When planning our trip to Norway, one of the top things on my list of things to do was hiking to Trolltunga. The view from Trolltunga (meaning troll tongue) is a famous image in advertising and guide books of Norway. A thin rock juts out over a bright blue lake thousands of feet below.
What I didn’t realize is that hike to Trolltunga is gorgeous throughout the entire hike, not just at the end destination viewpoint. The entire trail to Trolltunga is absolutely beautiful with mountain views all around. It is a difficult hike, but totally worth it if you are able to hike to it!
I was honestly a little worried that I would be disappointed with how much it is hyped up, but my expectations were exceeded. It is an incredible place and we couldn’t stop saying “WOW” with every turn in the trail.
This guide contains all you need to know about hiking to Trolltunga (and all of the things I wished I would’ve known before hiking to Trolltunga).
****Note: This post may include affiliate links to products I recommend. I may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) from purchases from these links. But no worries, I only include links to products that we have tried or truly recommend!
*****Everything in this article is my personal opinion and experiences. Check your own resources and choose to do anything I discuss at your own risk. Some of the things in this post may be dangerous and not recommended for every body.
About Trolltunga, Norway
The hike to Trolltunga has significantly increased in popularity over the past few years. The Trolltunga rock and area around it is shaped by glaciers that previously covered the area. The “troll tongue” itself has drop-offs of around 2,300 feet on 3 sides. Trolltunga and the surrounding area is primarily made of granite.
Below is the lake Ringedalsvatnet, which can be seen from different angles throughout the hike.
Due to the altitude of the hike, there is snow on the trail most of the year, even in the summer.
What time of year should I hike to Trolltunga?
The hike to Trolltunga is difficult and snow covers much of the hike, even in the summer warmth. As you can imagine, other months of the year have even more snow and ice throughout the trail. The best season to hike to Trolltunga is the summer between mid-June to mid-September. If you go during this time, you will likely have the driest, warmest weather, along with the best-marked trail.
Going at other times of year can be extremely dangerous with the snow and ice, which also covers the trail. There are many steep drop-offs on the trail, so the snow and ice make it very easy to fall or lose the trail into a dangerous area. The only way to safely go at other times of year besides the summer is to go with a guiding company that will equip you with the proper equipment.
Where is Trolltunga?
The closest main town to Trolltunga is the town of Odda. Most likely if you visit Trolltunga, you will drive through Odda. There are many stores and anything you could need for your hike in the town of Odda.
The start of the hike to Trolltunga is in the village Skjeggedal which is around 11 miles away from Odda. Specific parking and beginning of the hike options are discussed more in depth below.
Bergen is the closest main city with a major airport. If renting a car, it is a 2.5 hour drive to Odda from Bergen. There is also an option to go by bus from Bergen to Odda which takes around 3 hours. The bus is number 930 towards Odda-Seljestad vekt and leaves from the main Bergen bus station. Tickets can be bought on the Stryss website. For more specific information on taking the bus from Bergen to Trolltunga can be found on the Visit Bergen website.
Note that since the hike to Trolltunga is so long, you should stay in or near Odda the night before and after the hike.
Lodging near Trolltunga
Odda is the closest town with lodging options. Smaller towns nearby on the same branch of Hardangerfjord also have lodging options.
There are several hotel options in Odda. Hotels in Norway are quite expensive, with the average cost per night being several hundred dollars. Some popular and highly rated hotels to stay at near the trailhead to Trolltunga include Trolltunga Guesthouse, Trolltunga Skjeggedal, and Tyssedal Hotel. All of these and more can be booked on Booking.com.
The best lodging we had in Norway was all booked through Airbnb. Airbnb and bed & breakfasts in Norway tend to be much cheaper than hotels and are very charming. We loved each and every Airbnb we stayed at and thought they were well worth the price.
We stayed at a gorgeous Airbnb close to the trailhead, called Cottage by Sorfjorden in Segelgjerd. It had our own private views of the fjord and was so nice. There are several other great Airbnbs in the area close to the trailhead. See my tips for choosing a good Airbnb in Norway in my Roadtripping through Norway blog post.
To rent an Airbnb, use the Airbnb website.
Bed & Breakfasts
There are a lot of different Bed & Breakfasts and rooms that people rent out of their house. This option can be cheaper than a hotel, but still have more amenities than an Airbnb. Some bed & breakfasts list their options on Airbnb or on Booking.com. Using Google Travel can also be useful for finding bed and breakfasts that may not be listed on another site.
Camping is one of the cheapest ways to stay around Norway. In Norway, camping is a little different than other countries that I have been used to camping in. You can camp in camper vans or a tent, but also campgrounds tend to have little camping cabins that you can stay in for much cheaper than a hotel room. The camping cabins usually have a little kitchenette and bedding, while you use shared campground bathrooms and showers.
If camping, you can usually find a place to stay without reserving in advance, while if you want to stay in a cabin you will need to email or call the campground in advance to reserve a spot.
