Prestholtseter Loop Hiking Trail

Hike through a diverse landscape and discover astonishing views of Hallingskarvet

  • Photo: Petter Olsen

  • Photo: Petter Olsen

  • Photo: Petter Olsen

  • Photo: Petter Olsen

  • Photo: Petter Olsen

Essential info

  • Destination: Geilo
  • Season: June-October
  • Difficulty: Demanding
  • Distance: 21.7 kilometers (loop)
  • Elevation Gain: 580 meters
  • Duration: 9-11 hours

About Prestholtseter Loop

This roundtrip hike takes you from the center of Geilo up to Geilohovda via Urundberget to Prestholtseter. You’ll experience a diverse landscape along the way, as the trail leads you through forests, across vast mountain plains, along rivers and waterfalls. Reaching the top of Urundberget, you’re awarded stunning views of Geilo, Ustedalsfjorden Lake, Hallingskarvet Mountain Range, and the Hardangervidda Plains. Treat yourself to a hearty traditional meal at Prestholtseter before looping back to Geilo.

The hike is demanding because of the considerable length and elevation gain. However, you’ll hike along well-marked trails that are easy to follow. An option is to return to Geilo from Urundberget if wishing a shorter hike. Remember to take breaks along the way, to enjoy the views and the quiet nature around you. 

Getting there

Car

Located on the borderline between eastern and western Norway, Geilo is easily accessible from either Bergen or Oslo. Road Rv7 over Hardangervidda, Fv50 Hol-Aurland, and Rv52 over Hemsedal is open all year round, as long as the weather conditions are not too harsh. Call the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (Statens Vegvesen) on + 47 815 48 991 to ensure that the roads are open.

The journey takes 3 hours and 30 minutes from Oslo and 4 hours from Bergen.

Parking

There's a big parking lot at Geilojordet in the town center, on the opposite side of Rv7 from the tourist office.

Bus

From Oslo, take the bus Vy Ekspress from Oslo bus terminal. The journey to Geilo takes 3 hours and 40 minutes. Book your tickets and check schedules here.

Train

Geilo is about halfway on the train route between Oslo and Bergen. The journey takes about 3 hours 30 minutes, departing five times a day. Book your tickets and check schedules here.

Trail description

From the tourist office in Geilo town center, head towards the train station. Follow the road in the direction of Dr. Holm’s Hotel (the big white wooden building on the other side of the railway). Cross the railway by walking through the underground passage. Having passed the hotel, take the first road to the left, a wide graveled road running uphill (Slaattavegen).

When arriving at the timber houses in the second bend in the road, take the marked “Pilveien” hiking trail running uphill to Geilohovda to the right. Have a rest at one of the many benches and viewpoints along the way.

Upon reaching the ski lift at the top of Geilohovda (1,170 m.a.s.l.), you’ll see towards Hallingskarvet Mountain Range in the northwest. Prestholtseter is situated at the base of the range. Continue from Geilohovda by following the signs to Urundberget (4 kilometers).

The route towards Urundberget and Prestholtseter runs mainly through flat terrain. Follow one of the paths running west towards Hallingskarvet Mountain Range. For the best views, hike along the ridge. The trail passes the western ski left at Gullsteinhovda (1,109 m.a.s.l.), and up a hill to Marapiggen. This is the final hill of the roundtrip. Catch your breath before continuing to Urundberget, where far-reaching views await.

If wishing to end your hike at Urundberget, return to Geilo by following the path running downhill to Tuftelia Valley (2.5 kilometers). Continue to Prestholtseter by taking the sign-posted trail (4.5 kilometers).

Re-energize with a home-cooked meal at Prestholtseter before returning to Geilo. Take the trail traveling over the wide plains (to the right when coming from Prestholtseter). The trail winds its ways through the moorland before meeting Eima River. Follow the trail as it runs alongside the river downhill, past waterfalls, and gorges formed by the rushing river. After the river, the trail continues downhill, eventually descending into the birch forest.

Cross the railway lines at the bottom of the hill. From here, follow the marked route “Ustedalsfjorden rundt” back to Geilo. Take a refreshing swim at Geilo Beach before returning to the town center.  

Facts

  • Situated at the base of Hallingskarvet, Prestholtseter is the starting point for Prestholtrunden, a roundtrip trail going into Hallingskarvet National Park and up to the top of Hallingskarvet Mountain Range. 

Amenities

  • Food and drinks are available at Prestholtseter café. You can find some Norwegian specialties like cured meats, sour cream porridge (rømmegrøt) and soft potato bread (lefsekling).

Where to stay

Geilo has a range of accommodation options available, including cabins, hotels, and Airbnbs.

Map

Questions or comments? Let us know.

Download trail descriptions, maps, and guides in the Outtt app.

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