Gjendehøe Hiking Trail

Gain altitude and get views quickly on a quiet summit hike that won’t take all day

Essential info

About Gjendehøe

The short hike up Gjendehøe is a relatively quick adventure with lovely views over Gjende Lake, Besseggen Ridge, and the surrounding mountains. If you’re at Gjende and looking for an easier and shorter hike than Besseggen, Gjendehøe is a great option.

From Gjendesheim, you need to take a small boat across the narrow waterway at the foot of Gjendehøe. Ask about the boat at the convenience store. It’s also possible to take an alternative trail from the main road, skipping the boat ride.

Getting there

The Gjende area is a popular entry point for adventures on the eastern side of Jotunheimen National Park. Gjende is a short detour along Norwegian Scenic Route Valdresflye.

Public Transportation

A public bus stops at Gjendesheim and connects to Oslo and Bergen. From Oslo, take the NW161 Valdresekspressen. This route runs from Oslo bus terminal to the stop Gjendesheim. Or take the route NW160 Valdresekspressen to Årdalstangen and change to NW161 Valdresekspressen.

From Bergen, take the NW163 Øst-VestXpressen to Fagernes. Change to NW161 Valdresekspressen to Gjendesheim. You can buy one ticket for the entire journey.

From Oslo, head north on E16, towards Bergen, for 185 kilometers. When you reach Fagernes, follow signs to road 51, towards Vågå/Beitostølen. From Beitostølen keep following road 51 towards Bygdin. Drive past Bygdin for another 22 kilometers until you reach the signs for Gjendesheim lodge on your left. Turn here.

From Bergen drive via E16 towards Vossevangen. Then drive to Beitostølen either through Vang or Fagernes. Follow road 51 for another 34 kilometers before you see the sign for Gjendesheim.

Note: Parts of Road 51 (between Garli and Maurvangen) are closed during winter and typically open from April to December. 

If you’re visiting for the day or beginning a multi-day trek, park in the long-term parking lot at Reinsvangen. The parking lot is on the right-hand side shortly after turning off Road 51 and on to the road to Gjendesheim. Parking costs 150 NOK for 24 hours and longer stays are available. Pay by card at the machine. A shuttle runs the 1.7 kilometer trip between the parking lot and the dock every 15-30 minutes.

By the dock there is free parking for up to 2 hours. You still need to collect a ticket from the machine.

For overnight guests at Gjendesheim, free parking is available by the cabin.

Trail description

The hike starts off with a small boat ride across the small waterway from Gjende to the beginning of the trail. You can borrow a boat at the convenience store or ask if they can row you across the lake.

Once you are at the other side of the lake, find the trail with red markers and follow this trail south along fairly flat terrain towards Nedre Leirungen Lake.

As you approach the lake, there is a junction. Follow the trail to the right, which climbs up the back of Gjendehøe.

Near the summit there are two different trails, and you can choose which one you want to follow.


  • The trail can be quite wet so bring waterproof shoes
  • Fill up your water bottle before leaving


  • Free toilet by Reinsvangen parking lot and by the dock
  • Convenience store by the dock where you can buy drinks, food, and basic supplies

Where to stay

Gjendesheim Lodge is a full-service DNT cabin and great place to stay in this area. It is located at the start of the trail. 


Questions or comments? Let us know.

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