One of Drew and my main missions while we were in Norway was to hike to Trolltunga. Trolltunga is a rock formation shaped like a tongue overlooking a lake and glacier. The hike has become increasingly popular in recent years, and the trail was definitely hopping on the day we went.
The night before we stayed in Odda at the Hardanger Hotel – a no frills hotel located in the middle of town with free parking and a very nice breakfast. From the hotel, it’s about a 20 minute drive to the Trolltunga parking. As usual, we got a very early start.
In advance of our trip, we elected to purchase the P3 parking pass. By parking here, we were able to beat the crowds to the trail and it shortened our hike considerably.
We hit the trail around 6:30 a.m. The start of the hike is relatively easy as you walk through meadows and along flat land. Eventually you will encounter stone steps and moderate inclines that ultimately lead you to a granite rock face. Once you make it to the top of the granite face, the hike levels out for most of the hike. There are a few small climbs here and there, but nothing memorable.
We reached Trolltunga after about 4 hours of hiking. The line for photos on the rock overhang wasn’t too long once we arrived, so we immediately hopped into the queue. We waited for 30-40 minutes. While waiting, we spotted a couple further up in the line that we had befriended earlier in the hike. We arranged to do a photo swap with them – Drew went up to the photo spot and took their photos and in turn they took our photos when we went out. Make friends so you can get your whole group in the shot!
After getting our photos, we sat down and had lunch and enjoyed the views. In total, we spent about 1.5-2 hours at Trolltunga taking photos, eating lunch, and catching our breath. While we were up there, the line for photos more than doubled in size, so try your best to get there as early as possible to avoid waiting in an insanely long line.
The return hike was slightly faster as we didn’t need to stop as frequently for snacks and photos. We were both gassed by the end of the hike, but super proud of ourselves (and very happy that our car was parked in P3.)
Overall, we enjoyed our Trolltunga hike. It was a challenge we were excited to tackle, so we came out of it with a great sense of accomplishment. Any questions? Let me know!
- To shorten your hike and save your sanity, I highly recommend purchasing the P3 parking. At the steep price of 600NOK, it’s worth every penny. The hike from P2 to the P3 trailhead consists of endless switchbacks on a paved road with no view. Save your time and energy and pre-book the P3 parking. P2 parking is 500NOK a day and there’s a shuttle option from P2 to P3 that’s 230NOK per person round trip – financially it makes more sense to just book the P3 spot. Additionally, starting your hike at P3 can help shave as much as 3 hours off your hike. Be warned: there are only 30 spots in P3 so it’s very competitive – book this early!
- Don’t skimp on the water – you will need it. I took 3 liters and drank all of it. Drew took 2 liters and ran out towards the end of the hike. It’s important to stay hydrated!
- Wear layers. We did this hike in late August and there were parts of the hike where we stripped down to our base layers. However, up at Trolltunga it was in the 40s and windy, so we were thankful for our hats, jackets, etc.
- Pack a lunch. At the very least, pack plenty of snacks. We were happy that we had snacks to munch on while hiking to help sustain our energy and keep our spirits high. Plus, it was nice to relax and take in Trolltunga over a light lunch before making our way back down.
- Leave a pair of sandals in your car for post-hike. We were both so excited to change out of our hiking boots and into sandals after 17+ miles of hiking! It made the drive home that much better.