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The historic hiking trip in Jotunheimen

From Gjendesheim to Fondsbu via the historical DNT cabins Memurubu, Gjendebu and Torfinnsbu, you walk in the footsteps of some of the most prominent people in Norwegian mountaineering history.

Publisert: 20. februar 2024

Quick facts about the historic trail in Jotunheimen

  • Area: Jotunheimen, Jotunheimen National Park
  • Type: Hike
  • Classification: Red | Challenging
  • Length and duration: 59 km | 4 days | One way, from A-B
  • Elevation profile: 3 209 elevation metres in total.
  • Season: June - October 

This area has inspired numerous pioneers of outdoor life, mountain sports, literature and music – who have gone on to make their own mark. Some of these paths were the first ones on which the DNT built cairns, and the cairn that marks the descent to Besseggen ridge from Veslefjell was the very first one to be marked with red paint to make it easier to see in the mist.

Tour description

Leg 1: Gjendesheim - Memurubu (13 km)

From the starting point at Gjendesheim – one of the DNT’s very first cabins – the ascent up Veslefjellet starts immediately on stone steps built by Sherpas from Nepal to prevent erosion along the path. After the hike’s longest ascent of 800 metres in altitude, your heart will probably pump even faster as you make your way down the iconic Besseggen ridge, ranked one of the 20 best hikes on the planet by National Geographic. Most hikers do Besseggen the opposite way, and thus miss out on the fantastic panorama that surrounds them on the way down Besseggen. The last long downhill slope to Memurubu can be hard on the knees after a long day.

Leg 2: Memurubu - Gjendebu (10 km)

There is a steep ascent up from Memurubu that brings you quickly onto the Memurutunga mountain plateau. The path closely hugs a few lakes that abound with trout. Bring your fishing rod and catch your own dinner on the hike! The path then descends even more steeply to Gjende lake down Bukkelægeret – the second most famous mountain after Besseggen. Chains and wire ropes have been installed in the steepest sections to make the hike safer. When you get to Gjendebu lodge, you literally step into the era of National Romanticism. You can still see cattle grazing in lush summer pasture throughout the summer.

Leg 3: Gjendebu - Torfinnsbu (15 km)

The steep ascent up Svartdalen valley starts just a few hundred metres from Gjendebu. This leg is the least demanding on the hike in terms of altitude metres, and takes you from Gjende across to Bygdin. You are accompanied on your way by the dizzying heights of the majestic Knutsholstind (2,341 metres above sea level) – regarded as Norway’s highest mountain during the infancy of mountaineering. The leg concludes at Torfinnsbu cabin on the banks of Bygdin lake – the cabin was actually in part built using materials from DNT’s very first cabin Tvindehougen beside Tyin lake. No other DNT cabin offers such easy access to more 2,000-metre-plus summits!

Leg 4: Torfinnsbu - Fondsbu (22 km)

A few kilometres after leaving Torfinnsbu cabin in the direction of Fondsbu lodge brings you into ‘Vinje’ country. Vinje was a famous Norwegian poet who used this area as the backdrop for one of his best known ballads. This is the longest leg on the hike and the altitude differences mean you have a challenging day ahead of you. As the path approaches the historical lodges Eidsbugarden and Fondsbu, you enter an area steeped in cultural heritage – where your host Solbjørg’s enthusiastic welcome and fantastic food will round off a very comprehensive trail.

Tip: You can also choose to start the hiking tour from Fondsbu.

More details on ut.no

See the route in map and more tour facts on ut.no
Ut.no is in Norwegian only, but is still useful for English language users. See the route in map, elevation profile, and find more tour facts in the tour description.Map over Jotunheimen

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