The Magic of Norway: An Insider’s Guide to Trolltunga Hike

Guide to Trolltunga Hike

Are you ready for a Norwegian adventure? If so, Trolltunga is the perfect place for you to explore and experience. Nestled in the beautiful Odda region of Norway, Trolltunga is a stunning natural rock formation that towers 3,600 feet (1,100 meters) above the pristine Lake Ringedalsvatnet.

This iconic hike takes you on a journey through lush green meadows, cascading waterfalls and a variety of landscapes as you take in views of dramatic fjords and tranquil lakes. Come and join us on an unforgettable journey through one of nature’s greatest masterpieces!

  • Distance: 17.4 miles (28 km) out and back
  • Elevation Gain: 800 meters (2,625 feet)
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Length of time: 8 – 12 hours
  • When to go: June 1 to September 30 (experienced hikers can go without a guide). For the rest of the year, you MUST have a guide.

2023 Update!

You can now save yourself a strenuous two-hour climb thanks to the new parking: P3 Mågelitopp. The car park has only 30 spaces and costs NOK 600 per day. Get there early or reserve your place in advance on trolltunganorway.com/no this demoralizing step!

Hiking towards Trolltunga

When is the best time to hike Trolltunga?

To fully enjoy the Trolltunga hike and get the most out of your experience, we recommend you make it between mid-June to mid-September. Winter months from mid-October to March are not recommended due to its unpredictable weather with high levels of snowfall and short periods of daylight. However, if a winter trek is alluring for you, there is an option available in form of guided hikes which start by the middle of March!

View from the top of Trolltunga

Is Trolltunga a Difficult hike?

If you are aspiring to conquer Trolltunga, be prepared for a demanding trek. To tackle this adventure successfully, it is essential that you have prior experience of long-distance hiking and an excellent level of physical fitness. It does not require extreme endurance levels; however, people often underestimate its length and elevation gain which will make your lungs burn within just half an hour!

Be prepared for a demanding climb on stone and gravel covering the first kilometer (3,280 feet). Thereafter, though still challenging in its own way, you will experience only shorter ascents along your journey – much like what one would encounter when traversing the Laugavegur hiking trail.

Be prepared to be flexible when it comes to your approach and stay updated on the Trolltunga hiking weather conditions. Unexpected rainstorms can catch you off guard, and strong nordic winds may obstruct your progress. But with proper preparation and a strategic mindset, these obstacles will become mere inconveniences in no time!

View from the top of Trolltunga

How long is the hike to Trolltunga?

The Trolltunga journey is a whopping 17 miles (28 kilometers) of jaw-dropping scenery, featuring an elevation gain of 2,600 feet (800 meters). The trek usually begins in Skjeggedal and may take between eight to twelve hours. Of course, the duration totally depends on you!

For those who wish to trek Trolltunga in one day, it is recommended that you set off early. Due to the length of this hike and its steep descent, many hikers prefer to split their journey by camping overnight. This has an added bonus; the following day you will be one the first who will reach the top so you can enjoy some peace!

An overnight stay at Trolltunga gives you the opportunity to become absorbed by nature without any interruptions. Plus, you’ll have increased chances of securing a view atop the iconic cliff without having to wait in line! Taking an unforgettable photo on this towering rock is practically tradition – don’t miss out on your chance for something truly special!

Climbing the mountains towards Trolltunga

Can you hike Trolltunga in the rain?

While you can traverse the Trolltunga in the rain, it is most definitely not suggested. It’s already a steep and strenuous path to take – add slippery rocks into the mix and you have an even more dangerous situation on your hands. So, if there are hints of downpours ahead then postpone your trip until better weather arrives!

A sneak peak of the Ringedalsvatnet Lake

How do I prepare for the Trolltunga hike?

If you want to maximize your experience of the Trolltunga hike, prepare yourself for it by getting into a higher level of fitness. You could consider exercising by going up and down stairs. Additionally, find a local trail with a steep incline so that when on the trekking route, its rough ascents won’t come as such shock!

Also, don’t forget to practice walking with your daypack that’s loaded up with weight and wear your hiking boots. All of the outdoor experience you can muster will be immensely advantageous when time comes to trek on Trolltunga’s slippery rocks. If a single-day climb is in the cards for you, prepare yourself for eight to 12 hours of nonstop journeying across rugged terrain.

Rock formations on the top of Trolltunga

What gear do you need to hike Trolltunga?

Hiking Trolltunga is no easy feat – it requires experienced hikers who possess not only physical and mental stamina, but also have the necessary preparation and organization skills. To ensure that you are ready for your journey, here’s a comprehensive checklist of what to wear and pack!

