Picture this: there is a rock protruding out of the cliff, suspended high above what looks like a fjord with deep blue water. There are large patches of snow lingering on the high points across the water. There is a light breeze, the sun keeping you warm. You hiked 22 km (13.6 miles) over ledge, through snow, and along this beautiful lake below you.

Trolltunga, Norway

This iconic hike is not for everyone, but if you are reasonably fit, it is a wonderful hike. Every website with tourist information will warn you about how long and difficult this hike is, which is true, but if you hike on a regular basis, run, or are otherwise active, you will probably be fine. But dress for the cold temperatures; remember the snow you will hike through.

 

Being a hiker myself, in a place where they don’t seem to believe in switchbacks, opting to make the trails go straight up, I found this hike to be easy. There is no way around the fact that it is a long hike, but there are really only two parts that are steep. Each steep section is quite steep, but only lasts for about a kilometer, or 0.6 miles. Other than that, the trail has much more gentle ups and downs.

 

The Hike

They say this 22 km hike takes 10-12 hours. For many people, this is true. For most people, you need to allow about this amount of time, if not slightly longer, to allow for the time you will spend at the iconic rock. Make sure you have plenty of food and water, as well as lots of layers for this hike. Don’t forget your rain jacket as it rains often in Norway. Waterproof hiking boots are ideal. For me, the hiking portion of the day took me exactly 8 hours with stops for pictures and food. I hike, run and cycle five days a week, so I am in shape. Some people who like to hike faster took less time, and lots of people took more time. I spent a couple hours at the rock, taking in the view, waiting in line to get my picture taken on Trolltunga, and talking with other hikers. Like when I hiked Kjeragbolten, I preferred spending the extra time at Trolltunga rather than in the parking lot, waiting for the bus.

 

As you hike, they have these cute signs counting down the kilometers:

Useful signs every kilometer of the Trolltunga hike, Norway

This helps you gauge your pace and make decisions about moving forward or heading back. Be aware of this and be smart; this is a very remote area and help may be far away.

 

The first section is very steep with steps and ropes, and often lots of mud. It is a quick warm up, and often very busy with many people starting at the same time. But after a kilometer, the trail is much easier for about another kilometer before rising steeply again. This time on ledge, which can be slippery when wet, so use caution.

Trolltunga hike, Norway

It was near the top of this section that the temperature dropped quickly, after I had been sweating, and I got cold. As in cold enough to consider turning around. I decided to keep going for a bit to see if I would warm up, which, luckily, I did.

 

At the top of this section, there is a nice view back where you came from in one direction, and overlooking a pond in the other direction. When I was there, in the middle of July, there was snow on the trail next to the pond. But it was easy to walk through with just regular hiking boots.

Trolltunga hike, Norway

As I hiked on, stopping to take pictures often, I was in awe of the beauty that surrounded me. There were snow capped mountains everywhere I looked, increasingly better views of the lake below Trolltunga, and refreshing mountain air.

Trolltunga hike, Norway

 

Trolltunga hike, Norway

Eventually I made it to Trolltunga and my jaw literally dropped. Wow! This place is truly more beautiful than the amazing pictures I had seen. Unlike the Preikestolen hike, people waited their turn to get onto the rock to have their picture taken. I couldn’t believe how drastic the rock sticking out, the tongue, looked, hanging above the fjord-like lake below. And the color of the water is a beautiful shade of deep blue.

 

It was quite cold when the sun wasn’t out, so I bundled up, found someone to take a picture with my camera, and got into line.

Waiting to get a picture on the Trolltunga rock, Norway

 

Yup, on a regular weekday, this is the line. What’s more, there is a ladder where it appears to be the end of the line, and about fifteen more people before you eventually get your turn. Luckily, the line moves fairly quickly. I spent something like 30-40 minutes in line, which is crazy, but it can get much longer. Although it feels a bit crazy to wait in line 11 km from civilization for a picture, it was well worth it for this:

Me on Trolltunga, Norway

 

I wasn’t ready to leave, and I had plenty of time until the first bus back to Odda, so I explored different places to look down to the lake, and sat to take in the view of Trolltunga. The sun came out, which felt wonderful and quickly warmed me up. I wish it had come out for my turn on the rock as the unique blue color of the lake was stunning with the sun shining on it. But I just enjoyed it from my viewpoint instead.

Trolltunga, Norway

On the hike back, it was fun to look across at the colorful line of people waiting in line to get their picture taken. It made me think about the first people to discover this iconic spot, because from here, it doesn’t look like much.

Hikers waiting to get their picture on the Trolltunga rock, Norway

 

How to Get There

The easiest way to get to the trailhead (Skjeggedal) is by car, but get there very early as the parking lot fills quickly. If you don’t have a car, there are shuttles daily from Odda. The hostel I stayed at offered a cheaper option to get to the trailhead, then I used Odda Taxi‘s shuttle bus – you can’t miss the big bus with silhouettes of hikers on the side. There are a few times offered each morning, and a few each afternoon/evening, and there are several pick up and drop off points. You can hop on when you are ready, and can pay the driver, or book the bus ahead of time and print your ticket. Keep in mind that this hike is usually completed from about mid June to mid September, which is also when shuttle service is offered.

