The forested area around Oslo is a very important part of life for many people living in the city. The forest is so close to Oslo so you can literally be midst the wilderness with just a quick ride on the metro or the bus.
Nordmarka is not only the most well known area for outdoor activities in Oslo, but also the largest forest area. Nordmarka’s boundary is defined by Oslo city in the south, Tyrifjorden in the west, Gran and Hadeland in the north, and the highway number 4 in the east. It is a large area with endless opportunities for hiking and biking in the summer and skiing in the winter time.
If you have a weekend in Oslo you definitely should consider hiking in Nordmarka with overnight stays at one of the many cabins offered by The Norwegian Trekking Association. A highly recommended option is to spend a night at Kobberhaughytta and another at Tømtehytta. Staying at these two cabins will give you a great round trip adventure through Nordmarka with easy access from Frognerseteren metro station and an easy return trip to Oslo from Maridalen by bus. The hike can be done in three days and will offer you great views of the city as well as great hiking along some of the many trails in this area.
This hike starts at Frognerseteren which is the last station on the westbound number 1 metro line. You can take this metro from almost all metro stations downtown. A ticket costs 33 NOK and needs to be prepaid.
The hike to Kobberhaughytta is about 8 km and takes 2–4 hours. There are lots of trails in this area so make sure you bring your phone and ‘favorite’ the hike to Kobberhaughytta on the Outtt app so you can follow along on the map to see that you are on the right track.
Overnight stays at Kobberhaughytta need to be pre-booked so make sure you do this ahead of time. You can book by calling the reception at +47 97 70 80 48. One bed costs 720 NOK, or 1070 NOK if you want to include a 3 course dinner. You can save 200 NOK if you are a member of The Norwegian Trekking Association. You can easily become a member of this association. Remember to bring a sleeping bag, unless you want to pay for renting bed sheets.
Day 2 takes you from Kobberhaughytta to Tømtehytta, passing the Bjørnholt cabin and hiking along Øyungen lake. Bjørnholt cabin is usually open on the weekend so you can stop for a quick bite in their cafe. We also recommend you make a short stop at Kobberhaugen to enjoy the views if you haven’t already done that the day before.
From Kobberhaughytta follow the marked trail to Bjørnholt. From there, follow the marked trails to Tømtehytta. The hike is about 9 km so you should have lots of time to get to Tømtehytta before it gets too late.
As with Kobberhaughytta, you will need to pre-book a room at Tømtehytta. You can make the booking online. Note that there are two Tømtehytta cabins. One small, which has 5 beds, and one large, with 8 beds. You need to bring a sleeping bag and the cabin has no electricity. Importantly, you will need the key to get into the hut. This is a standard key that works for most Norwegian Trekking Association cabins in Norway. It is possible to order online, but you can also get it from their store in downtown Oslo. Note that you need to become a member to get the key.
While staying at Tømtehytta you should take the short hike over to the Sellanrå cabin which is only 300 meters away. Sellanrå has beautiful views over large areas of Nordmarka.
On day 3 you are heading back to the city. If the weather is good you should consider making a short trip back the way you came and heading up to Mellomkollen. Otherwise, just follow the marked trail towards Skar. The trail from Tømtehytta to Skar is a fairly wide gravel trail and will be mostly downhill until you reach the end of the trail. Make sure you exit the marked blue trail near the signpost for Skar. The 300-meter long trail goes into a small gorge before it reaches the blue marked trail on the other side which takes you to Skar.
From Skar you can take bus 51 back to the city. The bus runs hourly and stops nearby the Nydalen metro station, which is connected to the city center.
- If this is the only time you use the public transportation in Oslo it is probably best to just pay for single tickets, one for the trip up to Frognerseteren and one back from Skar. You can do the pay-as-you-go travelcard which you then prepay before you leave Oslo. Note that the travel card costs 50 NOK and then you additionally need two single tickets. You could also skip paying for the travelcard and instead use the Ruter app on your phone, but be aware that not all credit cards are eligible to use in the app.
- The trails can be very wet so make sure you have appropriate boots to keep you dry and warm.
- Download the Outtt app and use the map to find your way along the marked trails.