There are several things to take into consideration when deciding to hike Trolltunga. Can you walk up a flight of stairs without breathing hard? Do you mind stepping in mud puddles for 28 kilometers? Can you handle extreme beauty without sobbing?
A lot of hikers start pretty unprepared for to Trolltunga, so we thought we’d try to help out future hikers with this guide to conquering Trolltunga.
It normally take 10-12 hours. That’s from the Skjeggedal parking lot, six hours of hiking to the top including stops for lunch and photos, an hour or two in line at Trolltunga, and then four excruciating hours back down to the parking lot. On our hikes, we drive up the first 4 kilometers. Then you save 1.5 hours walking, 400 meters of climbing, and a lot of energy. And of course your knees will thank you on your way down.
From the parking lot, you climb the entire first four kilometers up a gravel road. These kilometers are pretty brutal overall, and you’re surprised when you get to the 1km sign because it feels like you’ve done a lot more than that. Nope, you’ve got a long ways to go buddy. But if the weather is ok, there are times when you can look back and see some pretty cool views of the lake and morning fog during this section.
After 4 kilometers on the gravel road it levels out somewhat and you find yourself in an enormous mountaintop valley. There are a few ice cold creeks here, so it’s a good time to refill your water bottle. After about a 45 minute walk through this valley, it’s time for another major climb.
You will follow some rock stairs quite a bit before you finally reach an enormous slick rock face. It is imperative to be careful here as it’s really easy to slip. Looking back upon the valley is a fantastic treat though! You will get a great view over the 3rd largest glacier in Norway, Folgefonna. This slick rock can be pretty treacherous depending on the time of year and snow melt.
You’ll reach a small lake that the trail twists around before going downhill. The downhill portion will feel like actual heaven, but it doesn’t last long unfortunately. From here it’s a little bumpy, but before long it’ll be another climb. It’s around this area where you’ll see the emergency cabin intended for use in extreme scenarios where you’re about to freeze to death if you unprepared. Inside you’ll find emergency blankets, sleeping bags and stoves for food and heat. If nothing else, it’s kind of cool to just poke your head inside.
Climbing up this portion is where you get your first view of the beautifull lake Ringedalsvatnet. This is the perfect lunch spot. It’s really quite impressive and the sheer mountains surrounding it are monumental. From here, it can be very muddy and you may find yourself tip-toeing around, trying to find the best route through large fields of mud. You’ve done the majority of the climbing for the day though, so take solace in that fact! From here it’ll be many small ups and downs as you traverse through terrain that doesn’t look like it even belongs on this planet.
Right when you feel like giving up, the trail comes upon some large rock and water pools that you’ll hop around, and all of a sudden you come around the bend and… there it is! Trolltunga, you made it! Halle-freakin-lujah! Enjoy your time there, have some food, drink lots of water, and get in line for the picture that you’ve worked so hard for.
Now you just have to hike all the way back. Or maybe you are hiking with Trolltunga Adventures, and are planning to spend the night by the cliff.