There are so many beautiful hikes in Norway. However, besides the hikes that we did in the Lofoten Islands, we only had time for one on the mainland in Norway. After much research, I decided that hiking Trolltunga would be the best fit for us. Honestly, I just couldn’t leave Norway without seeing this view.
It was such a bucket list moment to finally see Trolltunga in person and I was so glad we made this our one hike on Norway’s mainland.
In this post I’m going to share all the practical tips on how to hike to Trolltunga Rock!
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- Where is the Trolltunga Hike?
- The Weather in Trolltunga
- What is the Hiking Season for Trolltunga?
- Proper Hiking Equipment for the Trolltunga Hike
- How Long does it Take to Hike to Trolltunga
- How to Get to the Trolltunga Hike
- Guided Tours to Trolltunga
- What It’s Actually Like Hiking Trolltunga
- Taking Photos at Trolltunga
- Safety on the Trolltunga Hike Trail
- Additional Tips to Have the Best Hiking Experience to Trolltunga
- Where to Stay Near Trolltunga
- Final Thoughts!
Where is the Trolltunga Hike?
Trolltunga is located 1180 meters above sea level, east of Tyssedal in the south west region of Norway. The nearest town to call a homebase before or after your hike would be Odda.
If you are visiting Norway just for the Trolltunga hike, which I definitely don’t recommend (read my 10-day Norway road trip itinerary for inspiration on planning a road trip through Norway), then here are the closest airports to the town of Odda:
- Haugesund Airport (2.5 hours driving to Odda)
- Bergen Airport (3 hours driving to Odda)
- Stavanger Airport (4 hours driving to Odda)
- Oslo Airport (6 hours driving required to Odda)
The Weather in Trolltunga
Even if the start of your hike is sunny, the weather in the area can change suddenly. Remember you are going to be very high up in the mountains where wind and rain can be more intense. Make sure that you are prepared for any of these conditions before starting out as the Trolltunga hike is at least an 8 hour investment.
During our hike we experienced warmer weather at the start of the hike and chilly temperatures at the top. By the time we started our way back, clouds rolled in with heavy fog and then rain started. We got rained on for about an hour on the way down.
Always check the weather forecast before starting your hike. Do not try to hike to Trolltunga if there is a strong wind or consistent heavy rain in the forecast.
What is the Hiking Season for Trolltunga?
There are really only two seasons this high up in the mountains, summer and winter.
The Trolltunga summer hiking season is from June 1st through August 31st. Between these dates, the weather will generally be good enough to hike without a guide, if you feel comfortable doing so.
The Trolltunga winter season is from October 1 through April 31st when you should consider not hiking without a guided tour. This is due to the possible intense weather conditions as well as fewer hikers on the trail to lead the way. Several companies offer guided snowshoe hiking or skiing trips so that you can enjoy the view of Trolltunga in the snow.
September and May are classified as shoulder seasons when the weather could go either way. Make sure to check the weather forecast for when you plan to hike.
Proper Hiking Equipment for the Trolltunga Hike
As far as hiking gear required, the hike isn’t terribly difficult as far as ascent. It is mostly just a long distance through small streams, mud, and unpredictable weather changes.
Your minimum required equipment should include: waterproof hiking boots, thick hiking socks, a warm top layer, a waterproof and windproof jacket, hat, gloves, extra set of clothing and socks, sunglasses, sun protection, headlamp, plenty of food and water, and a first aid kit.
We did see multiple people attempting the hike without hiking boots. You should not attempt this hike without proper footwear. We bought some basic waterproof hiking shoes which did us just fine, nothing fancy needed.
As far as food, we brought a couple granola bars, two larger waters, and two sandwiches for lunch. You should never dispose of any trash along the hike. Instead, bring some plastic bags to hold your trash in your backpack which can be disposed of back in the parking lot.
How Long does it Take to Hike to Trolltunga
The hike to Trolltunga can take anywhere from 7 – 12 hours round-trip depending on your hiking comfort level and largely on where you are starting from (Parking lot 1 , 2 or 3).
There is really no reason to start hiking from Tyssedal (Parking area 1). This parking lot is used for overflow and larger vehicle that can’t fit up the road from Tyssedal to Skjeggedal. If you have to park here, I suggest taking the shuttle to Skjeggedal (P2).
From the main trailhead starting in Skjeggedal (Parking area 2), the hike roundtrip is 28 kilometers (17.4 miles) with an ascent of almost 800 meters (2,625 feet). Starting from Skjeggedal, the estimated hiking time is 10–12 hours including breaks.
From the trailhead at starting from Mågelitopp (Parking area 3), the hike roundtrip is 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) with an ascent of about 320 meters (1,050 feet). Starting from Mågelitopp, the estimated hiking time is 7–10 hours including breaks.
