Kyrkja Hiking

Take a trip to the iconic spike shaped mountain

  • På veg mot Kyrkja. Gravdalen bak.

    På veg mot Kyrkja. Gravdalen bak. Photo: Live Andrea Sulheim

  • Kyrkja - rett under bratthamaren.

    Kyrkja - rett under bratthamaren. Photo: Live Andrea Sulheim

  • Nedstigning frå Kyrkja.

    Nedstigning frå Kyrkja. Photo: Live Andrea Sulheim

  • Den raude toppbergarten på Kyrkja. Tverrbytthornet rett bak.

    Den raude toppbergarten på Kyrkja. Tverrbytthornet rett bak. Photo: Live Andrea Sulheim

  • Photo: Jan Miko

Essential info

  • Destination: Jotunheimen
  • Season: May–October
  • Difficulty: Demanding
  • Distance: 4 kilometers (out‑and‑back)
  • Elevation Gain: 620 meters
  • Duration: 3.5–5.5 hours

About Kyrkja

The Kyrkja summit is an iconic church spike shaped mountain looming over the Leirdalen valley and is a stark contrast to neighboring mountains. Its central location in Jotunheimen near Leirvassbu Mountain Lodge and Lake Leirvatnet, make it very easy to access. Kyrkja is one of the 291 peaks in Norway that are located 2,000 masl, which makes the view from the top truly magnificent.

The mountain may look very intimidating to hike from below. The trip is challenging, but surprisingly not as tough as it looks. It’s even suitable for children who enjoy heights.

In the 19th century, it was believed that no one would ever manage to reach the top of such a dramatic and steep mountain. What was considered impossible for people 200 years ago can now be hiked by 6 and 7-year-olds. 

Getting there

Car

Travel from Lom center on Road 55 towards Sogndal, and take a left turn after onto “Leirdalsvegen”. Leirdalsvegen is a private road and requires a small toll.

Bus

From Oslo, take the NOR-WAY 161 Valdresekspressen route to the stop: “Leirvassbu”.

Check out the other accessible adventures along the Valdresekspressen bus route: Valdresekspressen Pocket Guide.

Trail description

The hike begins at Leirvassbu Mountain Lodge. From there you will head in the direction of Høgvaglen, before you see signs for Kyrkja. It is important to remember to take one step at a time, especially while hiking on the ridge, as it can be rather steep. The majority of hikers take the same return route.

An alternative return route is hiking on the western side of Kyrkja and directly down to Leirvatnet, where you are led onto the eastern side of the water back to Leirvassbu.

Parts of the trip can be skied in the winter. 

Amenities

  • Leirvassbu Mountain Lodge offers meals three times a day, including a 3-course dinner. 

Where to stay

Leirvassbu Mountain Lodge is located at the base of Kyrkja and next to Lake Leirvatnet. It has a variety of accommodation options ranging from dorms to double rooms. It is centrally located in Jotunheimen and gives you access to various exciting hikes to explore in the area. 

Map

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