Trolltunga, or the Troll’s Tongue, is a spectacular natural rock formation hanging 700m above the ground. It’s one of Norway’s most iconic locations, only accessible via a 22km hike out and back with 1,400m ascent and descent. You can hike it in one big day, or wild camp as part of a multi day hike.
It’s possible to hike this trail mid-June to mid-September depending on amounts of snow. The trail starts from the car park at Skjeggedal, and the route is well marked. There are signs after each kilometre and way markers with the Norwegian Red T are always visible.
I wore hiking boots because I wanted to have dry feet, but if you have good trail shoes that can grip on wet rock and mud they would be fine.
The first kilometre is the most difficult. It goes up steep steps and rocks, and is very muddy and slippy. In some places there are ropes to hold on to. After the climb, the trail crosses a flatter marshy section where there are wooden planks across the boggiest bits.
After a few kilometers, another steep but shorter ascent begins, until you come to an expanse of granite slabs. The way is marked with cairns (piles of rocks) and the Red T.
From this point (around 6km) the majority of the climbing is done, and the route passes a series of lakes.
Wild camping is allowed almost anywhere in Norway and there are plenty of suitable spots along this trail. I didn’t camp, but it’s a really popular place and I saw a lot of tents. As an idea of what conditions to expect, I took this picture – spot the tents, there is more than one!
The weather was typical for the Norwegian summer, changeable, with sun, rain, and cloud. As the clouds blew through there were incredible views of the surrounding fjords.
When you reach a reservoir and an area of huge slabs you know you’re nearly there. The final section traverses the slabs around channels of water and through some snow, before arriving at Trolltunga.
Although I was on my own it was easy to find someone to take a picture for me. There were crowds queueing to go on Trolltunga, watching and taking photos. Everyone is there to do the same thing and they’re happy to help!
It’s a long day, take plenty of food and water, and layers of clothes suitable for all weather. It took me about 4:30hrs to get up there at a steady pace with stops to eat, and about 3:30hrs back down, plus more than an hour having lunch and mingling at the top.
It’s not an easy hike, I’m used to running this kind of distance but I did find the day strenuous. I took my walking poles and used them for the first (and last) 4km.
If you’re used to hill walking and hiking you might find the crowds on the trail and the frequent sign posts a bit annoying. Don’t let it put you off though, it really is worth doing this hike to experience the views and stand on the Troll’s Tongue.
The nearest town is Tyssedal where there is a bus stop and you can catch the shuttle up to the Trolltunga car park in Skjeggedal, it takes about 10 minutes up a narrow road that winds up the steep side of the fjord.
Many people base themselves in Odda for this hike. There is a bus station and it’s easy to catch the bus to Tyssedal which is 15 minutes drive away. I stayed at Odda camping (which is 25 mins walk from the bus station) and I used the Odda Taxi shuttle bus which collects hikers directly from the campsite. It cost 100NOK each way, you don’t have to book in advance, although I did and it allowed me to jump the queue on the way home.