Merket to Tyrisholt Hiking Trail
Stage 1 of the Stølsruta Historical Hiking Route
- Destination: Valdres
- Season: July-October
- Difficulty: Medium
- Distance: 18.1 kilometers (point‑to‑point)
- Elevation Gain: 340 meters
- Duration: 5-7 hours
About Merket to Tyrisholt
The first stage of Stølrsruta Historical Hiking Route takes you right to the heart of the mountain farm plateaus of Valdres. The route travels northwestwards from Merket Red Cross activity center in the forested hillsides of Tisleidalen to the mountain farm settlement of Tyrisholt, passing the settlements of Hermanstølen and Gauklie on the way.
This stretch takes you through a varied landscape of forests, open moorlands, pastures with grazing animals, and serene mountain lakes. A reference point along the route is the magnificent mountains of Hemsedal Valley in the northwest.
Covering a total of 18 kilometers, this is the longest stretch of Stølsruta. However, it is quite manageable as it runs mostly through flat terrain. If you aren’t planning on staying overnight at Merket and you want to shorten the hike, a tip is to start from the parking area by Tisleia River. This saves your feet for the first 4 kilometers along a forest road.
While the intermediate stages of Stølsruta are reachable by car only, you can access the first and final stage, Merket and Sørre Hemsing, by bus.
From Fagernes, either take Bus 139 (Fagernes-Gol) or Bus 304 (Fagernes-Sinderstølen). Bus 139 takes about 25 minutes, while Bus 304 is a school route that takes about 1 hour. Buy your tickets aboard the bus or via the app Opplandstrafikk Billett.
Alight from the bus at the stop Bjørkestølen. The trailhead at Merket Red Cross activity center is located some 2.2 kilometers to the east of the bus stop. Cross the bridge, walk along Paradisvegen, past Bjørkestølen Family Camping and turn to the left. Continue on Paradisvegen until you reach Merket.
If you aren’t planning on staying overnight at Merket, you can take the bus to the next stop, Villmarkstunet. Follow the sign reading “Hermannstølen,” and you’ll reach the parking area by Tisleia River where you’ll find an informational board and markings for Stølsruta.
Use Entur to plan your trip (Fagernes skysstasjon to Bjørkestølen or Vilmarkstunet).
From Fagernes, drive 4 kilometers on Road E16 until you reach Leira. Take Road 51 in the direction of Tisleidalen. Continue on Road 51 for about 16 kilometers, before turning left onto Paradisvegen. Drive past Bjørkestølen Family Camping and turn to the left. Drive some 2 kilometers, and you’ll reach Merket Red cross activity center.
If wishing to shorten the hike by starting from the parking area by Tisleia River, continue 1.2 kilometers further on Road 51 instead of turning left onto Paradisvegen. Turn off to the right by the sign reading “Hermannstølen,” and you’ll reach the parking area. You’ll find an informational board and markings for Stølsruta.
A note on the markings along the route: as the route runs through a varied landscape you’ll find different markings along the way. Look for poles with the Historical Hiking Route pictogram, signs, cairns as well as red markings on trees and stones.
From Merket, follow the graveled forest road westwards. Having passed Bjørkesølen Family Camping on your right, you’ll reach a crossroads where you take to the left by following the sign with the Historical Hiking Route pictogram. After about 50 meters, follow the tractor road to the right. Follow the markings along the road, leading you onto the asphalt road to the right in the direction of Tisleia River, which you cross by walking over the pedestrian bridge.
Having reached the other side of the river, follow the footpath for about 100 meters before crossing Road 51. Here, you’ll find an information board about the Historical Hiking Route. If you’re not planning on staying overnight at Merket, this is a good starting point for the route. There’s a parking area with room for approximately 10 cars. From here, follow the summer mountain farm road to the left that leads to Hermannstølen.
Enjoy the view of the open moorland as you hike towards Hermannstølen. Having reached Hermannstølen, continue towards the settlement of Gauklie. Cross the main road by following the signs and markings leading you onto a trail running between two summer mountain farms to the left. Take a break on the large rock on the left-hand side and enjoy the view of the Hemsedal Mountains to the west.
The route from Hermannstølen to Gauklie continues in the northwestern direction. Note that this stretch can become muddy in wet conditions. The trail leads you onto a summer mountain farm road which you follow northwards. This road lacks markings. However, you’ll see red markings when you’re nearing a trail running between two summer mountain farm pastures. Follow the trail as it continues through a birch forest, leading you to Gauklie. This is another stretch that can become muddy wet. Watch your step when crossing streams and rivers.
Upon reaching the end of the birch forest, the trail changes into a tractor road. Spread out before you are the lakes of Hagatjernet and Gaukelitjernet, summer mountain farms and grazing sheep and cows. Hike the tractor road until you reach the summer mountain farm road leading you through the settlement of Gauklie and up the hill to the right. Take a well-deserved break at the rest stop at the top.
Continue leftwards and follow the markings as they lead you off the main road and onto a road running downhill on the left-hand side. Follow this road, keeping to the left at the crossroads. Follow the signs to Tyrisholt to the right.
The road changes into a trail that travels into a forest, taking you to Tyrisholt. The trail runs partly through marshlands and becomes a bit unclear. Be sure to follow the map carefully and look out for the red markings, which at times can be hard to spot. Watch your step when crossing streams.
When the trail meets the main road, take the main road to the right. Walk some 200 meters, before turning left onto the summer mountain farm road that travels downhill to the settlement of Tyrisholt. When you reach a stretch of the road with fences on both sides, look for the no-service DNT cabin Tyrisholt which is located on the right-hand side of the road. Cross the yard by the cowshed to reach the cabin.
This is the first of five stages of Stølsruta Historical Route. You can choose to hike the entire route or hike individual stages separately.
Bring water. This is a long hike with few decent water sources along the route. Water is available at Tyrisholt, on the outside wall.
Wearing waterproof footwear is a good idea as you’ll have to cross several streams and rivers. A walking stick might also come in handy when crossing the rivers.
Where to stay
Merket is a Red Cross activity center and staffed lodge located at the trailhead of Stølsruta. Spend the night here if arriving at Tisleidalen the night before hiking the first stretch of the route. Merket offers discounts to members of the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT).no-service DNT cabin Tyrisholt is located at the end of the hike. You’ll need to be a member of DNT and have the key to access the cabin. Learn more about how to become a member of DNT and how to use the cabins here. It’s not possible to book in advance. The cabin has 8 beds and a kitchen. Remember to bring a sleeping bag or a sleeping bag liner. Lend the bike at the cabin to access the nearest grocery store at Langestølen (4 kilometers each way). It’s possible to pitch a tent outside no-service DNT cabins if you pay a small fee.
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