Hike to the top of a characteristic Valdres landmark
- Destinasjon: Valdres
- Sesong: april-november
- Vanskelighetsgrad: Krevende
- Lengde: 6.9 kilometer (tur/retur)
- Stigning: 370 meter
- Varighet: 3.5-4.5 timer
With its distinct, round shape, Rundemellen (1,345 meters above sea level) is one of the most characteristic landmarks in the Valdres region. It’s the highest of the Melladn Mountains, which in addition to Rundemellen include of Rabalsmellen (1,111 m.a.s.l.), Skarvemellen (1,267 m.a.s.l.), and Kalvemellen (1,136 m.a.s.l.). From the peak, you’ll have far-reaching views of the mountains of Hemsedal, Filefjell, and Jotunheimen National Park.
Although Rundemellen might look a little threatening from the parking area at Turrsjøen Lake, the various trails leading up to the top are relatively easy-going. The different trails can be combined to make roundtrips.
From Fagernes, follow the signs to Road 51 towards Vågå/Beitostølen. Drive on Road 51 for about 11 kilometers, and exit to the right towards Melbybråten.
Continue some 200 meters before turning to the right on Køllstadvegen. Drive straight ahead for some 7 kilometers, passing the toll station, in the direction of Juvike, Lie and Turrsjøen Lake. The toll fee is about NOK 50. Having passed a cattle guard, you’ll reach a junction. Turn left towards Turrsjøen Lake. Drive for another 2 kilometers until you reach the parking area on the left-hand side.
The closest stop, Ygnebrue, is about 12 kilometers from the trailhead, so you’ll need to bring a bike, take a cab or hitch a ride.
There are several trails leading to the top of Rundemellen. This is a description of the trail which begins at the parking area at Turrsjøen Lake, ascending Rundemellen from the western side.
From the parking area, the trail is easy to spot as it winds its way up the hillside. The trail travels along the left side of the first lake and on the right side of the second lake.
Follow the trail as it takes you up a short, steep hill. Just before it flattens out, the trail splits in two. Here you have two options as both trails lead to the top. The trail to the right is located closer to the foot of Rundmellen and is the shortest (but also the muddiest) option. The other option is to continue straight ahead. The trail will then take you in a semi-circle before ascending Rundmellen from the western side, where it meets the shorter trail.
At an elevation of some 1,300 meters, the trail becomes quite steep before reaching the highest plateau. Here you’ll find several cairns, however, the tallest cairn on the main peak is not hard to miss.
You can either descend along the same trail or make a roundtrip by returning via the alternative trail on the northern side.
Follow the same route you came from for some 600 meters before the trail splits in two. To take the alternative northern route, follow the trail to the right. The trail takes you eastwards, down a steep hill. In early summer, there may still be some snow here. The trail continues southeastwards in the direction of Turrsjøen Lake.
The last part of the trail travels through a forest belt. Having reached the end of the forest, continue some 50 meters southwards along the trail until you reach the parking.
There are several accommodation options to choose from in Fagernes. Stay at Scandic Hotel Valdres for award-winning breakfast. If you’re looking for apartment or cabin accommodation or a place to camp, Fagernes Camping is a good choice.
Some 20 kilometers north of Fagernes, Herangtunet is an old farm now turned into a luxury hotel offering suites, themed rooms, as well as apartment accommodation. Their restaurant serves authentic Norwegian cuisine with a modern twist, ingredients coming from the local butcher, bakery, and brewery.
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