Lerholshøgda Hiking Trail
Unwind in Eldmølla, a spectacular sauna perched on the edge of a cliff
- Destination: Valdres
- Season: April-November
- Difficulty: Medium
- Distance: 2 kilometers (out‑and‑back)
- Elevation Gain: 400 meters
- Duration: 2-3 hours
Unwinding in the Eldmølla sauna, alternating with icy cold dips in the wild River Drøsja are perfect rewards after having scrambled your way up the precipitous hillsides of Lerholshøgda. With a base of approximately 5 square meters and a height of 4.5 meters, the architects behind the wooden sauna were inspired by traditional millhouses (“kvernhus”). By leading water through a channel and setting the millstones into action, these riverside mills were used to churn grain to flour. Similarly, the bridge taking you over Drøsja and into the sauna leads and collects refreshing river water in a basin inside the changing room of the sauna.
Eldmølla forms a natural part of the summer farm buildings on the top of Lerholshøgda. As you scramble your way up to the top, imagine how milkmaids used to run up the hill from the main farm by Vangsmjøsa Lake to milk the cows in the evenings. Having spent a night at the mountain farm, they would do another round of milking, put the cows out to pasture, only to get down again to the main farm with a full day’s work ahead.
Although the trail to the top of Lerholshøda requires you to scramble, the trail isn’t exposed: you're surrounded by the lush hillside, and there’s a fence along the most exposed stretch. Alternatively, if you wish to save your knees, you can reach Lerholshøgda by hiking up the old mountain farm road.
From Fagernes, take Road E16 towards Vang. Drive some 45 kilometers before turning right and crossing the bridge onto Hensåsvegen. Continue some 2 kilometers before turning left on Vennisvegen. Continue some 4,4 kilometers until you reach a gravel pit on the right-hand side of the road where you can park your car.
Head back some 200 meters on Vennisvegen to reach the trailhead, located on the left-hand side of the road when coming from the direction of the parking.
The nearest bus stop, Hemsingbrue Øylo, is located some 6.3 kilometers from the trailhead, by the bridge leading to Hensåsen (see car directions). Bring a bike, take a taxi or hitch a ride from the bus stop to get to the trailhead.travel planner or Entur to organize your trip.
The trail up to Lerholshøgda has white markings all the way to the top. Follow the winding trail up the steep hillside, between birch and wildflowers. There are some rocky areas where you have to scramble. Watch your step, especially if it's wet. The most exposed part of the trail is fitted with a fence. Kvilesteinen (“the rest rock”) is the perfect place to have a break and enjoy the beautiful view of Vang.
Having scrambled your way past the treeline and up to the top of the hill, enjoy a well-deserved rest in the sauna Eldmølla and a refreshing dip in the icy cold water of Drøsja.
Descend along the trail, or make a roundtrip by returning down the alternative route via the old mountain farm road.
If you want to avoid the steep ascent, you can access Lerholshøgda by hiking some 3 kilometers along the old mountain farm road. This road ascends gradually and is easy-going.
Drive some 1.2 kilometers along Vennisvegen, before turning right onto Liagardsvegen. Continue some 180 meters along Liagardsveien, and you’ll see the farm road to Lerholshøgda to your right. Park your car by the gate.
The trail up to Leholen can be slippery when wet, so be extra careful in rainy conditions.
Fill up your bottle in the rivers along the trail.
To use Eldmølla, you’ll need to book at least 2 days in advance. Booking information can be found on this website.
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