Torfinnsbu - Gjendebu Hiking Trail

  • Friskt fjellvatn på veg opp Svartdalen.

    Friskt fjellvatn på veg opp Svartdalen. Photo: Lars Østbye Hemsing

Essential info

  • Destination: Vang
  • Season: June–November
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Distance: 14 kilometers (point‑to‑point)
  • Elevation Gain: 540 meters
  • Duration: 4–5 hours

About Torfinnsbu - Gjendebu

From Torfinnsbu you follow the marked trail north into Torfinnsdalen and and Svartdalen valleys. A rapid rise at the start to about 1200 meters above sea level where the terrain flattens out. The flora here is rich with yellow blankets of oeder's lousewort early in the summer, and alpine hawkweed later in the year. Just above Torfinnsbu, at the start of hike, scepter with large yellow flowers grow. Also notice the large, beautiful Norwegian angelica standing along the creek after the trail. The plant has through time been one of our most important medicinal, spice and food plants, and is still being cultivated among other things as an ingredient for the liqueur St. Halvard.

You feel quite small when you walk through the magnificent Svartdalen wreathed by a "colonnade" of peaks over 2000 meters along both sides of the valley. Where the valley opens up towards Gjendebu, you are greeted by a new, wonderful view with a number of famous peaks and glaciers, and the green Gjende at the bottom of the valley. The green waters of Gjende stem from the tiny glacial particles which at refraction, especially in sunlight, makes the water appear green. The trail goes steeply down towards Gjende and the serviced cabin Gjendebu (990 masl), which was acquired by the Turistforening as early as in 1870.

You can't leave Gjendebu without having been inside the old stone hut which was the first Gjendebu hut, and where the famous Gjendine was born.

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