Julie Norway 121 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.

Facts About the Hike

  • Distance: 28 km (17.4 miles) out and back
  • Elevation Gain: 800 meters (2,625 feet)
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Length of time: 10 – 12 hours
  • When to go: June 1 to September 30 (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:  You have the option to park in a small parking lot that shaves off the first big climb of the hike. If you park here, the hike will be shorter with less elevation gain than what is listed above. From P3 Mågelitopp (the upper parking lot) the hiking distance is 20 km (12.4 miles) with 300 meters (1,000 feet) of elevation gain. From the car park, the round trip hike takes 7 to 10 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).

Note: If you park at P3 Mågelitopp, you can avoid this first big climb.

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


View of the Lake



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!


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 getting quite 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


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) from the Skjeggedal car park. 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 (although if you take the shuttle to and from the upper parking lot you can save about 3 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 28 km. 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

  • The Trolltunga-Preikestolen Express bus connects the Trolltunga hike with Pulpit Rock during the summer months.
  • From Stavanger, take the Nor-Way bus.
  • From Oslo, take the Haukliekspressen bus.
  • From Bergen, take bus 930.

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 (180 spaces).


Map of the drive from Tyssedal to the parking lot in 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 (called Mågelitopp or P3) 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, shaving off a whopping 3 hours of hiking time. The gates open at 6 am.

Purchase your ticket in advance for Magelitopp (P3). Click here to learn more and to make your reservation.

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. You can read her full report in the comment section below. Thanks Sue! 🙂

You can park in Skjeggedal (the lower lot) and take a shuttle bus up to Mågelitopp, the upper lot. Taking the shuttle one way saves you roughly 1.5 hours of hiking time. Prices start at NOK 130. Click here to learn more.

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.

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 1 and September 30 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 October 1 to May 31, 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
  • Rain jacket 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.

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. 🙂

More Information for Your Trip to Norway:

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

You Might Also Like:


Trolltunga Hike Norway Travel Guide


Trolltunga Norway Hike
Trolltunga Guide for Hiking and Traveling with Kids

All rights reserved © Earth Trekkers. Republishing this article and/or any of its contents (text, photography, etc.), in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited.

Comments 121

  1. Hello! I love all of your pictures and posts! I was wondering what kind of camera you use to get the best shots (especially the 2nd and 4th pictures under “Stepping Out…” and the main banner at the top). Do you have to ask someone to stand really far away to get a good background? I’ll likely be solo or with a day group, so I want to make sure I have a camera person available. Thank you!

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      For this hike, I used a Canon 5D Mark III camera with a 24-70 mm lens. Since this trip to Norway I upgraded this camera to the Canon 5D Mark IV and most of the photos on our website have been taken with the Mark IV. For more info on our camera gear, here is the link to our photography gear guide.

      As far as getting that perfect shot of Trolltunga…There is a wide viewing area with slightly different vantage points. It’s worth taking a few minutes to walk around here for the angle that you want. You can save one of our photos on your phone to make sure you get the same vantage point. If you are solo, you can ask another hiker to take your photo for you. This is fairly common here and we did it for someone else. Just know that there is a good chance you will have to wait in line to get onto Trolltunga, depending on crowd levels.

