

Read More About Norway

Are you planning a trip to the Norway? Read all of our articles about Norway in our Norway Travel Guide.


Comments 60

  1. Thanks for such an wonderful and inspirational blog. Me and my wife is planning to go norway next year. One day 1, we want to roam around Lysebotn and day 2 want to Hike to Kjerag bolten. On day 3 wan to go to odda and take rest. On day eant to hike on Trolltunga which is our dream Hike. So my question is,
    1- do you think the time frame is okay between these 2 bug hikes?
    2- as you mentioned upper parking open at 6 , so can we go there at 5.30 and wait till the gate open?
    3- one silly question, any recommendation for hiking boot and brand ?
    4- Finally, Do tou have any exact google address for the upper parking?

    I really do appreciate your blogs and thanks for all the necessary information.

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      Author

      Hello Aryan. It sounds like you have a rest day in between Kjeragbolten and Trolltunga. That sounds great. The ticket office for the parking lot is in Skjeggedal and it opens at 6 am. So, yes, I would think you could get here at 5:30 am and get in line at the ticket office. Then, at 6 am you drive up to the parking lot. Check out this link that has lots of great info about the parking lot (including a map). I think this is new info because I didn’t see it when I last updated this post. Enter “Trolltunga Upper Parking” to see the location of the parking lot on Google maps.

      We all use Merrell waterproof hiking shoes. We actually wear the shoes, not the boots…that’s just our personal preference.

      Have fun in Norway!!

      Cheers, Julie

  2. A few more tips I forgot in my first post – if you aren’t one of the first 30 cars for the upper parking, there is now a shuttle you can take up to that parking lot that can be reserved online. It starts about an hour after the upper parking gates open. Again I highly recommend cutting out walking up the road! If you are one of the first 30 cars, the road is now paved and while windy and steep it is fine; the road back down to Tyssedal was actually worse because of the oncoming traffic (on the road to upper parking it is rare to have any cars going the other way). Hardly anyone had a 4 wheel drive the day we went and no one had trouble getting up. And for pictures on the tongue, people all just seem to give other people their cameras/phones to take pictures with now so we were able to get pictures together. Hope that helps for future hikers!

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      Author

      Thank Sue for all of these great tips! I am going to add your advice directly into this post, just in case people don’t scroll down this far to the comments. Thank you for helping us to keep this post updated!! Cheers, Julie

    2. Hi Sue
      Thanks a lot for the valuable info on top parking 🙂
      Can you help me with the website for booking the shuttle for top parking?
      I am planning to do this hike on 13th Sep and I really want to cut down on the initial tough part of the hike. I will be hiring a VW polo. Will it be easy to drive up to top parking with this vehicle? If not, I can take a SUV
      Thanks

  3. Thanks for your excellent blog – was very helpful planning our hikes in Norway with our kids aged 11 and 9 (and helpful to tell my 9 year old someone younger than her had done it!). We did Trolltunga yesterday and Pulpit Rock a few days ago which were fantastic. Highly recommend parking at the top parking lot at Trolltunga to cut out the first steep part of the hike but get there early! We had a bit of a panic when we saw a sign after the 10th car saying the lot was full but apparently they don’t take the sign down from the day before so we got in no problem. Kids did really well – there is only one steep part if you do the upper lot and it is more a matter of endurance for the 20km hike (which shouldn’t be underestimated for those not used to hiking). Took us much longer to get down since the kids were having fun clambering over rocks everywhere. We lucked out with great weather. Getting there early means less of a line for photos too. The scariest part of it for me was watching people jump near the edge! Pulpit Rock was actually harder on my legs given the up up up then down down down but definitely worth it. Beautiful country.

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      Author

      Thanks for the tip about the upper parking lot. And I am glad you had good luck with the weather…that makes the experience so much more pleasant. Congrats to your kiddos and happy hiking! Cheers, Julie

  4. Hi! I am traveling to Trolltunga next month and had a question. In your opinion is traveling to and from Bergen to do the hike in one day feasible? We are two 40 year old males in v. good shape. Is it too long of a day to attempt? Thanks!!

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      Author

      My honest opinion is that it is doable but it is also a VERY long day. The drive is roughly 3 hours one way (for a total of 6 hours in the car). You need to allow 12 hours for the hike. If you want to do this as a day trip from Bergen, I’d leave at 4 or 5 am in order to give you enough time to complete the hike. Or, drive out the evening before, stay in one of the hotels local to Trolltunga, and return to Bergen the evening after the hike. We stayed in Eidfjord, one hour away, and were wiped out after this hike. I couldn’t imagine driving all of the way back to Bergen. Cheers, Julie

  5. Hi! My husband and I are wondering how big your family packs were as well as how much water you brought.

    Thanks!

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      Author

      We carried about a liter of water per person. I carried a very small backpack, just to hold my camera and one or two bottles of water. Tim carried a “typical sized” day pack with more water and snacks. Tyler and Kara were too young to put to work (although that has changed since then! 🙂 ). I heard that you can refill your water bottles at streams along the way but we never tested that out…if you want to do this, maybe bring some iodine tablets as well. But temps were in the high 40’s, low 50’s (fahrenheit) so even though it was a long hike we did not sweat very much. Cheers, Julie

  6. I was looking for a great and concise article with few or no negative comments and I was so glad I found your website. I enjoy reading your hiking adventures. After reading your family hike to both Kjeragbolten and Trolltunga, I am more than convince to do the hike. My problem is altitude sickness, is this going to be a problem? Which hike should I do first? Should I also include hiking Pulpit Rock?
    My son and I will be in Stavanger from June 16-22, will that give us enough time to climb all three?
    Thank you and looking forward to hearing from you.
    Yolanda

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      Author

      Hello Yolanda. Altitude sickness will not be a concern with the Trolltunga hike (or Kjeragbolten and Pulpit Rock). As far as the order, it really depends on your itinerary through Norway. Here is our 10 day Norway itinerary that pieces these 3 hikes together along with visits to Bergen and Stavanger. The order we did the hikes were Pulpit Rock, Kjerag, and Trolltunga, and this concidentally puts the hikes in order of easiest to hardest. Cheers, Julie

  7. Thanks for all the great info! My husband and I are planning a trip to Norway this July. We will have our daughter with us who will be 11 months old at the time. She’s a great traveler and has already been to three countries. We are good hikers and were actually planning to do this trip including this hike but found out were were pregnant and postponed. I’m wondering if you think this would be possible to hike with an 11 month old in a carrier?

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      Author

      It would be possible as long as you are physically fit. It’s a long hike with a fair amount of elevation gain so just make sure you are prepared. Will she be able to handle 10 to 12 hours in a carrier? Also, check the weather. It can be surprisingly chilly so make sure you bring warm clothing for your daughter. Have fun!! Cheers, Julie

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      Author

      It is a bummer about the funicular. That was one of the best parts of the hike. Yeah, Tyler and Kara are really amazing…and now Tim and I struggle to keep up with them. 🙂 Cheers, Julie

  8. Hello Julie! We loved your Trolltunga blog and the pictures. We also hiked to Trolltunga in August. A few days before the new parking lot at the top of the mountain was opened. That made the beginning and the end of the hike much easier. The funicular is not available anymore, so that you have to take the new road or the longer way through the forest.
    For more information please take a look at our blog: http://roadtripsta.com/en/hiking-trolltunga-get-park/

    Greeting from Sabrina and Andreas from Germany

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      Author

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