Samlen Hiking Trail

Hike to the Samlen fjord viewpoint near Herand

Essential info

  • Destination: Hardanger
  • Season: April-October
  • Difficulty: Demanding
  • Distance: 4.7 kilometers (out‑and‑back)
  • Elevation Gain: 520 meters
  • Duration: 3.5-5 hours

About Samlen

The view at the top of Samlen is spectacular, but it takes some effort to get there.

The trail is very steep in parts. A ladder takes you up the steepest sections. Be aware of a slippery trail if you are hiking in wet conditions. The hike to Samlen is perfect if you are driving Norwegian Scenic Route Hardanger or visiting the villages of Herand or Jondal. 

Getting there

The trail starts at Åsleite, 4.6 km north of Herand. From Herand drive towards Utne, ascending up the hills. Parking at the trailhead is very limited and it has room for onyly 1-2 cars. If you are driving from Herand an option is to park at the small parking lot on your right-hand side at the top of the hill before it starts descending again. 

Alternatively, drive past the trailhead and there is room for 3-4 cars on the left side of the road after a few hundred meters. 

Trail description

From the trailhead follow the gravel road 100 meters until you see a sign for Samlen and a marked trail on your left-hand side. Enter into the forest trail and start to ascend slightly through the forest. 

After a few hundred meters the trail goes straight up some bare rocks. It is easy to continue past this point in the wrong direction as many hikers have gone past this point and made a trail further into the forest. If you take the wrong turn here the trail will disappear after about 100 meters, so just go back and find the right turn. 

Continue up the trail as it continues to climb. There are lots of really sharp rocks here so sturdy boots are highly recommended. Eventually, you reach a ladder leading up to a small plateau going around the mountain. The trail is now quite flat and you leave the deciduous forest behind and instead enter a pine forest. After a little while, you get great views of Herand on your left-hand side. 

The next part of the trail is fairly steep, but it flattens out again once you leave the forest behind. From here and up to the final peak you hike in an open area with nice views in all directions. 

Facts

  • The parking lot at the trailhead is very small so you may need to park your car along the road or walk a few hundred meters from the best parking spots to the trailhead.
  • The first part of the trail has many really sharp rocks so sturdy boots are recommended.

Where to stay

Hardangerfjord Lodge is the perfect place to stay in Jondal with great food and cozy rooms.

Map

Questions or comments? Let us know.

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