Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

Trolltunga Hike: Ultimate Guide To The Troll’s Tongue (Norway)


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Arleen Frazer



Welcome to the ultimate guide to Trolltunga, one of Norway’s most extraordinary natural wonders. Trolltunga, which translates to “Troll’s Tongue,” is a spectacular rock formation jutting out horizontally over a breathtaking Sørfjorden in Hordaland county. This iconic landmark has become a bucket-list destination for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers from around the world.


Located in the western part of Norway, Trolltunga offers a thrilling and challenging hike that rewards visitors with awe-inspiring panoramic views and an unforgettable experience. This guide is here to help you navigate and prepare for your Trolltunga hike so that you can make the most of your journey without any hiccups along the way.


The hike to Trolltunga covers a distance of approximately 23 kilometers (14 miles) round trip, which is not to be taken lightly. It is important to be well-informed and well-prepared before embarking on this exciting adventure. From getting to Trolltunga and obtaining permits to choosing the best time to hike and understanding the trail difficulty, we will guide you through every aspect of your journey.


Whether you are an experienced hiker or a beginner with a thirst for exploration, the Trolltunga hike offers a unique and challenging experience that will push your limits and reward you with stunning views that will leave you awe-struck.


So, lace up your hiking boots, pack your backpack, and let’s dive into the ultimate guide to the Trolltunga hike, where adventure awaits!


Getting to Trolltunga

Getting to Trolltunga may require some planning, as it is located in a remote region of Norway. The journey begins by reaching the trailhead, which is situated in Skjeggedal, near the village of Tyssedal.


The nearest major airport is Bergen Airport Flesland (BGO), which is well-connected to several international destinations. From the airport, you have a few options for reaching the trailhead:

  • By Car: Renting a car from Bergen Airport is a convenient option as it provides flexibility during your journey. The drive to Trolltunga takes approximately 3-4 hours, with stunning landscapes along the way. However, please note that parking at the trailhead can be limited, so arrive early to secure a spot.
  • By Public Transportation: If you prefer not to drive, you can take a bus from Bergen to Odda, which is the nearest town to Trolltunga. From Odda, you can then take a local bus or taxi to the trailhead in Skjeggedal. It is recommended to check the bus schedules in advance, as they might be limited depending on the time of year.

Once you reach the trailhead in Skjeggedal, you will embark on a challenging hike that takes you through mesmerizing landscapes and uphill climbs. It is crucial to be well-rested, well-fed, and properly equipped before starting the hike to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey.


While the hike itself is an adventure, it is equally vital to plan for your return journey from Trolltunga. Make sure you have arranged transportation back to your accommodation or the nearest town.


Before starting your adventure, it is essential to check weather conditions and trail updates, as they can change rapidly. It is advisable to consult local authorities, such as the Trolltunga Active hiking information center, for the most up-to-date information on trail conditions and safety.


Now that you know how to get to Trolltunga, it’s time to delve into the next important aspect: permits and regulations.


Permits and Regulations

When planning your hike to Trolltunga, it is crucial to be aware of the permits and regulations in place to preserve the natural environment and ensure the safety of hikers.


As of 2021, a permit is required to hike to Trolltunga. The permit system helps manage the number of hikers on the trail and ensures a better overall experience for everyone. It is recommended to obtain your permit well in advance, as they have limited availability.


You can easily apply for a permit online through the Trolltunga website or other authorized platforms. The permits are typically issued for specific time slots, so plan your hike accordingly. Make sure to print your permit and carry it with you during the hike.


It is important to note that the hike to Trolltunga is considered challenging and not suitable for everyone. You should be in good physical condition and have previous hiking experience before attempting the trek. It is also recommended to hike in groups of two or more for safety reasons.


While on the trail, it is crucial to follow the Leave No Trace principles. This means carrying out all your trash, leaving vegetation undisturbed, and refraining from feeding or disturbing wildlife. Respect the natural environment and be mindful of your impact.


Another important regulation to keep in mind is the strict no-camping policy along the trail to Trolltunga. Overnight camping is only allowed at designated campsites, and a separate permit is required. Make sure to plan your hike accordingly and book the campsites in advance if you wish to spend the night.


Finally, it is crucial to stay updated on current trail conditions and weather forecasts. The weather conditions in the area can change rapidly, and it is important to be prepared for rain, wind, and even snow depending on the time of year. Check the local hiking information center or the official Trolltunga website for the latest updates.


By following these permits and regulations, you can ensure a safe and responsible hike to Trolltunga while helping preserve the natural beauty of this remarkable destination.


Best Time to Hike

The best time to hike Trolltunga is during the summer months, from June to September. This period offers the most favorable weather conditions and the highest chance of a successful hike to this stunning destination.


During the summer, the days are longer, providing ample daylight to complete the hike comfortably. The temperatures are generally milder, with average highs ranging from 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F), making it pleasant for hiking.


