Gaustatoppen Hiking Trail
Southern Norway’s tallest peak
- Season: May–October
- Difficulty: Medium
- Distance: 8.7 kilometers (out‑and‑back)
- Elevation Gain: 660 meters
- Duration: 4.5–6.5 hours
The majestic Gaustatoppen is considered one of Norway's most beautiful mountains. Telemark's highest peak can be found in the serene Tinn municipality. Many believe that the top of Gaustatoppen provides the best view Norway has to offer. In fact, on a clear day you are gazing out onto one-sixth of Norway’s landscape. You can see the mountain peaks and forest of Telemark, Oslo, and Buskerud municipalities as well as large parts of the Hardangervidda National Park. Talk about an absolutely stunning sight!
From Oslo, head towards Kongsberg and follow signs for Rjukan. Or follow the Google map directions from Oslo to Stavsro, the parking lot of Gaustatoppen.
During the busy season, between June and September, there may be limited parking spaces available at Stavsro. We highly recommend arriving early to be able to find parking. There is no parking fee at Stavsro.
Alternatively, you are able to park near Toskjer, a lake between Tuddal and Stavsro, or at “Bygget i Gaustaområde” if you come from Rjukan. From these locations, you can take a bus to the trailhead at Stavsro.
The bus service, Nor-Way Bussekspress, provides transportation from Oslo to Rjukan about eight times each weekday and less on the weekends. The bus ride takes 3 hours and 10 minutes and costs about 400 NOK.
From Rjukan, you are able to take the mountain bus to Stavsro. This bus travels three times everyday during mid-summer and after August 19th until October 15th three times a day on Saturdays and Sundays. View the timetable for exact departure times. Tickets cost 50 NOK and can be bought at rjukanbooking.no or at the tourist office in Rjukan.
The bus travel will take most of the day, so plan on staying the night and hiking Gaustatoppen the next day, weather permitting.
The first kilometer of the hike follows a well-maintained path and is a relatively easy hike. There are a couple of small ponds and streams among the trees and fresh foliage but as you increase in elevation, the terrain becomes a bit heartier with more rocks and less tree coverage.
When entering the more demanding climb to the top, the terrain becomes more difficult with larger rocks and loose stones. It will be about 30-40 minutes of scrambling over this type of terrain until you reach the top.
Before reaching the top, you will arrive at Gaustatoppen Tourist Lodge where coffee and waffles are available during the summer season. Stop and grab something to enjoy at the peak or save it for the trip down. One final steep hill to go and you will be enjoying the magnificent sight from the top of Gaustatoppen.
Note: Be wary of climbing Gaustatoppen in bad weather. Not only are you unprotected on the peak but the stones can become quite slippery in wet weather.
Public restrooms are available near the parking lot and at the DNT Cabin at the top. It does cost 5 NOK to use the restroom at the DNT cabin.
Gaustatoppen Tourist Cabin:
Opening hours: June 23rd 2017 until October 15th 2017 - 09:00-17:00.
Normally the cabin is closed from October 16 until the middle of February
Options for overnight stay: contact firstname.lastname@example.org or +47 971 33 309 for price information and to reserve a room.
Beverages and food are available for purchase.
The spectacular Gaustabanen, the train inside the mountain, takes you to the top of Gaustatoppen in 15 minutes. It is open between February 11th - May 30th and June 24th - October 15th.
Where to stay
If you are planning to camp, a campsite is located just a 20 minute walk past Heddersvann from Stavsro. Here is an idyllic area overlooking Gaustatoppen. There is the possibility to park motor homes in Stavsro parking as well. It is possible to book a room at the Gaustatoppen Tourist Cabin from June until October.
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