How to Hike Trolltunga

How to Hike Trolltunga

Hiking Trolltunga was truly a dream come true.  When we saw a picture of the summit of this hike many years ago, we knew we had to complete it.  Trolltunga is one of the most challenging yet memorable hikes you will ever complete.  The summit of this hike, Trolltunga rock (a rock that juts out from a mountain over stunning Lake Ringedalsvatnet) makes it unlike any other hike we have ever done before.   Stepping out onto the Trolltunga rock with our daughter is something we will never forget.  Here is our guide on hiking Trolltunga in Norway. 

FYI: This post is written based on a hike taken in late August.  See our 2 Week Norway Road Trip guide for all the details on this trip. We took this trip with our 12 month old daughter.  For all our baby travels tips and tricks see our Top 10 Baby Travel Tips, 5 Top Baby & Toddler Flying Tips and our How to Hike with a Baby post. 

How to Hike Trolltunga

Note: Trolltunga is one of our top 5 favorite hikes we have ever completed.  That is saying a lot too as we have hiked more miles than we can count all over the world including many US National Parks and Europe.  Definitely add Trolltunga to your bucket list. 

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Hiking Trolltunga FAQs

How long of a hike is Trolltunga?  What is the elevation gain?  

From the P2 parking lot, Trolltunga is 16.7 miles (27 km) with 4000 feet (1200 m) of elevation gain.  It is an out & back hike.

Is there a way to shorten the Trolltunga hike? Details about Parking at P3 at Trolltunga? 

Yes!  And we highly recommend parking at P3 instead of P2 to shorten your trek to Trolltunga.   By parking at P3 instead of P2, you shave off 4.3 miles (7 km) of hiking and 1,300 feet of elevation gain.  From P3, the hike is 12.4 miles (20 km) with 2600 feet (800 m) of elevation gain.  Parking at P3 saves you approximately 3 hours of hiking round trip and is completely worth the extra cost (600 NOK, about $60 US dollars).  

If P3 parking is full, you can also book a shuttle from P2 to P3.  Overall, the shuttle costs about the same as parking at P3 (if you only have 2 people).  However, you have to start/get a ride back on the shuttle schedule.  Parking at P3 is better so you are on your own schedule.  

The ‘trail’ going from P2 to P3 is a simple, narrow, heavy switchback road without any unique views.  The road from P2 to P3 is not peaceful either as cars and shuttles are driving on it throughout the day.  It also makes an already strenuous hike more strenuous without adding any views or nature serenity. Park at P3 (or take the shuttle from P2 to P3)!  

Note: There are only 30 car spots at P3 so be sure to book online using the link here as soon as possible in advance to guarantee your spot.  

How do I hike Trolltunga? What are the logistics of the Trolltunga Hike? 

Hike Trolltunga

If you start at P2, which we again do not recommend, you will have a steady climb for over 2 miles on the road before reaching P3.  This is the steepest part of the climb and least scenic part of the hike. 

From P3, there is approximately 1 mile of slight incline up, followed by another approximately 1.5 miles of more steep incline.  After that, the hike involves 2 more climbs but both are less steep and spread out with some down/somewhat flat hiking in between.  The hardest part of the hike is the beginning so if you get through the first climb, feel confident you can do the whole hike. 

How to Hike Trolltunga

Once you reach Trolltunga, to get down onto the rock, you have to climb down a ladder (built into the rocks) and then you can easily walk onto Trolltunga itself.  We did not find walking out onto this rock scary, unlike stepping onto Kjeragbolten.  It is very large and wide.  When you are on it, you cannot tell how far of a drop it is unless you get close to the edge. 

Tip: Throughout the hike, be sure to follow the red T’s on the ground and/or the poles in the rocks to keep on the path at Trolltunga. Numerous people have required rescuing from this trail.  

Looking for great hiking boots?  Here are links to the ones we’ve used for 8+ years and highly recommend: Men’s Keen Waterproof Hiking Boots & Women’s Keen Waterproof Hiking Boots

Is the Trolltunga hike hard?

