Håvardskleivi Hiking Trail

  • Frå toppen av Håvardskleivi mot Lærdal

    Frå toppen av Håvardskleivi mot Lærdal Photo: Sverre Hjørnevik

  • Frå toppen av Håvardskleivi

    Frå toppen av Håvardskleivi Photo: Sverre Hjørnevik

Essential info

  • Destination: Kongevegen
  • Season: June-November
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Distance: 2.5 kilometers (out‑and‑back)
  • Elevation Gain: 410 meters
  • Duration: 1-2 hours

About Håvardskleivi

The 2.2 km long path between Maristova and Håvarden has over 400 meters of elevation and goes straight up over the mountainside. The steepest section has a gradient of 1:3. Not without reason, the locals later named this steep stretch of the road the ‘Seven Drawers’ reflecting the sheer steepness. The section near Maristova was named ‘Jacob’s Ladder’, as it seems to lead straight to heaven. At the end of the 1830s they tried to rebuild the road with switchbacks but it still proved to be too steep for transport back then.

The road over the high mountains impressed many, both at home and abroad. The General received much praise for having managed to build a passage in such difficult terrain. The Royal Swedish Consul Edvard Fölsch declared the road as an outstandingly good example of road construction. Other countries admittedly had a lot to learn as they struggled building roads in much milder terrain. Trouble hit soon after as it became apparent that as parts of the road were too steep and not suitable for heavy loads or large vehicles.

At the top of Jacob’s Ladder, General Christopher Hammer carved “Wei er anlagt Af CJ Hammer 1970” into a large boulder to claim design of the famous road. The boulder with the engravings on it is still visible today. The road was in operation for 50 years but was finally put to rest due to increased traffic demands and larger transport vehicles.


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