It is worth noting that June and early July can still have some snow and ice along the trail, especially at higher elevations. Therefore, it is essential to check the trail conditions and bring appropriate equipment, such as crampons, if necessary.


August is arguably the most popular month for hiking Trolltunga due to the warmer temperatures and more stable weather. However, keep in mind that it can also be crowded during this time, so plan accordingly and be prepared for a larger number of hikers on the trail.


If you prefer to avoid the crowds and enjoy a quieter experience, consider hiking in September. The weather conditions are generally still favorable, although there might be an increased chance of rain. The autumnal colors add a beautiful touch to the landscapes, making it a picturesque time to visit.


It is important to note that Trolltunga is not accessible during the winter months, as the trail is covered in deep snow and presents significant challenges. Some adventurous and experienced hikers attempt the hike during the shoulder seasons, but it requires specialized winter mountaineering equipment and knowledge.


Despite the favorable conditions during the summer months, always be prepared for changing weather. It is advisable to check the weather forecast regularly leading up to your hike and be prepared with appropriate clothing and gear.


By choosing the best time to hike Trolltunga, you can maximize your chances of enjoying optimal weather conditions and a memorable experience on this iconic trail.


Trail Difficulty

The Trolltunga hike is known for its challenging nature, and it is important to be prepared for the difficulty level of the trail. The hike covers a distance of approximately 23 kilometers (14 miles) round trip, with a significant elevation gain.


The trail is rated as strenuous, with steep ascents and descents, rocky terrain, and uneven surfaces. Hikers should expect a variety of challenging sections, including uphill climbs and treacherous descents.


The first part of the hike involves a steady ascent through the forest, with well-marked trails and wooden steps to help you along the way. As you gain elevation, the trail becomes steeper and more exposed, with fewer trees to provide shade. It is important to pace yourself and take breaks as needed.


One of the notable sections of the trail is known as Himmelstigen, or “Heaven’s Ladder.” This steep and exposed climb requires steady footwork and a head for heights. It is a thrilling but challenging part of the journey that requires caution and focus.


Once you reach the top, the terrain becomes relatively flat, with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and fjords. However, it is important to remain cautious, as the trail can still be rocky and unstable in certain areas.


The duration of the hike can vary depending on your fitness level and hiking experience. On average, it takes 8-12 hours to complete the entire hike, including breaks. It is crucial to start early in the day to allow enough time for the hike and return before sunset.


To ensure a safe and enjoyable hike to Trolltunga, it is recommended to have a good level of physical fitness and stamina. Prior hiking experience on challenging terrains will also be beneficial. It is important to be aware of your limitations and to make informed decisions while on the trail.


Remember to stay hydrated, replenish your energy with snacks or meals along the way, and listen to your body. Take breaks when needed and don’t hesitate to turn back if you feel uncomfortable or if the weather conditions deteriorate.


By understanding the trail difficulty and being adequately prepared, you can embark on this challenging adventure with confidence and enjoy the beauty of Trolltunga.


Safety Guidelines

When hiking Trolltunga, prioritizing safety is of utmost importance. Here are some essential safety guidelines to keep in mind before and during your journey:

  • Prepare and Plan: Familiarize yourself with the trail and its difficulty level. Assess your fitness level and hiking experience to ensure that you are adequately prepared for the challenges ahead.
  • Weather Conditions: Check the weather forecast and trail conditions before setting out. Be aware that weather conditions can change rapidly in the mountains, so be prepared for rain, wind, and even snow depending on the time of year.
  • Proper Gear: Wear appropriate clothing and protective gear for hiking in mountainous terrain. This includes sturdy hiking boots, layered clothing, a waterproof jacket, a hat, gloves, and sunglasses. Don’t forget essentials like a map, compass, flashlight, and a first aid kit.
  • Stay Hydrated and Nourished: Carry sufficient water and snacks to stay hydrated and energized throughout your hike. There are no food or water sources along the trail, so it is crucial to bring an adequate supply.
  • Hiking in Groups: If possible, hike in groups of two or more for safety reasons. This ensures that you have assistance in case of any emergencies or if you encounter any difficulties along the trail.
  • Trail Markers and Signs: Pay close attention to the trail markers and signs along the way. They provide important directions and information to keep you on the correct path.
  • Leave No Trace: Respect the environment and follow the principles of Leave No Trace. Carry out all trash, avoid disturbing wildlife, and leave vegetation undisturbed.
  • Emergency Communication: Ensure that you have a fully charged mobile phone and carry a portable charger if needed. Be aware that cell phone reception may be limited or nonexistent in some parts of the trail.
  • Inform Others: Let someone know about your hiking plans, including your expected duration and the estimated time of return. This will enable them to take appropriate action if you encounter any delays or emergencies.
  • Know Your Limits: Be honest with yourself about your personal limitations. If you are feeling unwell or exhausted, it is better to turn back or seek assistance rather than pushing yourself beyond your capabilities.