      Have a great hike! Cheers, Julie

  2. Hi,
    We moved to the Netherlands few years ago. My girls (15, 12, and 8) and I (mom) hiked to the Trolltunga in August 2020. We started from P2 at 10:30AM. We based in Odda Camping and drove to P2 in the morning. It took us 4 hours to reach the Trolltunga including breaks, and 4 1/2 hours return. There are not many people on the trail, mostly European. We waited hardly 5 minutes for the photo. We had lunch there. My youngest even dipped and swam in the freezing melted snow lake nearby to cool herself down.
    It was quite warm that day,. Temps hit 24C by the time we reach Trolltunga. We carried 5L of water but still not enough. My kids filled the bottle from the waterfalls on the way back.
    There is an online reservation for P3 parking but we have to choose a specific time interval when we can enter the P3 parking. I didn’t make the reservation because I wasn’t sure what time in the morning I could get my kids out of the tent and ready to go. You are no longer allowed to use the old rail track. There is a new pave road which connect P2 and P3. You can also take a shuttle up to P3 from P2. We didn’t. We just walked up. The road is steep and zig zag up but a 4×4 is not needed. Not many European own a 4×4. My 12 years old’ ankle got hurt on the way back. She was exhausted from the heat too, so we hopped on the shuttle down to P2 from P3. It costs 200NK/adult (12 years old and up).
    Dogs are allowed on trails.
    Go at your own pace and you will be fine. It doesn’t get dark until 10:30pm so you have plenty of time to get back. We arrived at P2 at 9:30pm.
    There are many pack backers camping on the narrow grassy field between the building and P1, P2. It is basically wild camping. They went to Odda Camping to use the shower. Hot shower costs 20kr/5 minutes. You can bring your own camping gear and overnight along the trail or around the Trolltunga. I wish we have done that. Our gears were too heavy to drag along.
    I discovered your blogs only this year, right before our trip. We hiked in the Jotunheimer the year before. I let my 8 years old reading your article about hiking the Trolltunga to get inspired. She was doing very well all along. The Trolltunga was our 3rd day hike after the Kjeragbolten and Prekestolen. We did the blue glacier on the 4th day, and drove north to Flam the next day.
    I hope I get the opportunity to travel more and further. I want to do a trip with my family to Egypt after this Covid madness is over. Cheers, Anhchy

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      Thank you so much for writing in and sharing your experience. Lots of great tips and it sounds like you had a wonderful experience. Hopefully you can visit Egypt the end of 2021/early 2022. Egypt is accepting travel right now but most people don’t feel comfortable traveling (ourselves included). Happy travels to you and your family! Cheers, Julie

  3. Julie–
    1. If we start from P3, do you think this hike will still be hard on the knees ?
    2. From the article, it seems that if we start from P3, the rest of the hike is long, but not particularly steep or challenging. Is this a correct assessment ?
    3. Also, any tips on how to handle bathroom needs during such a long day hike ? Are there some privacy /rocks etc one can use to relieve oneself discreetly ?
    Thanks in advance !

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      If you can start from P3, you are correct, it’s still a long distance, but there isn’t much elevation gain/descent, so it won’t be hard on the knees. Finding privacy on the trail can be a little difficult, since there aren’t any trees and everything is so exposed. But near Trolltunga it gets rockier and we were able to scoot behind a big rock here to pee. It helps to have someone else keep a lookout. Cheers, Julie

  4. I visited Bergen in 2018 and learned about Trolltunga as a result. I’ve since then decided to do a more extensive visit of Norway, and plan to do the hike in 2022 as part of it. Reading your words is inspiring and informative! I will continue to do so until the trip becomes a reality. Thanks!

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  5. Hi Julie!
    Great post, thank you so much to shared. I’m traveling solo to Norway in August 2021. I’m going to backpack and I would like to know if it’s possible to set a tent near trolltunga before start the hike or even on top? Cheers, Julie!

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      Yes, camping is allowed along the trail to Trolltunga (we saw other backpackers doing this during our visit). It’s a great way to to get early/late views of Trolltunga without the people. Have fun! Cheers, Julie

  6. Hi Julie,
    I would very much like to do the hike in Sept 2021. Im traveling solo from New york. I would like to know your recommendation for a guide. I am not sure if I would need one for the hike but its rather more for company. is there a company you recommend I can reach out to for information on a guide? I would very much appreciate your help in this regard
    thank you

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      We don’t personally know any guides in Norway, however Trolltunga Active would be the company that we would reach out to. They offer guided hikes to Trolltunga. Here is the link to their website. Have a nice time! Cheers, Julie

  7. Hello Julie! Thanks a lot for all the tips and amazing pics! Can you tell me if it is possible to do the Trolltunga and Kjeragbolten hikes with dogs? I saw it is ok for the Pulpit but I can’t find the information for the other ones 🙂

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      Hello Alexa. I am not sure if you can bring dogs on these hikes. We did not see any dogs but that does not mean it is not allowed. You could check the Visit Norway website, they might have answers to your question. Happy hiking! Cheers, Julie

  8. I just moved to Norway and my Girlfriend and I hiked Trolltunga on July 23rd. We parked in P2 (Skjeggedal) and started the hike at 6:45am. We opted not to take the shuttle as there was a queue of approx. 20 people when we arrived.