Yes, Trolltunga is a hard hike, but not as hard as we expected.  We had read a lot of reviews online of this hike (prior to hiking) saying Trolltunga was the hardest hike most had ever completed.  We disagree (maybe because we started the hike at P3 and didn’t hike as far as if you started at P2).  Now, this hike is no cake walk but the elevation is spread out and feels manageable.  Hiking Trolltunga requires good physical fitness, due to the length and elevation gained, but no technical climbing skills.  

Despite Trolltunga being a much longer hike than Kjeragbolten, we found this hike to be easier, mainly because there were no spots where you needed chains to get up due to the steepness.  

How far of a drop is it from the Trolltunga rock into Lake Ringedalsvatnet?

How to Hike Trolltunga

Sources vary on this factoid, but it is estimated to be about 2200 feet (670 meters).  It is unlikely, unless you get too close to the edge or intentionally jump, that you would fall off this rock.  Again, we did not find it scary.  If you can climb down the ladder, we think anyone with a reasonable level of fitness can walk onto this rock.  We held our 1 year old daughter’s hands as she walked on the rock.  It was such a cool moment! 

How is it stepping onto the Trolltunga rock (aka the Troll’s Tongue)? 

Surreal!  Like we said earlier, we have been dreaming of hiking to this spot for years and it was so cool to finally do it.  This spot is straight out of a postcard!  

How long does it take to hike Trolltunga? 

It took us 8 hours to hike Trolltunga from P3.  This includes stopping at Trolltunga rock for about 1 hour to take pictures and a break.  If you hike from P2, it will likely take about 3 more hours. 

Is the Trolltunga hike busy?

When we hiked it, no.  However, we hiked it just after the end of peak season (August 30th) and on a Tuesday.  Unlike Pulpit Rock, this hike is not overly busy because it is so long and most beginners steer clear of it.  And only 30 cars can park at P3.  There are definitely other people on the trail but everyone has their own space and there were no traffic jams.  We saw about the same amount of people at Kjeragbolten as we did on this trail. 

When is the best time to hike Trolltunga?  

Hike this trail in the summer/early fall, ideally June 1st-September 30th.  Outside of that window, it is not recommended to hike to Trolltunga unless you have a guide as the weather in the area is less predictable.  Be sure to check trail conditions too.  When we visited, late August, there was no snow on the trail.  However, we had unseasonably warm and clear weather  for our hike (and really for our entire Norway trip).  Many years, in early June, a lot of the trail tends to be covered in snow still.  

Can you Hike Trolltunga with kids?  

Yes! We completed this hike with our 12-month-old daughter and it is one of our favorite hikes we have completed with her.  That being said, this is a very long hike.  Some kids may not tolerate being in the carrier or hiking this long. If your child is not being carried, we would say kids should be 10+ and have a decent amount of hiking experience.  We saw NO other babies or kids on this hike.  All the hikers we saw were adults. 

Hike Trolltunga with kids

For all our tips on hiking with a baby, see our How to Hike with a Baby post. 

Where to Stay When Hiking Trolltunga? 

Odda is the closest option to stay while hiking Trolltunga. If you are looking for convenience, stay in this area.  However, if you are willing to drive a little further, you can get a place a bit off the beaten path that will give you a more peaceful, and likely beautiful, experience, for a fraction of the cost.  We stayed at a farm a bit north of Odda in Lofthus.  The fjord views here were spectacular, especially from the dock.  I mean just look at the dock views pictured here.  We spent 3 nights at this Lofthus Airbnb and wish we could have spent even more time here. 

Where to stay when hiking Trolltunga

Hiking Trolltunga was one of the top highlights of our 2 Week Norway Road Trip.   See this guide for all the details on planning an epic Norwegian fjord road trip of your own.  

We hope this guide helps you plan your trip to hike Trolltunga.  Anything you’d add to our guide? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

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