Adventure doesn’t always have to be caves and white water rapids. Arguably the most common form of adventure travel would be hiking.
Some might consider hiking dull, but in terms of getting to see vast mountainous vistas or densely packed jungle overgrowth there is nothing better than putting on your hiking shoes and hitting the bush track. But of course there are some tracks which are visually much more impressive than others.
Hiking Besseggen Ridge in Norway
The Besseggen Ridge of Norway is found within the Jotunheimen National Park which is around 300km north of Oslo. Jotunheimen means ‘home of the giants’ in Norwegian, and it is easy to see why. There are massive mountain ranges in every direction and giant lakes snake their way between them, showing off incredibly deep blues.
In terms of hiking, Jotunheimen is renowned as having one of the most spectacular hiking trails. A fairly demanding hike, this one will take you around 8 hours to complete and doesn’t require any technical skills. However nobody can deny that the scenery makes the hike well worth the effort.
Most people will start their journey in Oslo
By starting off in Oslo you can see everything that Norway has to offer. Oslo is a city filled with history and culture, one not to be missed. If you can, make sure to catch a show at the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, which is home to some amazing talent. The building itself is also amazing in its construction and is worth seeing even if you can’t catch a show.
After admiring the city, hire a car and make your way up North on the E6. This will take you past Hamar, a beautiful town located right on the shore of Lake Mjosa. If you can we suggest stopping off for the day here so that you have the strength for the final journey to Besseggen Ridge.
After finishing off your drive and arriving in Jotunheimen, take a minute to enjoy what has to be one of the most spectacular landscapes in the world.
The real fun starts when you begin the hiking
Your first stop is going to be the Memurubu hut; this is a charming little place that has an incredible view out over the mountain ranges and acts as your first marker.
The trail continues by making its way up the hills for around 13km. This section isn’t too bad, with only a moderate slope there shouldn’t be any issue with making your way up. When you get to the top there will be a rocky plateau that gazes out over Gjende Lake, the most impressive and undoubtedly the most beautiful of the Jotunheimen lakes.
At this point you are around 1700m above sea level, so naturally it can get pretty cold, even if it isn’t windy (which is also quite possible). This also marks one of the hardest parts of the trek, being the most narrow and steep section. However this part is fairly short, so make sure to push yourself and get to the top because it offers a great vantage point to witness the full extent and majesty of the National Park.
At this point the track starts going downhill fairly fast and after a short time you will find yourself at the Southern Shore of Lake Bessvatnet. This Lake is tiny compared to Gjende, but is still a beautiful sight to see.
At this point it is worth taking a break and having lunch as this marks the halfway point to your journey. At this point the rest of your hike will be relaxed; it’s mostly flat ground snaking through the hills until the final stretch of track which is a short but very steep descent to Memurubu where you can catch a ferry back to your starting point.
Make sure that you are prepared for this incredible journey
The final point to remember is that this is a hike. It isn’t just a scenic walk, this will test you physically and you need to have the right equipment. At the very least make sure that you buy some hiking shoes and have a plentiful supply of fresh water.
It’s also an idea to bring a hat, wet weather gear and a jumper in case the weather turns on you. Also bring some local currency, as you will have to pay for a ticket to get back on the ferry, which is a vital part of the hike trip.