Vettisfossen Waterfall Hiking

Hike the base of a massive waterfall in Utladalen

  • Photo: Gábor Igari

  • Photo: Hannes Becker

  • Photo: Hannes Becker

Essential info

  • Destination: Jotunheimen
  • Season: May–October
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Distance: 12.6 kilometers (out‑and‑back)
  • Elevation Gain: 470 meters
  • Duration: 4–6 hours

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About Vettisfossen Waterfall

Vettisfossen is one of Norway's tallest waterfalls, and the 284th tallest in the world with a free-fall of 275 metres (902 ft). It’s also the tallest waterfall in Norway that’s unregulated by hydropower. Here you can feel and hear the forceful water and feel the water spray.

It is located in the Jotunheimen mountain range inside the Utladalen Landscape Protection Area in the municipality of Årdal in Sogn og Fjordane county, Norway. The hike to Vettisfossen is rather easy, and there are many routes to choose from into into Jotunheimen National Park Make sure to visit when it’s not raining, so that you can see the true beauty of waterfall.

Vettisfossen is the highest protected waterfall in Norway, with protection dating back to 1924. The name of the waterfall comes from the Vetti Gard farm. The farm dates back to the 12th century, with the name meaning “fairy tale meadow”. Nowadays you can spend the night at Vetti Gard. 

Getting there

If you are dependent on public transport you can easily get from Oslo and Bergen to Øvre Årdal. From Øvre Årdal you have to take on of the local buses to the parking lot at Hjelle.

Drive to the parking lot at Hjelle near the Hjellefossen waterfall. Hjelle is about at 10 minute drive on Utladalsvegen from Øvre Ardal, and located where the road dead ends. 

Trail description

Start the hike at the parking lot of Hjelle near the Hjellefossen waterfall. Follow the gravel path called “Folkevegen” from Hjelle to Vetti gård, the tourist farm station. On your way, you’ll see Avadalsfossen waterfall, on your left side which as a drop of 175 meters. There is a path from Vetti farm to the foot of Vettisfossen waterfall, located along the Ulta river. After the farm, the trail get’s rather steep, so make sure to pay attention to where you step. This route is also one of the gateways into the Jotunheimen mountains, and walkers in the Utladalen area can choose between many different routes into Jotunheimen National Park, one of the most popular areas in Norway for hill walking.

Facts

  • Terrain: Wide packed gravel trail and rocky trail the last km from Vetti to Vettisfossen

Where to stay

We suggest staying Vetti gard, the farm you’ll pass on the trip that has a rich history. Single and twin rooms are available, as well as four beds and a dormitory in a room. The farm also has space to rent an area to pitch your own tent. Food is also served. 

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