Campgrounds near Trolltunga include Trolltunga Camping and Hildal Camping.
Each campground is unique. Check out my guide to camping in Norway for more information on how to find campsites in Norway.
Wild Camping at Trolltunga
There are some areas on the Trolltunga hike that allow camping, however there are a few things to know before doing this. The area is limited in where you can legally camp and the most popular areas and viewpoints do not allow camping. There is a map at certain points along the trail that denote where you can and cannot camp.
Even without camping gear, the hike is very difficult, so if you plan on camping, you will have to take into the account how much more difficult bringing the camping gear will make the hike. Also, depending on the time of year you are visiting, snow covers much of the ground even in the middle of summer decreasing the area for you to set up your tent. The snow cover (and water from melting snow) will make finding a flat place to set your tent much more difficult than it may look from a map.
However, if you still want to wild camp despite all of this, the people that do end up wild camping there have said that it is a great experience. Wild camping is free if you do end up camping there, but make sure you have paid the appropriate amount for parking your car overnight if you choose to do so.
The Trailhead and Parking Options
There are several different options of where to start your hike to Trolltunga, which was very confusing to me as to what would be the best option prior to us doing this hike. After doing the hike, it became much clearer to me as to what the best options are and I hope that this section can make it clearer for you too.
P1 is the farthest away parking. It includes a ton of elevation gain and is over 38km roundtrip to Trolltunga. It is the cheapest parking lot at around 300NOK ($30) per day and it is the farthest away from the start of the trail. Here you can park and take a shuttle to the P2 parking area. I would NOT recommend parking here unless the closer parking lots are full.
The official start of the hike is from Skjeddal, which also is the main parking area known as P2. To get here, you must pay to park and also pay a fee for the toll road. The fee to park at P2 parking is 300NOK. The toll road fee is 200 NOK which is around $20. Together this will cost you 500 NOK ($50). This is where most people start the hike to Trolltunga.
From P2 there are 2 options, begin the hike from P2 or take a shuttle to P3. Hiking from P2 adds around 8.6km roundtrip with an extra 400 meters of elevation gain. The shuttle to P3 roundtrip for an adult is 250NOK ($25) per person in addition to paying for parking. If planning to take the shuttle from P2 to P3, you should buy your tickets in advance as these sell out.
Parking at P3 is absolutely the best option for hiking to Trolltunga. If you park at P3, you cut off a ton of elevation gain and many kilometers of hiking. We were able to park at P3 to start the hike to Trolltunga and it made a huge difference for us. Parking at P3 costs 600NOK ($60), plus the toll road from P1 to P2 for 200NOK ($20), making the total cost 800NOK ($80). It is expensive, but I can confirm that it is completely worth it.
P3 parking is 400 meters higher than the P2 parking. You must drive to P2 to access the road to P3. You can only drive the road up to P3 if you have a reservation. The road is thin and curvy, cutting up the side of the mountain with multiple hairpins. There is a height limit of 2 meters for vehicles. The road is super well-kept and nice, just steep in parts.
If you want to park at P3, you must reserve online far in advance in order to secure a spot. There are only 30 spots per day and they are booked often far in advance. When you book the parking at P3, you will pay for the P3 parking at 600NOK ($60), but will need to pay for the toll road at a kiosk before taking the road up to the P3 parking.
The Trolltunga website has the options to reserve your parking and also has a more information and specifics about parking.
How long is the hike to Trolltunga?
If hiking from P2, the hike is 27 kilometers roundtrip with a total ascent of 1200 meters. It takes most people 8-12 hours to hike.
If hiking from P3, the hike is 20 kilometers roundtrip with a total ascent of 800 meters. It takes most people 7-10 hours to hike. Hiking from P3 alone is only possible in the summer months.
The Hike to Trolltunga and our experience
If starting from P2, you will hike up hill for around 4.3 km. Some people hike on the road and some people hike on the trail that is close to the road. Whichever route you choose is up to you but they both end at the same place.
We started from P3 which is at the top of the first incline. If you park at P2 and walk up, you will walk almost to P3 to start the trail. Taking the shuttle to P3, will drop you off at this same trailhead without having to walk all of the uphill. If parking at P3, you will need to walk around 50 meters down the hill where the trail starts. Everyone starts from the same place near the P3 parking lot. The signage is clear about the start of the trail and there is a map.
From P3, the first mile of the trail is relatively flat with rolling ups and downs. There are a few bridges to cross over streams. Trees and bushes grow here, which is different than the rest of the trail. There are a few intersections, but just continue on the main trail and follow the signs to Trolltunga.
Eventually you will reach the first main uphill section of the trail. The trail climbs several hundred meters up. It is difficult, but the trail is really well done with stone steps in some parts and switchbacks throughout. You are rewarded with increased view of the surrounding mountains.
When you reach the saddle, the trail will flatten out for a bit before dropping down. The landscape opens up and you get incredible mountain views in the other direction. In June when we hiked here, the saddle is where the snow started and continued on and off until we reached Trolltunga. At later times in the summer, there may be less snow here. There are little ponds created by the melting snow that look bright blue in the sunlight.
