Gjendebu to Fondsbu Hiking Trail
Trek between the Gjende and Bygdin lakes through the Veslådalen valley
- Destination: Jotunheimen National Park
- Season: July-September
- Difficulty: Medium
- Distance: 15.8 kilometers (point‑to‑point)
- Elevation Gain: 500 meters
- Duration: 5-7 hours
About Gjendebu to Fondsbu
The hiking route between the Gjendebu and Fondsbu cabins takes you from Lake Gjende to Lake Bygdin through Jotunheimen National Park. Starting off from the birch forest by Gjendebu you follow the Veslådalen valley before heading down to Lake Bygdin and Fondsbu.
The hike is long but moderate with no steep ascents. Most of the trail is on soft soil and along the way are views of many of Jotunheimen’s highest peaks.
After the bus or car ride to Gjendesheim, take the Gjende ferry across the lake to the start of the route at Gjendebu. Visit the Gjendebåtene website for schedules, prices, and other information.
From Oslo, head north on E16, towards Bergen, for 185 kilometers. When you reach Fagernes, follow the signs to road 51, towards Vågå/Beitostølen. Follow road 51 for another 70 kilometers until you reach the signs for Gjendesheim lodge on your left. Follow the road to the very end where you will find parking next to the lake.
Note: road 51, known as “Valdresflya”, is typically open from the end of April through December. Check the road status at vegvesen.no or call for road updates (in English) on +47 815 48 991.
From Gjendebu look for the sign to Fondsbu leading up through the Veslådalen valley. The trail starts by crossing two bridges over the Storåe river. There is a trail junction right after the second bridge, bear right here.
This trail continues up the valley, with the characteristic Gjendetunga on the right-hand side. After a few kilometers, the mountain birch forest is left behind. The landscape will gradually open up as you hike further up into the valley.
Four kilometers into the hike you will near the top of the valley and a trail heads off to the right towards Olavsbu and Skogadalsbøen. Follow the trail straight ahead passing the small mountains peaks Geithøi and Rundtom as you move towards Bygdin lake. Hike for a further three kilometers where you will meet the trail coming from Torfinnsbu.
This part of the trail is fairly flat until Høystakktjernet lake. At the southern end of the lake, cross the bridge across the river and then follow the trail as it dips down to Bygdin lake. The quick 200-meter descent makes this section of the trail the steepest of the entire route.
The next four kilometers lead due west along the Bygdin lake. Sometimes the trail goes by the shoreline and sometimes further up in the terrain before finishing at Fondsbu and Eidsbugarden.
- Eisbugarden and Fondsbu Lodge have welcomed royalty, celebrities, and hikers from all over the world
- This region is the most-visited mountain area north of the Alps
Where to stay
This historic hotel is situated right on the shore of Bygdin Lake. Visit the website (in Norwegian) to book a room for your stay in Jotunheimen National Park. For English information, call +47 413 86 000.
This DNT cabin is also located at Eidsbugarden. Visit the website to learn more and call +47 970 74 218 to reserve a room in the off-season. Learn more about DNT and how to become a member and access the cabin during the peak summer season.
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