Gjendetunga Hiking Trail
Pleasant hike overlooking Gjende Lake and the Jotunheimen mountain range
- Destination: Jotunheimen
- Season: April-November
- Difficulty: Demanding
- Distance: 5.5 kilometers (out‑and‑back)
- Elevation Gain: 520 meters
- Duration: 3.5-4.5 hours
Gjendetunga is located at 1,516 meters above sea level, in the heart of Jotunheimen National Park. It's an easily accessible hike from Gjendebu Mountain Lodge, with numerous access trails.
At the top, you will be rewarded with incredible views of the glistening Gjende Lake, the abundance of mountains in Jotunheimen such as Gjendealpene, Storådalen, and Semeltinden as well as nearby glaciers.
There are many hiking options for accessing the start of Gjendetunga by foot. It is, however, easiest to reach the trailhead by boat.
Boat to Gjendebu
The boat from Gjendesheim leaves frequently but sells out regularly, resulting in long lines and little control over when you leave. It's advised to arrive early, so check time schedule and price list here.
Gjendesheim, where the boat departs, can be reached by bus or car.
The closest stop is the “Gjendesheim” bus stop, located right in front of the Gjendesheim tourist lodge. If you are traveling from Oslo via bus, it’s easiest to take the NOR-WAY 161 Valdresekspressen.
Note: the NOR-WAY Valdresekspressen route between Bygdin and Leirvassbu only runs from late June through late September.
Type “Gjendesheim” into your GPS. There is paid parking to the right of the tourist lodge.
From Oslo, head north on E16, towards Bergen, for 185 kilometers. When you reach Fagernes, follow signs to road 51, towards Vågå/Beitostølen. Follow road 51 for another 70 kilometers until you reach the signs for Gjendesheim lodge on your left. Follow the road to the very end where you will find parking next to the lake.
Note: road 51, "Valdresflya", is typically open from the end of April through December. You can see the road status at Vegvesen.no or you can call for road updates (in English): +47 815 48 991.
Starting from Gjendebu Mountain Lodge, cross the bridge and hike down the path towards Fondsbu. After approximately 200 meters you'll see a signpost for Gjendetunga. From there, continue straight on the unmarked trail.
The trail continues to increase in altitude and steepness. You can return the same way you ascended. Alternatively, return by following signs to Grisletjørnane and down to Veslådalen.
- There is a small, unnamed lake just below the top of Gjendetunga with plenty of fish. So, bring your fishing gear on the hike, if you're interested in testing your luck.
Where to stay
- Gjendebu Mountain Lodge is located at 995 meters above sea level, on the southern end of Lake Gjende. It's a full-service cabin that was established in 1871, but it's been renovated several times, and currently has 119 beds. It's considered the oldest cabins owned by DNT. Learn what a DNT cabin is here.
- The Right to Roam law enables you to camp anywhere for free as long as you follow some basic guidelines. Read more.
Questions or comments? Let us know.