Gjende Lake Hiking Trail
Walk along the lakeshore path to escape the hustle and bustle at the dock
- Destination: Jotunheimen National Park
- Season: June-October
- Difficulty: Easy
- Distance: 4.2 kilometers (out‑and‑back)
- Elevation Gain: 20 meters
- Duration: 1.5-2 hours
About Gjende Lake
An easy walk from the dock at Gjende along the quiet lakeshore, this trail leads under the shadow of the mighty Besseggen Ridge. The family-friendly hike leads to a perfect place to relax and enjoy a picnic along the water’s edge.
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.
From the dock, with the lake in front of you, head to the right (north) along the shore. At the edge of the parking lot you’ll spot the trailhead.
The trail, which is an old livestock route from Gjendesheim to Memurubu, follows the lake’s edge and leads to a nice picnic and beach area at Hamnsanden. Information boards along the way inform about the local flora and fauna.
- 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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