Besseggen Hike & Adventures around it
Have you heard about the Besseggen hike in Jotunheimen National Park? Appreciated and shared by National Geographic as one of the world’s best hikes. Do you want to escape crowds and see the trail at its best? Look at it from below, from it, or on it. How? Read on. This is about an adventure.
Hike Bessegen Trail
Bessegen can be hiked in both directions, from Gjendesheim to Memurubu and vice versa, however, as we mentioned in our blog Hikes in Jotunheimen for everybody, each has its pros and cons. For us, the best way to hike it is going against the crowd, not with it.
Simply said, most of the hikers take a ferry first, from Gjendesheim to the Memurubu, and then hike through Besseggen back. Yes, that seems to be a great idea, but here comes the big con. If you jump on the ferry, you will for sure not be alone. There will be dozens of others who will start the hike together with you. It might sound a little antisocial, but we don’t like following the same people for hours. Maybe you don’t mind and this way can be the best for you.
To hike straight from Gjendesheim means that you will hike the “boring” part first (stone fields, like on the Moon) and then the beautiful part with the best views follows. Start early enough, however, there is only one ferry from Memurubu going back to your campervan in the afternoon.
To make the trip more interesting, try a possibility of a sleepover in Memurubu cabin or you can bring a tent with you. By the way, that’s what we plan for the next time hiking Besseggen – sleep in a tent on the trail. You can do it also. If you don’t have it, you can add the tent to your campervan rental from our extras.
Besseggen Hike information
The hike takes approximately 6-8 hours one way (14 km), so prepare for a full day of hiking. The first hour from Gjendesheim will be a steep incline. Once you hike up to the ridge, the path flattens and you will walk towards the highest point of the Besseggen hike – Veslefjell (1743 masl). The large piles of rocks mark the highest point, you can’t miss it.
Once you reach the famous view of the Besseggen hike, the two lakes prevented by a 400 meters high ridge, the most demanding part follows. It is quite narrow and a bit of a challenge when you run into fellow hikers going in the opposite direction. Think twice about each step and don’t mind using your hands as well!
Now, when you safely descended to lake Bessvatn, it’s the perfect time to catch your breath and eat a delicious food package of yours. The lake is said to have the clearest water in Norway. This is a great spot to refill your bottle for the second part of the track (6 km).
The path continues under the Besshøe mountain (2258 masl) and around Bjønbøltjønne lake. Enjoy the flat path and great views. Soon you can spot the Memurubu cabin underneath, laying by a strong river Muru flowing into lake Gjende.
The ferry leaves at 16:55. Plan little beforehand, because it can occur to be fully booked in the highest season. Decide whether you take the ferry, set a tent, sleep in the cabin, or maybe walk another 10 km by Gjende lake back to Gjendesheim.
View towards Besseggen - Hike Knutshøe
Whether you are not up for a Besseggen or don’t have enough time for it, you can hike a “small Besseggen” as I named Knutshøe. This smaller ridge south from Besseggen is likewise beautiful and not so demanding.
The trail starts from road 51, where there is also a parking lot determined for this hike. The hike is 6 km long one way, with an altitude of 700 meters. The path has a lot of “fake” tops, as I call those that look like the top but aren’t. Prepare yourself for a use of your hands at some spots.
Once you reach the real top, the view to Besseggen ridge opens and you can actually see people on the top if your eyes are good. On the left side, there is a wonderful lake Øvre Leirungen powered by a tangle of springs flowing into it.
To hike back to your campervan, you can use a path laying under the ridge that is flat and perfect to simply enjoy the surroundings. Part of the surroundings is also mosquitoes, so don’t forget to take a repellent with you.
Paddle lake Gjende
Sometimes the best views are from the water level. Gjende lake is an 18 km long lake surrounded by the already mentioned Besseggen, Knutshøe, and many more mountain ridges. It for sure sounds like paddling paradise.
Inflate the paddleboards that can be rented together with the campervan and embark on an adventure. Don’t worry if it’s a bit chilly in the Jotunheimen National Park. You can stand or kneel on the paddleboard fully dressed up. There is also space to carry a small backpack with you. Stop where you like it to set up a picnic or hang a hammock between the trees.
There is no doubt Jotunheimen National Park and Besseggen hike itself have much to offer. It might be hard to choose the best activity for yourself in a limited time. If you are wondering about any details or another recommendation for special needs, we are here to help.