hike Besseggen Ridge, Norway

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles.

Besseggen, or Besseggi … in Jotunheimen, is a thrilling ridge walk with alpine lakes on either side. You look down on lakes Gjende and Bessvatnet.

  • 13.3km (8.25mi)
  • 6-9 hours
  • 950m elevation gain

Click PLAY or get a quick glimpse of how it goes on YouTube.

Besseggen is a loop with a ferry section.

You walk between Memurubu and Gjendesheim. Both offer lodges and camping. Independent hikers tend to camp outside the official campground area at either. That’s free.

I camped for free.

The vast majority bus in or park at Gjendesheim. Then take the Besseggen Boat. There’s no real reason to book in advance online.

You can hike the other direction but the down climbs are slightly more dangerous that way.

This is Norway’s most exciting National Park: Jotunheimen the “Home of the Giants“.

Camping free at Memurubu.

Besseggen is recommended from the end of June to mid-September. During those months more than 30,000 hikers make the adventure. You won’t be lonely in high season.

Many bring dogs on leash.

The route is well signed. You won’t get lost.

The morning I was there it was foggy on the long slog up.

One you get up on the ridge views are awesome.

I left a Summit Stone at one of the cairns.

Footing is rocky but offers traction everywhere except steep, wet down climbs. Those are dangerous.

As promised, the weather cleared. I love this kind of bleak beauty.

Looking back at the long lake. It’s turquoise due to rock flour.

The last 4km back to the start are sometimes flat and easy, sometimes challenging scramble. There is a chain assist at one point.

Besseggen is definitely one of the best day hikes in the world. I’ll never forget it.

Click PLAY or watch some SAFETY tips on YouTube.

Finally, Click PLAY or watch on YouTube some highlights of my own hike.


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