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You can visit many different glacier arms of the Jostedalsbreen in the area of Loen. Last summer we combined our trip to Lovatnet with a visit to the Kjenndalsbreen! The least popular of four well-known glacier arms (Nigardsbreen, Brikdalsbreen, Bødalsbreen and Kjenndalsbreen) in this area, but to us this was one of the main reasons to pay the glacier a visit.
You can find the Kjenndalsbreen south of the Lovatnet in Loen, nearby Stryn in Sogn og Fjordane. You can make the hike to the glacier arm as easy or hard as you’d like. For example you can start the hike down in the valley and walk up to the foot of the glacier within 45 minutes or you can take the car up the tiny mountain path and drive up to the parking lot. From there it’s a 10 minute walk to the glacier which makes it very suitable for children as well.
The flipside of paying a visit to the Kjenndalsbreen is that the glacier is a very painful reminder of why climate change is a very serious thing. Between 1980 and 1997 the glacier grew about 300 meters! But in the past decennia the ice has been retreating. On the photograph below you can see the foot of the Kjenndalsbreen in 1897. When you compare this photograph with the pictures of the Kjenndalsbreen further up in this article, you just can’t deny that we are doing something very wrong to our planet!
How to get to Kjenndalsbreen?
This road is closed in winter!
Navigate to Lovatnet first:
When traveling from the north, navigate to Stryn first. Once you have arrived to Stryn, you can navigate to Loen. After passing Stryn, you’ll arrive in Loen within 10 minutes.
When traveling from the south up, navigate to Stryn. About ten minutes before arriving to Stryn, you will find yourself arriving in Loen.
From Loen on you can find signs that say Lodalen. Just follow these signs and you will get to the Lovatnet. From the Lovatnet on you can find signs at the restaurant (Kjenndalstova) that say ‘road 14 – Kjenndalsbreen’. These signs will take you all the way to the parking lot after 21 kilometers.
Make sure you bring cash when you plan on driving these routes! You have to pay toll in a very old fashioned way by putting money in an envelope and writing your number plate on there.
Before we started our drive from the Lovatnet to the Kjenndalsbreen, we had to pay toll. And we had to do it in a very old-fashioned way by putting 40 NOK (€4,50) in an envelope and writing our number plate on there. Onwards to the adventure!
It’s a 21 kilometer drive from the Kjenndalstova restaurant to the parking lot where you can start your hike to the Kjenndalsbreen. Because the mountain path is very small and winding it took us more than half an hour to get to the parking lot!
Once we got to the parking lot we were already amazed by the scenery. This is Norway at it’s best! High mountain tops, rousing waterfalls, blue skies, bright green moss, kilometres of ice, trees and most of all: it’s so peaceful. It doesn’t get any better than this..
There are enough possibilities to have a picnic at the parking lot and enjoy the silence (apart from the rousing waterfall that is). From the parking lot you can almost see the Kjenndalsbreen through the trees.
Be careful where you walk, because you might end up standing in the melting water up to your knees before you know it! The water can be quite sneaky and might be hiding behind a bush or a big rock.
If you walk a bit fast you can be standing at the foot of the glacier within 15 minutes. Once you’re there you can explore the area and watch how the glacier put her mark on the surroundings over the years.
As long as you stay away from the ice and don’t walk past the warning sign, it’s a very safe place to be. And a very pretty place in particular. We really loved how the sun was shining from behind the waterfall and made a magical atmosphere fall over the valley.
Especially on hot summer days this is a very cool (literally) place to visit! The melting water is super nice. Be careful that you don’t fall though! Some stones and rocks can be super slippery.
On the way back we had one last glance at the glacier. Isn’t she beautiful?
Have you ever visited one of the four glaciers? Of are they on your wishlist now? I’d love to hear your stories!