Tips & tricks for hiking to Trolltunga
This article is also available in: Dutch
It’s one of the most famous spots in Norway and you’ll see her appear in most videos, campaigns and brochures about Norway: Trolltunga. You can’t get around it on Instagram, as people from all over the world pose on the piece of rock that resembles a Trolls Tongue (hence the name). And yes, it’s absolutely worth it to go up there for that Insta perfect picture, but don’t underestimate it. The hike is not exactly what you call a walk in the park. I’ll tell you everything you need to know to conquer this mountain!
How do you get to Trolltunga?
Because Trolltunga is very popular, the road is pretty well marked and easy to find. Navigate towards Skjeggedal, Tyssedal and you will start seeing signs saying Trolltunga. After seven kilometer you will find a parking spot where you can park. Drive slowly, because even though the road looks like it, this is not one way traffic! Parking costs are approx. €14 for a day.
You can also take the bus from the camp site in Odda. Take the 995 towards Skjeggedal and the rest speaks for itself. A bus ticket is about 30 NOK, which is approx. €3,50.
Since 2017 there’s an alternative starting point for the hike called Mågelitopp. You can only get here by taking a toll road and not more than 30 cars are allowed there. The road opens at 7 in the morning and the gate closes as soon as there’s 30 cars there. You can not reserve a spot, so if you’re planning on doing is, make sure you get there early. Parking costs are approx. €55.
A proper hiker is well prepared
Think about your own safety before you start this hike. In high season, between June and September, it’s pretty safe to do this hike on your own. But if you want to go between March 19 – June 15 or September 15 – October 15 then you should definitely take a gudie with you. Make sure to wear hiking boots with proper profile (preferably waterproof) and bring enough food and water, warm clothes, sunscreen and a poncho or raincoat. Hiking poles are recommended as well, especially when you encouter some snow at the top. The route is very well marked with the famous ‘blood red T’s, so getting lost is pretty impossible.
Some Trolltunga statistics
Don’t go hard, or go home
After climbing the giant stone staircase you get a chance to catch your breath at this beautiful mountain plateau with views to die for. And you’ll need it. Sortly after you will undertake another steep climb as you will be doing most of the climbing in the first five kilometers. After that you will be ascending and descending your way to Trolltunga, but not as steep as the first bit. You will find a lot of wooden planking that’ll prevent you from getting wet feet, so make sure to use them. And don’t forget to take regular breaks, sips of water and some food on your way. Take it slow, because you have a long way to go and it’s not a competition. There are three emergency cabins to be found along the way, you’ll recognize them as blue containers. Just in case a storm hits or you need shelter for whatever other reason, you can use these. They are not for recreational purposes!
It is advised to start your hike as early as possible. Not only will you be ahead of all the other hikers (80.000 people a year hike to Trolltunga), but it also allows you to take it slow and enjoy the scenery. If you haven’t reached the top before 16:00, you are advised to head back for your own safety. Unless you planned (and have packed for) a night at the top ofcourse.
Snowy mountain tops all year through
There’s actually a very big chance you will encounter some snow on your way to the top! We did the hike to Trolltunga in August and came across meters of fresh (looking) snow. Luckily I carried hiking poles to prevent us from slipping and falling on our faces. Okay, I still fell on my butt two times, but hey.. At least I didn’t hurt my face!
In the end it took us 5,5 hours to get to the top, breaks included. It took us 9,5 hours to complete the entire hike, of which we spent an hour at the top. For me personally it was a really tough challenge. After all this was my first ‘real’ hike! The reward however was so mindblowing that we’ve been hiking ever since.
Norwegian nature is ruthless
Maybe it’s needless to say, but please be carefull at the top when taking your pictures. Norwegian nature is just as ruthless as she is beautiful and if you trip this will be the last picture you’ll ever take.
Be patient and respectful towards other hikers and keep in mind that you’ll probably have to wait in line to take your picture. Everyone wants to enjoy their moment of victory, so please be kind. Just sit down and enjoy the scenery. There’s a baby Trolltunga which gives you great views (and photo ops) as well!
As soon as you’ve caught your breath – and have taken your moment of fame – you can start the descend. It’s the exact same path as the one you took on your way up. Make sure to give your knees a little rest every now and then (or use trekking poles!) and don’t forget to drink! It’s not a competition after all.
Are you planning on undertaking this hike because of my story? Please let me know! I’m curious to hear about your experiences. Get in touch on Instagram, Facebook or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!