Besshøe Hiking Trail
Test yourself on Besseggen’s challenging neighbor
- Destination: Jotunheimen National Park
- Season: June-October
- Difficulty: Demanding
- Distance: 21.5 kilometers (out‑and‑back)
- Elevation Gain: 1,280 meters
- Duration: 10-12 hours
Besshøe Mountain is next to Besseggen Ridge at the western end of Bessvatnet Lake. The peak reaches 2,258 meters above sea level, a good 500 meters above Besseggen’s highest point.
If you want to avoid the crowds of Besseggen, or perhaps you’ve done it before and are looking for a new challenge, Besshøe is a great alternative. The hike is demanding, but the reward is tremendous views over Besseggen, Bessvatnet and Gjende Lakes, and large areas of Jotunheimen.
The Gjende area is a popular entry point for adventures on the eastern side of Jotunheimen National Park. Gjende is a short detour along Norwegian Scenic Route Valdresflye.
A public bus stops at Gjendesheim and connects to Oslo and Bergen. From Oslo, take the NW161 Valdresekspressen. This route runs from Oslo bus terminal to the stop Gjendesheim. Or take the route NW160 Valdresekspressen to Årdalstangen and change to NW161 Valdresekspressen.
From Oslo, head north on E16, towards Bergen, for 185 kilometers. When you reach Fagernes, follow signs to road 51, towards Vågå/Beitostølen. From Beitostølen keep following road 51 towards Bygdin. Drive past Bygdin for another 22 kilometers until you reach the signs for Gjendesheim lodge on your left. Turn here.
From Bergen drive via E16 towards Vossevangen. Then drive to Beitostølen either through Vang or Fagernes. Follow road 51 for another 34 kilometers before you see the sign for Gjendesheim.
Note: Parts of Road 51 (between Garli and Maurvangen) are closed during winter and typically open from April to December.
If you’re visiting for the day or beginning a multi-day trek, park in the long-term parking lot at Reinsvangen. The parking lot is on the right-hand side shortly after turning off Road 51 and on to the road to Gjendesheim. Parking costs 150 NOK for 24 hours and longer stays are available. Pay by card at the machine. A shuttle runs the 1.7 kilometer trip between the parking lot and the dock every 15-30 minutes.
By the dock there is free parking for up to 2 hours. You still need to collect a ticket from the machine.
For overnight guests at Gjendesheim, free parking is available by the cabin.
The Besshøe trailhead is directly behind the Gjendesheim Lodge.
Follow the trail north as it leads uphill and continue for about 3.5 kilometers until you reach the small river at the eastern end of Bessvatnet Lake.
Cross the rive and head west along the northern edge of the lake for another 3.5 kilometers. Besseggen Ridge will be to your right with Besshøe directly ahead.
You will reach another river flowing into the lake, and this is where you start the final 3-kilometer climb along the ridge to Besshøe’s peak. During this final climb which gains around 850 meters in elevation, the trail is unmarked, but the route is clear.
- Free toilet by Reinsvangen parking lot and by the dock
- Convenience store by the dock where you can buy drinks, food, and basic supplies
Where to stay
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