Jotunheimen national park

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to escape into a world of rugged snowcovered mountains, serene forests, and cozy cabins? That’s exactly what you’ll find in Jotunheimen National Park. Get ready to experience the thrill of dog sledding and the charm of Norwegian cabins nestled in breathtaking landscapes, almost like stepping into a fairy tale. If you are you up for an adventure filled with breathtaking views and unique experiences, then keep reading!

How to get there:

To get started, board an airplane to Oslo Gardermoen. Then, to get from Oslo to Jotunheimen, you’ll embark on a journey through stunning Norwegian landscapes, transitioning from the urban bustle of Oslo to the serene wilderness of the Jotunheimen National Park.

Here’s how you can make the trip:

  • By Car: Renting a car in Oslo gives you the flexibility to explore at your own pace and make stops along the way.
    • Take the E16 highway northwest from Oslo towards Fagernes.
    • Continue on the E16 until you reach the town of Fagernes.
    • From Fagernes, follow Road 51 towards Beitostølen, which serves as a gateway to Jotunheimen.
  • By Bus: Several bus companies operate routes from Oslo to Jotunheimen, with stops in key towns like Beitostølen or Lom.
    • Check schedules and book tickets in advance, as services may vary depending on the season.
    • The journey typically takes around 4 to 6 hours, depending on the route, stops, traffic and the weather conditions.

Where to stay:

Cabins in the winter
Cabins inside - view from the bed

Hotel: Sjodalen Hyttetun & Camping AS
Address: Riksveg 51, 2680 Tessanden, Norway

Sjodalen Hyttetun & Camping is located in the forest valley of Sjodalen, with only a 15 minute drive by car to Jotunheimen National Park, where you can embark on various different hikes in this national park.  What makes the location of Sjodalen Hyttetun & Camping unique is the magical view it has of the forest & mountains. It is located in a rather isolated place in between beautiful tall pine trees and mountains. The interior of Sjodalen Hyttetun & Camping is architecturally beautiful and very cozy. The staff & owners are super friendly and always ready to help provide information on how to navigate the area safely. 

Breakfast: Not included, but can be added for an extra fee.
Parking: Free of charge.

Book your stay HERE.

must visit places in/NEAR JOTUNHEIMEN

1. Veslfjellet

In Jotunheimen National Park, you will find many beautiful hikes to choose from. Hiking from Bessheim to Beseggen is one of them. If you decide to complete this hike during winter, then be prepared that there can be a lot of snow, and it can be super challenging (depending on how fit you are) to reach the summit. If you are not familiar with the hike, I would only recommend you to embark on it if others have done it before you, so that you can follow their footsteps in the snow and get to the top safely. Furthermore, there are risks of avalances, so I would seek advice from locals before embarking on the hike.

On a clear day, you can summit Veslfjellet and continue to Besseggen. If the clouds are hanging low, you might not have any view from the summit, and in that case, you can still enjoy some amazing views like we did from a lower altitude.

  • Where: Jotunheimen Nationalpark
  • When: All year
  • Elevation: 950 m
  • Distance: Approx 15 km roundtrip
  • Approximate time: 6-9 hours
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Cellular service: Intermittent
  • Washrooms: Yes, by the parking area.
  • What to bring: Water, food, snacks, heat pads, warm clothes, and skiis or snowshoes if hiking during winter (would recommend skiis).
  • Parking: Yes. You can park at Bessheim. It costs 70 NOK for the whole day, and you can pay in the reception of ‘Bessheim Fjellstue og Hytter’.

2. Sjodalen Forest

This hike is an absolutely beautiful hike all along the trail. The trail will take you through the serene forests, and open landscape with 360 degree view of the surrounding mountains. The trail starts is very easy and flat, and perfect for anyone fit to walk in the snow. Beginners or advanced hikers! If you do this hike during winter time, it is recommended to wear snowshoes or skiis, as the snow can be relatively deep, and this prevents you from sinking in too deep.