Clothing and Footwear

  • Waterproof hiking boots. If you’re looking to tackle any type of terrain such as mud, deep snow or slippery rocks, your best bet is to purchase soft-sole hiking boots. Not only will it save you time breaking in the shoe before setting out on an adventure, but a hard-soled pair could easily cause blisters before you even reach the summit!
  • Plenty of layers – Before embarking on your hike, be sure to check the weather report as there will not be any internet connection once you begin trekking. It’s easy for the climate to turn from sunshine to something completely different within 12 hours – so it’s best to come prepared! Wear comfortable and breathable jackets and shirts that are easily removable.
  • Several extra pairs of socks While everyone suggests bringing an extra pair of socks, your feet will endure wetness from perspiration. To ensure maximum comfort and dryness, I suggest taking several pairs in addition to the ones you’re wearing so that you can rotate them every 3 hours.
  • Change of clothes – If you’re driving, consider bringing a change of clothes for convenience. This way, you can switch into something more comfortable in the spacious public restrooms located within the parking lot!
Lake Ringedalsvatnet


  • Plastic bags – To ensure that you’re prepared for any unexpected situations, it is advisable to bring two bags with you: one bag for your trash and another one specifically designated for soiled or wet socks.
  • Sunscreen
  • Hiking Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • A map and compass (optional) – To make sure you don’t get lost along the way, it’s always best to come prepared by bringing a compass and map. The trail is easy enough to spot with its bright red T’s painted on rocks and cairns, but having extra navigation tools will never hurt!
  • Toilet paper and wet wipes
  • First-aid kit
  • Gaiters – To keep your legs dry and warm in the snow, make sure to wear waterproof pants or gaiters; otherwise, icy water will enter into your socks and leave you with freezing feet and ankles.
  • Hiking sticks (optional)

Food and Drink

  • A thermal insulated bottle – Along this hike, there will be plenty of water to take with you! All you need is an appropriate bottle and the vast streams can provide crystal clear cold water. Just bear in mind that due to the sun’s heat up above, any non-insulated bottles won’t stay cool for long. So make sure yours has insulation or plan on refilling often!
  • Meals – When it comes to meals for hiking, easy and light is usually the way to go. Luckily, there are plenty of options that are perfect to take with you on a hike. Trail mix, jerky, energy bars, dried fruit and seeds can make a great snack while you’re out on the trail. For meals, you can make instant oatmeal or soup, which don’t require any cooking or preparation and are easy to pack and carry. Ready-to-eat meals such as freeze-dried foods or pre-made dehydrated meals can also be a convenient option for hikers.
  • Protein bars and high-energy snacks – Protein bars and high-energy snacks are essential for keeping your energy levels up while on a hike. Protein bars are packed with nutrients to keep your energy levels high, while also providing the nourishment you need. High-energy snacks such as nuts and seeds can provide a much-needed boost of energy when you start to feel fatigued along the way. You can also make your own trail mix with whatever ingredients you prefer, such as nuts, dried fruits, and dark chocolate chips.
Hikers resting in top of Trolltunga

Do you need a permit to hike Trolltunga?

You don’t need a permit for your Trolltunga excursion; however, you will want to make sure that you are adequately prepared with the right gear and physically fit before beginning.


Before you set off on your journey, make sure to utilize the restroom facilities at both Skjeggedal and Tyssedal car parks. While hiking, if an emergency arises where you need to relieve yourself, ensure that it is well away from any streams and lakes. Additionally, be mindful to pack out whatever rubbish or debris you bring with you – there are bins available back at each car park!

Beautiful scenery along the trail

General Tips

  • For those looking to complete the hike in a single day, it’s best to begin as early as possible – preferably before 8am.
  • Before embarking on your journey, be sure to do a final check of the weather conditions from the carpark as there is no mobile phone coverage along the route.
  • During your hike, you will need to stay alert for the “cairns” or tall rock piles with a large red-painted T on them. These cairns will lead your way. Make sure that you follow these markers and not other hikers since it isn’t guaranteed that they are heading in the right direction.
  • When you arrive at Trolltunga, take the opportunity to enjoy your surroundings and savor the remarkable views. After having lunch, appreciating nature’s beauty and waiting in line for photos, two hours will pass by swiftly!
  • If you’re heading back to Bergen, don’t forget to have a peek at the last ferry schedule so as not to miss your boat!

Be mindful on your return hike!

Your return ascent will be a shorter journey, but be sure to set off early in the day so you can reach your destination before nightfall. The wet rock on the trail is slippery during rainstorms, so stay mindful and alert at all times even if fatigue sets in. Keep an eye out for any markers that suggest you are still on track!

Can you get to Trolltunga without hiking?

No, Trolltunga can only be accessed by hiking. The hike to Trolltunga is generally considered a stenous and challenging route that takes about 8-12 hours depending on where you start from. It’s an incredibly scenic hike that ends at the Troll’s tongue which is located about 1,100 meters above sea level and hovering some 700 metres above Lake Ringedalsvatnet.

Other hiking routes and activities in the area

For centuries, the stunning Hardangerfjord region has drawn travelers from all over Europe. Whether you’re looking for an action-packed holiday or a peaceful retreat, there’s something here for everyone! For an unforgettable experience, why not attempt a via ferrata climb or explore the serene waters of Hardangerfjord by kayak? In summertime, be sure to take advantage of skiing and glacier hiking on Folgefonna Glacier – it’s truly one-of-a kind!

Exploring the Hardangerfjord region of Norway is a must for nature enthusiasts. From Trolltunga to the four waterfalls trail in Husedalen valley, HM Queen Sonja’s panoramic hiking route and even the majestic Hardangervidda national park – you won’t be short on stunning trails!