World → Europe → Norway → Besseggen Ridge
One of our top 10 day hikes in the world
In Norway’s most popular National Park – Jotunheimen
“Home of the Giants“.
AT A GLANCE
- Jotunheimen National Park has most of the highest mountains in Norway
- Besseggen … or Besseggi … in Jotunheimen, is a thrilling ridge walk with alpine lakes on either side: Gjende and Bessvatnet.
- recommended from the end of June to mid-September
- 13.3km (8.25mi) plus one-way ferry
- 6-9 hours
- 950m elevation gain
- highest point, Veslfjellet (1743m)
- dogs on leash allowed
- trail runners enjoy it
Why We Like This Hike
- in good weather it’s stunning and unique. Unforgettable.
- route is well signed. You won’t get lost.
- Gjende lies almost 400 m lower than Bessvatnet. And the two lakes are different colour, depending on the light.
- good chance to see reindeer in the wild
- in 2005 the Norwegian government installed stepping stones in some sections to reduce erosion
- the Norwegian Mountain Touring Association maintains a number of mountain lodges in the area, if you prefer. Some consider this one of the best developed hut hiking areas in Europe.
- very dangerous in wet or snowy conditions
- very dangerous in low visibility
- bring clothing for wet, cold and wind
- Footing is rocky. Be careful when making steep, wet down climbs.
- There is a chain assist at one point
- more than 50,000 hikers each year. It’s crowded on a fine day.
- check an interactive elevation map
Norway is a VERY expensive nation. Everything is costly.
The ferry ticket one-way costs 160 Norwegian krone (2019), about $18.
One of the few ways to save money is to camp for free. Norway has a freedom to roam law. You can camp at almost any unfenced area.
- None needed. But if you really want one, click through to Gjendeguiden.
- make arrangements to get to Gjendesheim
- use rome2rio.com to find options
- though costly, it’s nice to have your own vehicle in Norway
- at the boat launch is expensive Gjendesheim lodge with 185 spaces in 1-, 2- or 4- bed rooms. They have dormitories in a separate house. (We camped for free.)
- the restaurant is available for all
- Besseggen is a loop with a ferry section.
You walk between Memurubu and Gjendesheim. Memurubu has a lodge and camping, as well. Independent hikers tend to camp outside the official areas at either end.
- In Gjendesheim buy a one-way ticket on the Besseggen Boat. There’s no real reason to book in advance online.
- easiest logistics are to camp the night prior at Gjendesheim. Then take the first boat in the morning to Memurubu. Hike back.
- Ferry information firstname.lastname@example.org – Telefon: 913 06 744
- Norwegian Trekking Association
- Jotunheimen National Park
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Click PLAY or watch some SAFETY tips on YouTube.
Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.
Click PLAY or get a quick glimpse of the adventure on YouTube.
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