Keep reading in the next section for the logistics and requirements for using the parking lots.
How to Get to the Trolltunga Hike
Getting to Trolltunga by Car
In order to get to the parking lots at Trolltunga, follow route RV13 to Tyssedal, 6 km from the centre of Odda. Turn right and follow the signs to Trolltunga. It will take about 30 minutes by car from Odda to Skjeggedal (P2).
We woke up around 5AM to get started on our drive from Odda to the parking area for the Trolltunga hike. We knew we wanted to start the hike early so we didn’t queue long for photos at the top, and to get a good parking spot.
Parking for the Trolltunga Hike
There are 3 parking areas to use for the Trolltunga hike. Each parking lot requires you to pay a machine in the parking lot, and there are optional shuttle busses or taxis that you can use (for another fee) to get in between the parking lots.
Parking for the Trolltunga Hike – Parking Lot 1
P1 in Tyssedal is the furthest from the trailhead. However, you must park here if you are traveling in a bus, camper van, or and mini van because the road to P2 is too narrow.
This parking lot is also used as overflow for cars during peak times. If you have to park in this lot, you can take either the Odda Buss or Odda Taxi straight to the P2 parking area. Find more details on pricing and timetables here.
Cost: 300 NOK for one day (payable at the parking machine by cash or credit)
Parking for the Trolltunga Hike – Parking Lot 2
P2 in Skjeggedal is the main parking lot for the hike with over 200 parking space.
Cost: 500 NOK for one day, includes road toll and parking fee (payable at the parking machine by cash or credit)
Parking for the Trolltunga Hike – Parking Lot 3
P3 in Mågelitopp is the smallest of the lots with only approximately 30 car limit and needs to be booked way in advance. The road up to P3 is blocked by a gate, which you will need to stop and show your reservation before proceeding through. Entrance is only allowed through the gate starting at 6:30am during the summer hiking season. You can make a reservation here for P3 for the summer hiking season (June through August) starting on March 1st!
Cost: 600 NOK for one day
Note: Everyone who drives from P1 Tyssedal to P2 Skjeggedal must pay a road toll. This also applies to vehicles that will be parking at P3 Mågelitopp. The toll of NOK 200 must be paid in the parking machine at P2 Skjeggedal before you drive up to P3 Mågelitopp. If you are stopping at P2, your ticket will cover the road toll and the parking fee.
If you Can’t Get a Spot in P3, Don’t Fret, Book the Shuttle!
We parked in the P2 parking area as all the spots in P3 were already reserved (otherwise we would have!).
However, we did pre-book the shuttle bus that takes you from P2 to P3, which is the second best option in my opinion. Half of the tickets are available for purchase in-advance here for 130 NOK, but you can also purchase bus tickets day of at the ticket office at P2 Skjeggedal on a first come first serve basis.
The earliest shuttle bus starts at 6:30am and cuts about 1-1.5 hours of hiking and takes you up multiple switchbacks on a paved road.
Getting to Trolltunga by Train
The easiest way to get to Trolltunga via train is taking the Bergen Line (Bergensbanen) between Bergen and Odda.
Once in Odda, you can take either the Odda Buss or Odda Taxi straight to the P2 parking area. Find more details on pricing and timetables here.
Getting to Trolltunga by Bus
Once in Odda, you can take either the Odda Buss or Odda Taxi straight to the P2 parking area. Find more details on pricing and timetables here.
Guided Tours to Trolltunga
One thing I wish I got to do was see the sunrise over the Trolltunga. This requires an overnight camping trip to Trolltunga. Unless you are extremely experienced hiker and camper, I would suggest one of these tours to make sure you are safe:
What It’s Actually Like Hiking Trolltunga
This is one of the longest hikes I have ever attempted, and for that reason I found it strenuous. However, no part of the hike are particularly dangerous, steep, or hard.
If you hiked to Trolltunga pre 2017, you may argue with me as the beginning 1 kilometer used to be a very steep and slippery upward scramble. Certain parts requiring a rope to pull you up.
In recent years, a gravel pathway from Skjeggedal (P2) to Mågelitopp (P3) was paved over this scramble resulting in steep switchbacks to walk up. If you do not land one of the 30 parking spots in P3 up the paved toll-road, try to book one of the shuttle buses here.
Again, starting from P3 saved us about 1 – 1.5 hours of walking up steep switchbacks which doesn’t really feel like part of the hike experience.
Along the way there will be cairns, or rocks, marked with a red “T” to keep you on the trail. There is not really a defined “trail” like you would see walking through a wooded hike.
The hike to Trolltunga is more of a wide open space, so keep an eye out for these cairns. If you are hiking during the summer season, there will be plenty of people in front of you to help lead the way.
