Kjelfossen

Aurland Municipality, Sogn og Fjordane County, Norway

Rating: 3.5     Difficulty: 1
Kjelfossen

TABLE OF CONTENTS



[Back to top]

INTRODUCTION

Kjelfossen (I believe it's pronounced like "SHELL-foss-un") was considered to be one of the tallest waterfalls in Norway, which was something that was impressed upon us during our pre-trip research. It turned out that upon seeing this falls in person during our June 2005 visit to Norway, we started to appreciate its full height only after seeing its uppermost tiers from the terrace of the Stalheim Hotel. When we went into the Nærøydal Valley and saw the falls from its base, it seemed like the uppermost tiers weren't as visible due to cliff obstructions and the falls appeared to be smaller than what the literature had us believe (though it was still very tall even from this perspective). So it was one of those cases where we had to appreciate the falls from two different perspectives to get the whole picture.

From the Stalheim Hotel, it looked to us as if there was a main plunge that leaped from the uppermost heights of the southern wall of the Nærøydal Valley. From this distant perspective, it would have been nice to have a telephoto lens to bring the falls closer. Anyhow, the lowermost tiers were hidden from us given the narrowness of the valley below so the cliffs and slopes of the valley obscured them. From looking at the maps, the falls was fed by a series of lakes called the Kjelfossvotni (literally the Kjelfoss Lakes), which ultimately drained over the falls that was reported to be 755m high. Given the lake sources, it would appear that this waterfall would tend to have reliable flow despite its thin appearance.

Once we were at the bottom of Kjelfossen further into the valley below and looked up from it, we witnessed what appeared to be a series of at least three main strands of the falls tumbling side-by-side before they were gradually converging the base. It was a fairly neck-cranking view to say the least, which kind of further attested to the lofty height measurements that had been touted. At least two of the strands appeared to have names. They were called Store Kjelfoss (Big Kjel Falls; the one on the left in the photo above), Vetle Kjelfoss (the one in the middle), and the one on the right didn't appear to have a formal name. By the way, the uppermost drop seen from the Stalheim Hotel was apparently named just Kjelfoss, which further confirmed our suspicions that it was the main part of the waterfall.

For both of these views, there was a minimal amount of walking so we tended to think of this waterfall as a roadside attraction. It was certainly worth the pair of stops as we were making the drive between Voss and Flåm.




[Back to top]

PHOTO JOURNAL

This was the view of Kjelfossen from the Stalheim Hotel, which required all of the zoom we could get from our point-and-shoot camerasThis was the view of Kjelfossen from the Stalheim Hotel, which required all of the zoom we could get from our point-and-shoot cameras
To the west of Kjelfossen was the Stalheimskleiva and the pair of waterfalls Stalheimsfossen (pictured here) along with SivlefossenTo the west of Kjelfossen was the Stalheimskleiva and the pair of waterfalls Stalheimsfossen (pictured here) along with Sivlefossen
To the east of Kjelfossen was the Flåm Railway (Flåmsbana), which featured the Kjosfossen WaterfallTo the east of Kjelfossen was the Flåm Railway (Flåmsbana), which featured the Kjosfossen Waterfall
In addition to waterfalls, the Flåm Railway (Flåmsbana) also went through the picturesque valley with its small hamlets flanked by steep-walled mountainsIn addition to waterfalls, the Flåm Railway (Flåmsbana) also went through the picturesque valley with its small hamlets flanked by steep-walled mountains
This was the view of Nærøydal Valley from the Stalheim Hotel.  Note there was another tall waterfall to the topright of this pictureThis was the view of Nærøydal Valley from the Stalheim Hotel. Note there was another tall waterfall to the topright of this picture

This was the more unobstructed view of Nærøydal Valley from the Stalheim Hotel.  Note the context of Kjelfossen way in the distanceThis was the more unobstructed view of Nærøydal Valley from the Stalheim Hotel. Note the context of Kjelfossen way in the distance

Julie noticed a few other strandy waterfalls as we were approaching Kjelfossen while driving within Nærøydal ValleyJulie noticed a few other strandy waterfalls as we were approaching Kjelfossen while driving within Nærøydal Valley

Angled view of Kjelfossen as we were approaching it from within Nærøydal ValleyAngled view of the falls as we were approaching it from within Nærøydal Valley

A slightly more centered view of Kjelfossen from one of the handful of pullouts before it within Nærøydal ValleyA slightly more centered view of the falls from one of the handful of pullouts before it within Nærøydal Valley

Julie photographed me taking a photo of KjelfossenJulie photographed me taking a photo of the falls

Contextual full frontal view of Kjelfossen Contextual full frontal view of the falls

Contextual view of Kjelfossen from one of the easternmost pulloutsContextual view of the falls from one of the easternmost pullouts


[Back to top]

VIDEOS OF THE FALLS




[Back to top]

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

To see Kjelfossen from the Stalheim Hotel's Terrace, see our directions on the Stalheimsfossen page.

As for the lower viewpoint(s) by the base of the falls, we drove east on the E16 into Nærøydalen from the Stalheim Hotel and down the Stalheimskleiva. We'd ultimately stop at one of a handful of unsigned pullouts about 9km from the end of Stalheimskleiva. During our June 2005 visit, the pullouts were near the Shell Gas Station (which was an appropriately-located station if you get the Norwegian pronunciation of the falls). The station was just before the Gudvangen Tunnel (Gudvangatunnelen).

Going in the other direction, the pullout at the bottom of the falls was about 20km west of Flåm not long after leaving the long Gudvangen Tunnel (Gudvangatunnelen).

For context, Flåm was 313km (4.5 hours drive) northwest of Oslo and 167km (2.5 hours drive) east of Bergen.




[Back to top]

ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




[Back to top]

MAP OF THE FALLS



Click here for the full World of Waterfalls map





[Back to top]

TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




[Back to top]

TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES




[Back to top]

NEARBY WATERFALLS




[Back to top]

RELATED PAGES



Have You Been To This Waterfall?

Share your experience!

Click here to see visitor comments for this waterfall

Click here to see visitor comments for other waterfalls that we've visited in this region

Click here to go to the Comments Main Page

You can use the form below, but if you find our host's interface too troublesome to use (especially if you're trying to upload photos), then just send a text submission anyways using the form, but also let us know that you'd like to attach photos. If you've provided an email address via the form, then we can reply back acknowledging your request, and you can then reply to that email with your photo attachments. We're very sorry about this, but there's not much we can do about SBI's terrible interface.



[Back to top]

[Go to the Sogn og Fjordane Waterfalls Page]

[Go to the Norway Page]


[Return from Kjelfossen to the World of Waterfalls Home Page]