Hike Trolltunga in Norway
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21 thoughts on “Hike Trolltunga in Norway

  • November 28, 2017 at 7:33 PM
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    I love these photos of the hikes you’ve taken in Norway. This one at Trolltunga and the Kjeragbolten are my favorites. What adventures!

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  • November 29, 2017 at 3:03 AM
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    This hike is spectacular and I so wanted to do it but I couldn’t because of a little fall and injury that I had, a week before going to Norway. Mu husband was lucky enough to go on it and he couldn’t stop raving about it, I was so envious! His pictures from the start of the trail, all the way through to the ‘tongue’ were breathtaking. I don’t think there’s a prettier hiking trail anywhere!

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  • November 29, 2017 at 6:32 AM
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    I’m super unfit, so this will not be good for me ha! However, I’d love to see this place so it could be a goal for me to see. Norway’s gorgeous and your photos are amazing.

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  • November 29, 2017 at 8:27 AM
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    this trail is breathtaking..i cant wait to go there..we plan to go in august….how much time would u recommend us to spend in norway? we r mainly into hiking…ur pictures are so beautiful..have bookmarked this post for reference

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    • November 29, 2017 at 3:39 PM
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      I recommend as much time as you have! I was there for ten days and got a good flavor for the country, but could have done so much more with more time. Many people go for a week, but I wouldn’t go for any less than that.

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  • November 29, 2017 at 1:23 PM
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    I’m a keen hiker myself, and as you say, this is such an iconic hike that it is one that is very much on my bucket list to do. The scenery is breathtaking, and not just at the very famous ledge either! Thanks for outlining all the practicalities and tips too – I love the signs on the route that count down the kilometres!

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  • November 29, 2017 at 10:24 PM
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    I enjoyed your previous post about Kjeragbolten, and now this one’s really got me wanting to Trolltunga as well! Actually, Preikestolen looks really amazing too, although it’s nice that people actually wait in line to allow each person to get their own picture at Trolltunga. Quite a few years ago I managed to hike to a really cool spot in Geiranger, overlooking the Geiranger Fjord, which was stunning. Norway has such gorgeous natural beauty. Hope to be able to do some of these other hikes some day too! Thanks for sharing!

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  • November 30, 2017 at 2:09 PM
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    Trolltunga looks like another incredible hike to take, I would be lost in the scenic views all around me by the time I get to the cliff so that 10-12 hour hike may take much much longer, I think I might need to camp out there – and once I get there I just wouldn’t want to leave 😀 Even though it sounds like a challenging hike for your everyday traveler I’m sure it’s more than worth it.

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    • November 30, 2017 at 7:25 PM
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      Backpacking & staying overnight is a good way to go. Then you get to see Trolltunga with very few people around. I would have done that if I had bought my gear on this trip, but that’s more than I wanted to carry around for 6 1/2 weeks for one night!

      Reply
  • November 30, 2017 at 4:52 PM
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    I’ve seen so many photos of this on Instagram! I’m so jealous you did this! My jaw would definitely drop, too! I don’t do well on steep hikes but this one for sure is worth it!

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  • November 30, 2017 at 8:30 PM
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    this is such SUCH great information, i wish i had this before i booked my trip to Trondheim! I am DYING to do this hike! Hopefully one day ill be able to get back to Norway and do it! #hikegoals! thanks for the information and your photos are insane!!

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    • November 30, 2017 at 8:38 PM
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      Oh wow – you ended up VERY far from Trolltunga! The pictures I just saw online looked beautiful, though. Did you at least enjoy it where you ended up?

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  • November 30, 2017 at 9:14 PM
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    This looks incredible. It is definitely on my list. Norway is so beautiful I need to visit. You have so many amazing pictures.

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  • November 30, 2017 at 10:13 PM
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    Wow, another amazing hike! I do love the blue of the lake, too. The picture was well worth the wait! How amazing! I never really thought about people waiting in line, but I guess it’s just like anywhere else where there is a demand to see something.

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  • November 30, 2017 at 10:36 PM
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    The view from the top looks simply amazing! I’d be scared out of my mind to stand on the ledge, but what a cool treasure of a picture you have now!

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  • November 30, 2017 at 11:55 PM
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    Wow, this is so beautiful! I am pretty sure I couldn’t handle this hike. Maybe I could handle the distance, but the weather would get me! Is it 13.6 miles roundtrip?

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    • December 1, 2017 at 4:54 PM
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      Yes, it is! If you get a nice day, the weather won’t be a problem. It was colder than normal when I was there.

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  • December 1, 2017 at 9:24 AM
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    You are damn lucky to have done Trolltunga. I recently did some hiking in Picos de Europa, and it was awesome. Your pictures totally inspired me to do this hiking when in Norway. Super strange rock protrusion and picture perfect landscape!

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  • December 1, 2017 at 12:22 PM
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    Definitely Norway is in my bucket list, those pictures and landscapes looks breathtaking!!! Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
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