    Both of us are fast hikers and we made it from P2 to Trolltunga in just under 3 hours, arriving at 9:40. We felt like we made the right decision not to take the bus because we didn’t spend much time on the hike up, but if you’re not comfortable with the overall climb and distance, I can understand why people chose to conserve their energy. P3 to Trolltunga is actually a relatively straightforward hike, so I wouldn’t take the bus if you like a challenge.

    Once we arrived at Trolltunga, the wait for a picture was about 10 minutes. We handed our phone to someone for a picture and went out together for a picture. We then took it in turns to go out by ourselves (queuing each time) and taking pictures of each other. In total, the 3 sets of photos took us about 30-45 minutes. We stayed at the top until 12.15pm, having our lunch and lapping up the views. By the time we left, the queue for a picture was 45-60 mins. The weather was beautiful (14c and clear blue skies) and the way down we took 3 hours, but stopped twice to enjoy the scenery.

    I have been using your blogs for hikes on 3 continents so far, and look forward to returning to your site to research more hikes!

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      Hello Christian. Thanks for your hiking report. You truly are fast hikers!! It sounds like you had a wonderful experience and I’m glad we could help you plan your hikes. Happy hiking and here’s to many awesome adventures in the future! Cheers, Julie

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      Kjeragbolten, also in Norway, sits 1000 meters off of the ground. I don’t think Trolltunga is quite as high, and I don’t know the exact distance, but my quess is that it is at least 500 meters off of the ground. Cheers, Julie

  9. Hi Julie!

    Regarding starting the hike from that upper carpark, Mågelitopp, in case you haven’t gotten the exact numbers yet:
    According to Google Maps, it appears that starting from Mågelitopp instead of Skjeggedal cuts the hiking distance down from about 25 km (out and back) to 18 km (out and back), and it brings the elevation gain down from about 900 m to just over 500 m (BIG difference! :D).
    I think starting from Mågelitopp is an excellent idea and was just curious about how much of an elevation difference it would make; just figured I’d share it with you in case you had yet to find the exact number. 🙂

    1. Correction: those distances I gave probably aren’t quite right, since Maps only seems to give walking distance along the road instead of the hiking trail (I actually can’t quite tell which one it is). But the elevation gain of 500 m instead of 900 m should still be correct.

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      Hello Brady. I’ve seen a couple of different numbers listed for these elevations and distances. What you state is consistent with other sources that I have read. Thanks for pointing it out and I will update the article soon. Cheers, Julie

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        Hello William. From what I know, after September 15 a guide is recommended. This is weather dependent. If the weather is clear and it has not snowed yet, then I think you should be able to hike without a guide. You can visit the Visit Norway website for more information. Cheers, Julie

  10. Hello traveling family. I will start with saying this is a very lovely blog and super nicely written.
    And moving straight to Trolltunga experience, I fully support booking the P3 parking. I’ve been there with my girlfriend in 8th of August 2019 and the distance between P2 and P3 seemed so nice to do it by car and it saved us a lot of energy. And if you have decent driving skills and an OK car, you can make it. I drive a 2008 Mazda 2 and had no problems to get to the top.

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  11. My boyfriend, Ben, and I did this hike on the 5th of July, 2019. We were extremely lucky with the weather (could not have asked for a better weather), but there were reports of rain just a day before and after this date. Pre-reservation of the upper parking lot was open by that time, but we opted to park at the Skjeggedal and took the (pre-reserved) earliest shuttle up to the start of the trail at 6:30am. As we were being driven up on the bus, Ben said he was very relieved that he didn’t have to drive on this road as the turns were extremely sharp and the road narrow. If you are not a confident/competent driver, you will struggle getting up to the upper car park safely and take this factor into consideration before booking the upper car park. Also, because the earliest shuttle spots can book out quickly, make sure you reserve them at least a day before – we saw many people queuing up to get a shuttle spot, when we arrived at Skjeggedal at 6:25am to take our 6:30 bus.

