Guide to the Besseggen Ridge
It is not without reason that Besseggen is one of Norway's most popular hikes. Here is the guide and guide to the best experiences on and around Besseggen.
Besseggen is one of Norway's most popular mountain classics. Some would argue that it is a must-do hike for all Norwegians. An estimated 60 000 people walk the Besseggen ridge every year.
The green waters of the Gjende lake, cradled amidst the steep mountains of the majestic Jotunheimen National Park, create the perfect scenery. Bessvatnet lake, on the opposite side of the ridge, is considered to be Norway's clearest lake, where you can see as far as 30 meters below the surface of the water.
It is possible to walk the Besseggen ridge in both directions. You can either start westward at Gjendeosen or take the Gjende boat to Memurubu and trek eastward back to Gjendeosen. Lots of people come here during high season. During low season and on weekdays, it is not so busy and you can enjoy the tranquillity of nature and the stunning surroundings.
You can book your ticket on the Gjende Boat in advance. Read more on www.gjende.no
Frequently asked questions about the trip to Besseggen
Most people need between 6 and 9 hours to walk Besseggen, including breaks. Besseggen is a long hike with a rise of nearly 1, 000 meters. Even though certain parts of the hike might require some scrambling, most hikers will not experience any difficulties
In the winter time, the ridge is filled with snow and ice, and it´s often snow on the ridge to middle of june. A normal the season for Besseggen are when the Gjende Boat is running, from middle of June to middle of October.
What do you do if you discover that you afraid of heights? Many before you have had this experience. You can turn around on the ridge and hike back to Memurubu or follow a trail along the Bessvatnet Lake to Bessheim or Gjendesheim. You can also find someone who will help you focus on the trail and not on the height. After you have reached the top of the ridge, there is nothing else to fear. From the highest peak Veslfjellet, you start descending to Gjendesheim
- Mountain footwear
- Spare socks
- Basic first aid kit
- Blister band aids
- Thermal wear
- Wind and waterproof jacket and trousers
- Gloves and cap Drink (at least 1 litre)
- Packed lunch
- Map and compass / GPS
- Candy for good spirits
- Camera for “been-there-done-that” photos
- Cash or bank card for the boat and souvenirs
The dog should be used to longer hikes in the mountains. There is some climbing / cleavage, who bigger dogs will do just fine with some help. We also recommend to bring dog socks, as there are some rocky terrain that can be difficult for the paws if the dog are not used to it.
Accommodation, transportation and meals near Besseggen
All three tourist cabins Gjendesheim, Memurubu and Gjendebu lie on the banks of the Gjende lake and suit well as starting points for the hike. Besseggen Mountain Park, Maurvangen with camping and cabin rental facilities is another suitable accommodation for Besseggen hikers. There is a bus connection between Reinsvangen, Gjendeosen and the Gjende boat jetty. If you choose to stay at Bessheim, you can decide whether you want to drive to Gjendeosen first or hike all the way.
You will find some unique accommodations if you follow the Sjodalen valley toward Vågå.
Parking and travel to Besseggen
There is short-term parking at Gjendeosen, where you can park for free for up to 2 hours. If you need to park for more than 2 hours, drive to Reinsvangen, which is 1.7 kilometres from the jetty at Gjendeosen. During the high season, there's a shuttle bus continuous, or latest 15 minutes before boat departure. Make sure you leave enough time to park so you don't miss the boat!. It's also fine to walk from Reinsvangen - just follow the road. Read more about parking here: besseggen1743.no.
When you stay at Gjendesheim, you get free parking at the tourist cabin.
Another option is taking an express bus (Valdresekspressen) from Oslo to Reinsvangen/Maurvangen.
The Gjende Boat at Gjendeosen operates throughout the summer offering shuttle service between Gjendesheim, Memurubu and Gjendebu. As it may get very busy during peak season, it is advisable to book tickets in advance.