It is important to approach the Trolltunga hike with caution and respect for the wilderness. By following these safety guidelines, you can have a safer and more enjoyable experience while exploring this remarkable natural wonder.


What to Pack

When embarking on the Trolltunga hike, it is crucial to pack the right gear and essentials to ensure your comfort and safety on the trail. Here is a comprehensive list of what to pack for your Trolltunga adventure:

  • Hiking Boots: Invest in sturdy, well-fitting hiking boots with ankle support for the rocky and uneven terrain.
  • Layered Clothing: Dress in layers to accommodate changing weather conditions. Include moisture-wicking base layers, insulating mid-layers, and a waterproof and windproof outer layer.
  • Backpack: Choose a comfortable backpack with adjustable straps and a capacity of 30-40 liters to carry your essentials.
  • Navigation Tools: Carry a detailed map, compass, or GPS device to navigate the trail.
  • Food and Water: Pack high-energy snacks, such as trail mix, energy bars, and dried fruits. Carry at least two liters of water per person to stay hydrated.
  • First Aid Kit: Include essentials like band-aids, adhesive tape, pain relievers, blister pads, and antiseptic wipes.
  • Rain Gear: Have a waterproof jacket and pants to protect yourself from rain or sudden weather changes.
  • Sun Protection: Bring sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun’s UV rays.
  • Headlamp/Flashlight: Carry a reliable headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries in case you hike during dawn or dusk or experience unexpected delays.
  • Extra Clothing: Pack an extra set of socks, a lightweight thermal layer, and a warm hat and gloves in case of colder temperatures at higher elevations or unexpected weather conditions.
  • Personal Items: Don’t forget essentials like your ID, cash, mobile phone, camera, and any necessary medications.
  • Trash Bag: Carry a small garbage bag to pack out any trash and help maintain the pristine environment.
  • Optional Gear: Consider bringing trekking poles for added stability and knee support, a whistle for emergency situations, and a portable charger for your electronic devices.

It is important to pack your backpack efficiently, distributing weight evenly, and ensuring easy access to essential items. Remember to pack light but also be prepared for any unpredictable situations that may arise during the hike.


By packing these essential items, you’ll be ready to tackle the Trolltunga hike with confidence and comfort.


Accommodation Options

When planning your trip to Trolltunga, you have several accommodation options to consider depending on your preferences and budget. Here are some popular choices:

  • Camping: Camping is a popular choice among hikers who want to immerse themselves in nature. There are designated campsites along the trail to Trolltunga, such as Mågelitopp, Tyssebotn, and Lilletopp. Camping requires a separate permit, and it is important to book in advance, especially during the peak season.
  • Cabins and Mountain Lodges: Several cabins and mountain lodges are available in the Trolltunga area, providing a cozy and comfortable stay. These accommodations offer a range of facilities, from basic amenities to more upscale options. Booking in advance is highly recommended, especially during the peak hiking season.
  • Hotels and Guesthouses: The nearest towns to Trolltunga, such as Odda and Tyssedal, offer a variety of hotels and guesthouses to choose from. This option provides more comfort and convenience, as well as access to additional amenities and services.
  • Airbnb: Another option is to search for vacation rentals or Airbnb properties in the nearby towns. This can be a great choice for those who prefer more privacy and the flexibility of cooking their own meals.

When booking your accommodation, consider the proximity to the trailhead and the amenities provided. Keep in mind that staying closer to the trailhead can save you travel time on the day of your hike. Additionally, it is important to check if the accommodation offers storage facilities for your hiking gear if needed.


Regardless of the type of accommodation you choose, it is recommended to book well in advance, especially during the peak hiking season. This ensures that you have a place to rest and relax before and after your adventure on Trolltunga.


Remember to respect the accommodations and follow any rules and guidelines provided by the establishment. Leave the accommodation as you found it and be mindful of noise levels to ensure a pleasant experience for other guests.


By choosing the right accommodation option for your needs, you can unwind and recharge before and after your unforgettable Trolltunga hike.