  • Cross-country skiing: If you do it in skiis, there are nicely marked trails for cross-country skiiers.
  • Snowshoe hiking: If you do this hike with snowshoes, please do not walk on the skii tracks in the snow. This will ruing the tracks for the cross-country skiiers. Walk next the to skii tracks, if you would like to follow the same route, or find another route where you can walk freely.

This hike is safe to complete for solo hikers, but as always when adventuring out into the wild alone, make sure to let someone know where you are and when you expect to be back at the starting point again. Sjodalen is located in the middle of Norway in between huge mountain ranges, so cellular service is not a pre-requisite!

  • Where: Sjodalen
  • When: All year
  • Elevation: 50 m
  • Distance: Approx. 3 km roundtrip
  • Approximate time: hour
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Cellular service: Intermittent
  • Washrooms: Yes, at Sjodalen Hyttetun
  • What to bring: Water, snacks, and when hiking during winter you will do yourself a favour if wearing snowshoes or skiis.
  • Parking: In the winter when everything is covered in snow you should take a turn from the main road and drive down the road that leads to Sjodalen Hyttetun & Camping. If you are not staying in any of their accommodation, you can park at their parking lot for a small fee. If you are staying at Sjodalen Hyttetun & Camping, then parking is for free/included in your stay.

3. Valdresflye

View from one part of the road
Snow walls on each side of the road

Valdresflye is a scenic 49 km long road passing through the mountains with its the highest point of the road being 1,389 meters above sea level. This is Norways 2nd highest mountain pass, and the road is such an incredible road driving on that it has in fact made it to the list of being one of the most 18 scenic routes in the whole country!

  • Where: Valdresflye
  • When: The road is only open from April until November/December, and is closed during the winter months. The exact dates which it closes and opens varies from year to year depending on the weather conditions. It is also worth noting, that even in beginning of April when the road is open, it might still be closed during the night. When we were there it was only open from 08.00 am till 08.00 pm.
  • Altitude: 1,389 meters at its highest point.
  • Distance: 49 km drive one way
  • Good tips: 
    • If you would like to experience driving on Valdresflye in the winter, make sure that your car has winter tires on, and be careful! The road is narrow in some places, it can be very slippery, and the weather is unpredictable, so a thick fog can decrease visibility on the road.
    • There is a café called ‘Flye 1389‘, which is located somewhere in the middle of the road, where you can stop for a hot drink and enjoy the views.

4. Dog sledding in Sjodalen

Embarking on a dog sledding adventure with Heidal Husky in the winter promises an incredible experience amidst the pristine beauty of Norway’s winter wonderland. You will be taken through the beautiful forests and surrounded by tall pine trees in Sjodalen. In the open landscape, you are able to see the beauty of Jotunheimens mountains while enjoying a smooth ride in the snow.

However, this adventure isn’t just a passive one; it’s a dynamic interaction between you, the musher, and the energetic team of huskies. While it’s undeniably fun, be prepared for a bit of a workout. The dogs may occasionally need your assistance, especially when tackling uphill climbs or navigating through deep, heavy snow. Yet, this only adds to the sense of camaraderie and shared adventure, as you work together with the team to conquer the challenges of the terrain.

In the end, dog sledding with Heidal Husky isn’t just about experiencing the thrill of speed or the beauty of the landscape; it’s about forging a connection with nature, with the dogs, and with the spirit of adventure that resides within all of us. So bundle up, hold on tight, and get ready for an unforgettable journey through the heart of Norways winter’s magic.

  • Where: Sjodalen Hyttetun & Camping
  • Who: Heidal Husky
  • When: Heidal Husky offers dog sledding in the winter for as long as the snow lasts. Typically from December until April.
  • Distance: You can choose between routes of 6 km, 12 km or 30-40 km.
  • Good tips: In the winter you should wear:
    • Steady and warm winter shoes with rubber sole. Not ski boots!
    • Wind-proof jacket and pants, winter hat and wind-proof mittens
    • On the longer routes you should bring goggles / Slalom glasses / sunglasses, underwear of wool and dress up for winter in the mountains.