    Ben and I feel like a bit of Norway ambassador after our hikes over there (we are Australians) because we have been telling everyone that they need to go — Trolltunga was truly mind-blowing, and we were very grateful to witness the very definition of sublimity. But we also had an inkling that the experience of this hike would very much depend upon the weather conditions. We could easily guess that hiking Trolltunga in rain or snow (without a guide) would be very disastrous; as we descended the mountain with our wobbly knees, we simply could not imagine trying to climb down the rocky terrains in rain. Please try not to be a part of rescue statistics by being sensible and using common sense.

    Julie, your blog has given me many inspirations for our past and future trips — thank you so much and we look forward to reading more about your family adventures.


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      Hello Victoria. Thanks for writing in and your trip report! I’m glad you had a great experience hiking Trolltunga. Happy travels, Julie

  12. We hiked to Trolltunga last Sunday 4. 8. 2019 We paid for P3 as well (600 NOK is really good deal). Our 5 and half year old daughter was going with us. She was able to complete this hike. At the end it was around 20 km (from P3 to Trolltunga and back), but she was really brave. Weather conditions were just perfect, sun was shining, almost no wind, no clouds, no rain. Temperatures were around 16 C. However I would not recommend to you to go with such small kid. We were prepared that we will carry her on the way back, but she doesn’t let us 🙂
    It was really awesome trip and we enjoyed it! Thank you very much for tip 🙂

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      You’re very welcome and thanks for your trip report! I’m glad you had good weather and were able to do this hike with your daughter. Thanks again for sharing! Cheers, Julie

  13. We hiked Trolltunga last Thursday, July 18, 2019. The online advance reservations for Mågelitopp parking is now open. We made reservations to park there (2 days in advance) for 600 NOK. This is a great deal, given then 500 NOK cost to park at Skjeggedal (the lower lot) and take the shuttle. We are experienced hikers, but felt we didn’t miss much by skipping out on the mostly paved trek from the lower to the upper lot.

    The parking reservation system was surprisingly easy – we signed up for the designated time of 7:00-8:00 a.m., and upon arriving at 7:00, showed an attendant the online reservation on our cell phone. She checked our name off a list she had, and opened the gate for us to drive up to P3. Link: https://www.trolltunganorway.com/en_GB/activity/267450/trolltunga-parking-p3-at-maagelitopp-upper-starting-point

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      Hello Liz and Dan. Thank you so much for this update! I really appreciate it (as will our readers). 🙂 Cheers, Julie

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  14. I am so happy to have found this. We are going to Norway next week and were looking for hikes to do with our girls. Like yours, they are experienced hikers and even did an overnight in the Pyrennes last year in a refuge. Even still we are always cautious to look at hikes that are still within their age level. Your experience has been such a help. We are staying in Stavenger and will do Pulpit Rock and Kjerag with them.

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  15. Hi, my husband and I are thinking of doing Trolltunga at the end of June with our German Shepherd, camping overnight. Are there any spots that are too difficult to do with a dog? What is use now instead of the funicular?
    Any advise would be very much appreciated.

    Great article and pictures!


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      I don’t know much about hiking with a dog. You might want to check the Visit Norway website to see if they have more information (and to confirm that dogs are allowed on the trail). You now either hike up a steep trail or can take a shuttle to a brand new upper parking lot (instead of the funicular). That first climb is the hardest part of the hike. It’s a huge elevation gain in a short period of time. Maybe consider taking the shuttle. There is a link in this post to learn about the shuttle. You might want to contact them ahead of time to confirm that a dog is allowed in the shuttle. Cheers, Julie

  16. I’m an overweight dude who had issues at the beginning, those first meters were intense. Perhaps even cruel; specially now that the funicular is closed so we had to climb thorough the woods. From there on, it becomes beautiful, but those first meters *almost* made me turn back.

    I learned the hard way about the physical conditions. I absolutely stand by the preparation part.

    We were lucky because the day was cloudy with some shiny sunrays every few minutes [late August 2014], so the photos are as breath taking as yours. But unless you’re an experienced hiker or mountain climber, I wouldn’t advice this on a rainy day. And unless you’re from Alaska or Russia, do not attempt on winter.

    Great reading, I forgot that my mind managed to grab my body through those insane 28 km which I didn’t notice since the hike was just too beautiful to handle.

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