Food and Water

Proper nutrition and hydration are crucial during the Trolltunga hike to fuel your body and keep you energized throughout the challenging journey. Here are some essential tips for food and water on the trail:

  • Water: It is essential to stay hydrated during the hike. Carry at least two liters of water per person and ensure it is easily accessible in your backpack. There are no water sources along the trail, so bring enough water to last the entire hike.
  • Snacks: Pack high-energy snacks that are lightweight and easy to eat on the go. Trail mix, energy bars, dried fruits, nuts, and jerky are great options. These snacks provide a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats to keep you fueled.
  • Meals: Plan and pack a well-balanced meal for your lunch break. Sandwiches, wraps, or pasta salads are convenient options. Consider foods that are high in carbohydrates to replenish energy stores.
  • Fruits and Vegetables: Fresh fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals. Choose durable options like apples, oranges, carrots, or cherry tomatoes that can withstand the journey without spoiling.
  • Electrolytes: Consider bringing electrolyte-rich beverages or tablets to replenish electrolytes lost through sweat. Electrolytes help maintain proper fluid balance and prevent muscle cramps.
  • Cooking Equipment: If you plan to camp overnight, bring a lightweight camping stove and cookware to prepare hot meals. dehydrated meals or freeze-dried options are convenient and require minimal cooking equipment.
  • Food Safety: Properly store your food to prevent spoilage and attract wild animals. Use sealed containers or resealable bags and pack out all your trash.

When preparing your meals, keep in mind that the hike is physically demanding. Aim for foods that are easy to digest and provide sustained energy. It is important to listen to your body and eat regularly to avoid hunger and fatigue.


Additionally, be mindful of your waste and leave no trace. Carry out all your trash, including food wrappers, to preserve the natural beauty of the trail and protect wildlife.


If you prefer not to carry all your food and water, there are limited facilities available at the start of the trail in Skjeggedal. The Trolltunga Hotel and Trolltunga Studios offer food and drinks for purchase, allowing you to replenish your supplies before starting the hike.


By properly fueling your body with nutritious food and staying hydrated, you can tackle the Trolltunga hike with energy and endurance.


Other Points of Interest

While the highlight of your journey is undoubtedly the Trolltunga hike, there are several other points of interest in the area that are worth exploring:

  • Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock): Located near Stavanger, Preikestolen is another iconic Norwegian landmark. It is a flat cliff plateau that offers breathtaking views over Lysefjorden. Although it requires a separate visit, it is well worth the trip if you have the time.
  • Hardangervidda National Park: As the largest national park in Norway, Hardangervidda offers stunning landscapes and diverse wildlife. Consider exploring the park before or after your Trolltunga hike to witness the beauty of this pristine wilderness.
  • Vøringsfossen Waterfall: Situated near Eidfjord, Vøringsfossen is one of Norway’s most famous waterfalls. With a drop of 182 meters (597 feet), it is a breathtaking sight to behold. Take a detour and witness the power and beauty of this natural wonder.
  • Explore the Fjords: The region surrounding Trolltunga is known for its majestic fjords. Consider taking a boat tour or enjoying a scenic drive along the fjords to witness their grandeur up close.
  • Local Cuisine: Norway is famous for its seafood, such as fresh salmon and cod. Take the opportunity to indulge in delicious local cuisine in the nearby towns, savoring traditional Norwegian dishes and seafood delicacies.
  • Cultural Experiences: Immerse yourself in the rich Norwegian culture by visiting local museums, art galleries, and historic sites. Learn about the fascinating history and traditions of the region.

These additional points of interest provide you with an opportunity to explore more of the beauty and culture of Norway while in the Trolltunga area. Extend your trip and make the most of your visit to this remarkable part of the world.


Remember to plan your time wisely and allocate sufficient days to fully explore and enjoy these additional attractions. Check the opening hours and availability of tours or guides to make the most of your experience.


By exploring these other points of interest, you can create a more diverse and enriching itinerary during your trip to Trolltunga.



Congratulations! You have reached the end of our ultimate guide to the Trolltunga hike, which has provided you with valuable information and insights to plan your adventure to this breathtaking natural wonder in Norway.


Trolltunga, with its iconic rock formation suspended over the picturesque Sørfjorden, offers a challenging and captivating hiking experience. From getting to the trailhead and obtaining permits to understanding the trail difficulty and safety guidelines, we have covered all the essential aspects to ensure a successful and enjoyable hike.


Remember to plan ahead, consider the best time to visit, and pack appropriately for the challenging terrain and unpredictable weather conditions. Safety should always be a priority, so follow the permits and regulations, pack a first aid kit, and stay aware of trail markers and signs.


As you embark on the Trolltunga hike, take the time to appreciate the breathtaking views, immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the surroundings, and make memories that will last a lifetime.


But don’t forget, Trolltunga is not the only highlight in the area. Explore other attractions, such as Preikestolen, Hardangervidda National Park, and Vøringsfossen Waterfall, to make your trip even more memorable and enriching. Indulge in the local cuisine and cultural experiences to truly immerse yourself in the Norwegian way of life.


Remember to leave no trace and respect the environment, ensuring that future generations can also enjoy this remarkable destination. As you hike back from Trolltunga, may you carry with you a sense of accomplishment, a connection to nature, and a deep appreciation for the wonders that Norway has to offer.


So, lace up your hiking boots, pack your backpack, and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime at Trolltunga!