In addition, there will be signs along the trail show the remaining distance to both Trolltunga and back to the trailhead.
The hike will take you up some granite slabs, over small streams, mud puddles, and small boulders. The majority of the hike is pretty flat with a gentle incline. The higher you hike, the more you will get a view into the valley.
About 45 minutes before you reach the Trolltunga, there is a beautiful view of the Ringedalsvatnet Lake (right photo above). This is just one of the many details along the hike that are worth a stop before you reach Trolltunga. So make sure you are enjoying the journey as much as the destination.
Another one of my favorite details along the hike was the Calvatia Gigantea, also known as the “giant puffball”. I have never seen these before in my life, but apparently they are a mushroom commonly found in meadows in Norway!
Taking Photos at Trolltunga
Once you reach Trolltunga there will likely be a queue to take the famous pictures standing out on the rock formation (unless you have booked a sunrise hike to Trolltunga).
You will climb down a little ladder around the back end of the tongue. It is completely safe, and there is no large drop off on either side of this ladder. People in front of you will also help you down.
Everyone wants that famous photo out on the tongue by themselves, so everyone is extremely respectful waiting one at a time to take their photos. After all, everyone else knows how long you hiked to get here.
Because we were only two people, we actually waited two different times in the line to get our photos. Luckily, if you get there early enough the wait will only be about 20 to 30 minutes.
If you are hiking solo, or want photos with your partner, you can give your camera to someone waiting at the top to take your photo. I took photos for a few different people (solo and couples) while my husband was waiting to take my photo, and visa versa.
While we waited, we ate our sandwiches and chatted with some new friends. In total, we spent about 1 – 1.5 hours at the top waiting to take photos, admiring the view, and eating our lunch.
Are drones allowed at Trolltunga for taking photos and videos?
Safety on the Trolltunga Hike Trail
This is a very long hike, and if you are not well prepared with good waterproof shoes and warm layers you could find yourself in a tricky situation.
Also, if you do not feel comfortable standing out on the Troll’s tongue, you can stick grab a photo with the troll’s tongue in the background. You can even catch a few seconds in between people exchanging spots when the Trolltunga is free of people!
In case of an emergency during your hike, keep the following phone numbers handy:
110 – Fire
112 – Police
113 – Ambulance
120 – Emergency at sea
Additional Tips to Have the Best Hiking Experience to Trolltunga
Make sure to start early! We left our Airbnb bright and early around 5AM, and we were not the first ones in the parking lot. Starting early reduces
Book a room nearby the night before (and night after to relax). We could barely walk after this hike! However we drove the 5 hours back to Oslo the same day as our hike. If you have more time that we did, definitely plan some relaxing time after the hike.
Use the restroom at the carparks. This is the last chance you will have before returning back to your car.
There are no permit passes or fees to hike Trolltunga. However, if you plan to drive and park your car in any of the carparks, you will pay a fee.
Where to Stay Near Trolltunga
It is best to plan to stay near the town of Odda the night before your hike. You will want to get started as early as possible on the hike and staying in Odda ensures that you will be as close as possible. Here are a few suggestions for places to stay near Odda.
Had I known about this little gem in Odda, I might have rearranged some day to spend more time here. If you are able to find availability at this treehouse, do not hesitate to book. The views over the Hardanger Fjord from the forest look absolutely incredible!
Hotel Ullensvang – $$
If you aren’t able to book the treehouse, or looking for something a little closer to the ground, but without compromising on the views, check out this hotel! This waterfront hotel offers views of Folgefonna Glacier, indoor and outdoor pools, along with a private beach area.
Vikinghaug Hotel – $
Another location with stunning fjords views, this hotel is only a 4-minute walk from the beach. Vikinghaug has fully equipped accommodations with fjord, lake, waterfall and glacier views. All units come with a dishwasher, oven, coffee machine, microwave, kettle and flat-screen TV.
Imagine waking up to this view of the fjord.
This home has three separate bedrooms and sleeps 7, which would be perfect for families or large groups. For the number of people this property sleeps, the price is a steal! Only a 7 mile drive to the Trolltunga hike, this location is also perfect for your stay. In addition, The home has a sun terrace and a lush garden with a grill for your use.
If you are planning to hike to Trolltunga and have any additional questions, drop them in the comments below. If you have hiked to Trolltunga recently, I would love to hear about your experience. Happy hiking!
Looking for more Norway inspiration? You may also enjoy these Norway related posts:
- Norway Road Trip Itinerary: 10 Days through Norway
- 24 Epic Photography Spots in Lofoten in Summer (incl. coordinates)
- Unforgettable 4-Day Lofoten Islands Norway Itinerary