Hike the Besseggen Ridge
Norway › Besseggen Ridge Staging Area
Added by Katch Silva
This Norway hike follows a ridge that has incredible views of glacial lakes surrounded by peaks on both sides.
To do this trail as a loop, you'll need to take a ferry as either the first leg of your trip, or the last leg. You can hike from Gjendesheim to Memurubu, and take the ferry back to Gjendesheim, or the other way around. The hike from Gjendesheim to Memurubu is 8 miles. You can turn it into a there-and-back hike to make it twice that long. But I recommend a ferry.
What we did, and what I recommend, is taking your time and doing it in two days. We took our time and set up camp in the middle, between the two lakes, and it was by far my favorite campsite I've ever had (see photo above). It was incredible to wake up and be the only ones out there, surrounded by alpine lakes and peaks.
The total hike is about 8 miles, so it can easily be done in one day, just don't forget the ferry schedule!
This hike is very popular, so odds are you won't be alone on your hike. But if you camp out there you will have lots more time alone. Before the ferry starts and after it stops the trail is pretty empty. Which is why I recommend camping out there!
Ridge overview: From Gjendesheim, the trail starts as a steep and steady climb, until you finally reach a rocky plateau. It can be very windy and cold up here, so come prepared! After you pass the highest point (5,718 feet), you'll descend down to Lake Bessvatnet, with great views of Lake Gjende. Then you continue to follow the ridge, mostly flat, with little elevation change. And finally to descent down to Memurubu to catch the Ferry down by the lake.
There is definitely some scrambling on this hike. You will need to use your hands and feet at one point of the hike, for the descent down. (or ascent if you start at Memurubu). It is a drop off to the left and right into the lake, so if you're not good with scrambling at heights, this may not be for you.
As we got close to the plateau towards the beginning of the hike, we came across a herd of reindeer (see photo above). They were very friendly and just ate all around us. We walked by slowly, left them alone, and took photos of course. But they got very close to us and didn't seem to mind us! It was a pretty amazing experience.
- Rain/Wind Jacket
- Camp gear if you're camping
- Sun Protection
- Hiking Boots
- Trekking Poles (if you need them for steep elevation change)
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