Trolltunga

Trolltunga is an amazing cliff affirmation in Hardangervidda National Park in Norway. Trolltunga is my absolute favourite hike when I did a road trip in Norway! It was an enjoyable adventure even though my paste was fast. I was racing against time along Trolltunga Via Ferrata to beat the crowds. So I could get some quality time alone at Trolltunga. This is how I did it…

Trolltunga means “troll tongue” and you can see why. The cliff hangs at 1180 meters above sea level and you have an extraordinary view over the lake Ringedalsvatnet 700 meters lower down. The lake has blue water and is surrounded by majestic mountains.

There has been one recorded death at Trolltunga. An Australian tourist misjudged her steps and fell from the cliff 200 – 300 meters down to her death.

Trolltunga is meant to be a challenging hike. In my opinion this is mostly because of the distance. The Trolltunga hike is as it shortest a 20 km round trip. You can do it in one day but your day might be long if you’re slow. There’s one shorter way though. Via Ferrata gives you the option to skip almost 6 km of this distance! You can go to Trolltunga with or without a guide.

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How to get to Trolltunga?

Trolltunga is located in Hardangervidda National Park. You can start your hike from Tyssedal or from one of the 3 parking slots higher up. You can get to Tyssedal by car by following road number 13. Road 13 goes along the Hardangerfjord. Odda is 6 km south of Tyssedal.

You can also start your journey by train and continua to Tyssedal by bus. Check the timetables and book your trip at entur.no.

Parking at Trolltunga

You can park your car at Tyssedal P1, Skjeggedal P2 or Mågelitopp P3. If your car is longer than 5,2 metres you can only park at Tyssedal P1:ssä. The road up is too narrow. If you want to park at the highest parking closest to Trolltunga you need to book your parking beforehand. There is only 30 parking slots. Be prepared for that the parking at P2 might be full on a busy da. Check the parking prices here. Bicycles parks for free.

Between P1, P2 and P3 runs a shuttle bus. Check the time tables and prices here.

Parking and roundtrip distance to Trolltunga:

The hike to Trolltunga: route and map

Trolltunga hiking map
Trolltunga hike route map

The Trolltunga hiking trail is well marked on rocks with red T-letters. You won’t need a map if you hike in the summer. But have at least a glance at the maps so you know where you’re going before heading out in the wilderness. If you’re hiking in the winter be prepared for snow, cold and hidden signposts. Be sure you can navigate in the snow if you hike without a guide.

If you start your hike from Tyssedal (P1) you’ll have to walk or ride your own bicycle about 6 km uphill along a paved road. This road continues from Skjeggedal (P2) 5 km to Mågelitopp (P3). Not until youre close to P3 the trail continues over rocky terrain.

If you’re not interesting in using manpower along the paved road you can catch the shuttle bus up. You can ride your bicycle all the way to P3. Keep in mind thought that this distance is only uphill!

Only the beginning of the track i steep uphill. When you reach the plateau you can stroll in quite even terrain. But watch your steps! There’s rocks and steep sections! In July there was still snow at some points on the plateau.

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ROad from P1 Tyssedal to P2 Skjeggedal
Trolltunga track Hardanger national park
Trolltunga route and view to the lake

If you want to spend time alone on the cliff you should head out early. I got 35 minutes alone on the tongue when I reached it just after 8:00 am. It took me 3 hours to ride my bike from Hardangerfjorden to P2. From P2 I ran and climbed Via Ferrata. I didn’t take many walking steps.

When I first arrived at Trolltunga theres was fog. The fog luckily dissolved I got to see one of the most amazing views I’ve seen in my life!

Trolltunga collage fog and view

Trolltunga Via Ferrata: Climb the shortest way to the cliff!

Trolltunga Via Ferrata view to the lake

Trolltunga Via Ferrata is the shortest and most exciting route to the cliff. Trolltunga Active arranges guided tours along the Via Ferrata to Trolltunga. There’s also some other guides that will show you the way to Trolltunga. You can also climb Via Ferrata without a guide.

When you venture with Trolltunga Active you’ll bike the first 6 km along a gravel road. The road goes along the shore of the lake and there’s no elevation apart from the first uphill from P2 to the dam. The Via Ferrata starting point is after a small bridge. The beginning is a steep track where there’s no need for a harness or ropes.

Gravel road at Ringedalsvatnet lake

The Via Ferrata contains of metal steps that has been drilled into the cliff on a nice distance from each other. After these “ladders” you hike about 1 km to the point where the trail connects to the hiking track that goes between P3 and Trolltunga. From here there’s 2 km to Trolltunga.

Trolltunga Via Ferrata

There’s a 700 m elevation during about 2,5 km from the starting point of Via Ferrata to the point where the route connects to the Trolltunga hiking trail. It’s possible to do this climb in an hour. A slow group can hang around on the wall for several hours.

At the Via Ferrata you use a special climbing harness and lanyards. You can attach the lanyard to a wire that goes along the trail. You will always be connected to the wire so you cant fall.

Trolltunga Via Ferrata requires some upper body strength but you’ll never have to only use your arms. Take this into account when you pack your adventure pack. A heavy pack will pull you down. You can take breaks and advance at your own pace.

Trolltunga Via Ferrata is technically so easy that it would be possible to climb it without gear, harness and lanyards. Via Ferrata is like climbing on ladders.

Consider to hike over the plateau back to P3 instead of climbing down. The terrain on the plateau and views are beautiful!

Trolltunga Via Ferrata without a guide

You can climb Via Ferrata without a guide and a group. In that case you have to be over 18 years old and have climbing experience. You can pay the 350 NOK maintenance fee to the Trolltunga Active office at Skeggedal (P2). At Trolltunga Active you can also hire gear and harness.

The first groups assemble at Trolltunga Active at 7:30 am. If you go without a guide and you want to avoid slow groups you should head out before this. You have to climb up before 14:00 pm. You can climb down do earlier that 15:00 to avoid oncoming traffic.

Trolltunga Via Ferrata rules

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Trolltunga Via Ferrata map and starting point

Trolltunga Via Ferrata map start
A map of the route along a gravel road from P2 to the start of Trolltunga Via Ferrata. You can’t get lost!
Trolltunga Via Ferrata climb map
A map of the Trolltunga Via Ferrata climb (includes hiking section). Keep your eyes open to not lose the track!

Trolltunga useful links

Trolltunga Locations Google maps:

Antonia Haga

About the writer:

Antonia Haga is an mtbo athlete and mountainbiker from Finland. She’s ready for outdoor adventures!

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