From here, you will reach the Floren emergency shelter. This is a great place to take a break, get a drink, and rest your legs. If you are wild camping, the recommend camping areas for the Trolltunga hike are near the Floren shelter.
From the Floren shelter, the trail is relatively flat with small ups and downs. Additionally, there are great viewpoints of the Lake Ringedalsvatnet. There are little waterfalls to cross and increased snow. Eventually you will reach Endaen emergency shelter.
After reaching Endaen emergency shelter, you are on the last part of the trail in getting to Trolltunga. At one point in between Endaen and Trolltunga, you cross a small canyon with a bridge. This is where we encountered the most (and steepest) snow due to the area being in shade. There were some ropes bolted to the rock to help cross some of these parts.
The trail crosses next to a lake with a dam that actually controls water that goes down into a hydroelectric plant inside the mountain. There is one more emergency shelter called Tyssehol that is right before Trolltunga. Continue on and then you reach Trolltunga!
The Trolltunga Viewpoint
Finally, you reach the view of Trolltunga. It is absolutely incredible. The stone cliff is at the edge and people sit, resting and watching people smiling getting their turn walking out on the troll’s tongue. For most of the summer, especially at peak times, there will be a line to take your turn walking out onto the rock.
To walk out on Trolltunga, there are metal bars into the rock to get down at the level of the troll’s tongue. From the side, Trolltunga looks very narrow and sloped. I was really nervous about walking out and almost didn’t however, when you get closer, you can see that it is much wider than it seems when viewing it from the side.
If the weather is bad, windy, rainy, or snowy, it is not a good idea to walk onto Trolltunga. It is totally understandable if you decide to not walk out onto Trolltunga, even if the weather is perfect.
Trolltunga Guided Hike Options
If you’re wanting to visit Trolltunga at a time that is not the summer or you are apprehensive about going on the hike on your own, there are several great guiding companies that will take you on the hike.
The most common and popular company is Trolltunga Active. I cannot attest to how they are, but we did see several groups from Trolltunga Active while we were on the trail. They take people on hikes throughout the year and also offer sunrise and sunset Trolltunga experiences. One experience that they have that seem so cool is their Trolltunga Glamping experience. It is quite pricey, but seems like an amazing unique travel experience.
Tips for Hiking to Trolltunga
Make sure you are prepared
The Trolltunga hike is rated as an expert level hike. It will be difficult even if you are the best hiker. Make sure that you are prepared for any possible scenarios and that you have adequate gear with you. Be prepared for weather changes or colder weather than you may expect. I have included a gear list below with gear that you should have on the trek to the Trolltunga.
Start Hiking Early
In order to complete the Trolltunga hike safely, you should start hiking early. Most people take 8-12 hours to complete the hike. In June, there is daylight even late into the evening, but as the summer goes on the daylight lessens. By September, the sunset is around 8PM, which means that if you took 12 hours to hike to Trolltunga, you would need to start the hike no later than 8am.
Pay attention to the weather
As with most mountainous places, the weather can change quickly. If the weather is bad, it is not a great idea to do the Trolltunga hike. Rain and snow can obscure the trail. Also, most of the trail is on rocks that become very slick when wet. The trail is exposed most of the way and lightning would be very dangerous. It could be very dangerous to do the hike if the weather is bad.
I recommend checking the weather before the day of your hike and doing the hike a different day if the weather is supposed to be bad. Also, bring appropriate clothing and gear in the case that it starts raining or becomes much colder than when you started.
List of Things to Bring on a Hike to Trolltunga
- Lunch and snacks
- Poncho or Raincoat
- Jacket or puffer coat
- Small first aid kit
- Phone (we did have service for most of the hike)
- Power bank
Resources to use when hiking to Trolltunga
There are several resources I recommend using when hiking in Norway. Even though a lot of resources are in Norwegian without the option to translate to English, they can be really useful when planning your hike.
This website is a site by the DNT which is the Norwegian Trekking Association. The site has topographic maps and all trails maintained by the Norwegian Trekking Association. They also have an app that you can download. This app and website only comes in Norwegian, but you can still use the maps and use Google Translate to help.
The Trolltunga website is super helpful in planning your trip. They have all of the information that you might need to plan your trip that is not in this guide.
Nearby things to do
As mentioned above, the town of Odda is the closest town to Trolltunga. There are lots of things to do around the town. There are scenic drives with waterfalls, including the Latefossen.
Hardangerfjord is the same fjord that Odda is part of, however the fjord is huge and has many different branches. I recommend driving through the tunnel to the west of Odda to reach a different branch of Hardangerfjord. Here you can hike to Bondhusvatnet or explore the small town of Rosendal. The drive along the fjord itself is gorgeous.
Overall, this was my guide to hiking to Trolltunga! It is such an incredible place and was one of my favorite places we went in Norway.
Let me know if you have any comments or questions below! Thanks for reading!