Vabakko Hiking

  • Photo: Thor Østbye

Essential info

  • Destination Vang
  • Season January–December
  • Difficulty Easy
  • Distance 3 kilometers
  • Elevation 40 meters
  • Duration 0.2–1 hours

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About Vabakko

This is a trip to a place that was built in the end of the 1850s. A family with 7 kids lived here, summer and winter for 14 years. This was before there were any roads to go here, and it was 30 km away from any other people in Vang. You can read the story about the people who lived here in "Turhandbok Vang i Valdres" by Sigfred Hovda and Thor Østbye.

To get to Vabakko, you have to drive up from Vang center in direction of Helin and Smådalen.

On top of Smådalsfjellet mountain, the view opens up towards mighty mountains. In the northwest the great Rankonøse rises up. Straight ahead, in the southwest, the 1900 m high Ranastønge lies, and between them Hestebotten. In there, they in ancient times kept their horses grazing in the summer. Just south of you, you now have the long Smådalen valley with Smådøla river blinking at the bottom. The road continues through mountain farm hamlets Midt-Smådalen, Sørre Smådalen, and Nørre Storlie where the parsonage had its summer farm.

At the bottom of Smådalen you reach the mountain pasture Øynadn. In the area south and west of the mountain farm, lies Øyadn nature reserve, a protected wetland area where migrating birds find peace and quiet. Between the mountain pasture Øynadn and Grunke in Vestre Slidre is a marked cycle path. It's a nice offer for those who want a little round trip by bicycle in Vang and Slidre.

But it is to Vabakko we are heading. So then you park your car and follow the marked trail on. We pass through some marshes at first, so bringing boots can be an advantage. You also have to cross Smådøla in a wade, meaning a spot where you can wade across. It can be a great flow of water, so you may need to trawl to the knees. On the other side go into a moist and lush mountain birch forests and eventually you get to a clearing in the birch forest where the stone walls and "far etter folk" raise their head, yes, then you're on Vabakko. You sit down on a suitable stone and read what it says about the guys in Vabakko in the book "Turhandbok Vang i Valdres"

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