Naustafossen

Surnadal Municipality / Trollheimen, More og Romsdal County, Norway

Rating: 3.5     Difficulty: 2
Nauståfossen

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Naustafossen (or Nauståfossen; I think is pronounced "NAUS-toh-foss-un") was our reward for doing a rather long, out-of-the-way detour towards the Trollheimen Mountains of the Surnadal Municipality. It was a gorgeous 110m waterfall with a rather unique shape in that it had a tall plunge followed by a round waterwheel-like lower tier that spewed out enough mist to muddy the area around the falls (and wet my camera lens). The waterfall sat near the hamlet of Kårvatn (pronounced "KOHR-vaht-n"), which really seemed to be some a collection of some farms (or just a farm). The name of the hamlet also suggested there was a lake in the vicinity, but there wasn't one from what I could tell.

The mountains backing the falls that you see in the photo above were indeed part of the mountains of Trollheimen ("the Home of the Trolls"), which were known to be a backcountry hiking destination as well as a mountain range unique in that it supported a wide variety of climates. In addition, we learned that this remote and out-of-the-way place was also said to contain some of the cleanest air and water in Norway. That claim was really saying something considering most of Norway was rural, sparsely populated, and not overly industrialized. Perhaps that reputation also underscored the wild and undeveloped nature of Trollheimen, even though our experience at Naustafossen merely scratched the surface of what could be experienced in this mountainous area.

From the car park (see directions below), I walked towards the buildings at the end of the road, which I believed belonged to someone's farm making up most of the settlement of Kårvatn. Beyond the road, I crossed a bridge traversing the watercourse Toåa (which Nauståa ultimately fed into), then veered right at the fork (as directed by a sign pointing the way). The track was flanked by some fences keeping livestock within the quiet pastures of the idyllic farm, but before long, the path followed some tractor tracks then opened up where I could see across the field towards Naustafossen backed by some of the knobby mountains of Trollheimen.

Soon, I reached another signed fork where I left the tractor track and proceeded along a muddy footpath for the last 700m to a bridge nearby the falls. It was quite misty on the bridge, and I felt the views wouldn't improve beyond it so I didn't proceed any further even though it clearly looked like the path continued onwards past the bridge. It was from the bridge that I was able to appreciate the waterwheel of Naustafossen's lower tier though the upper and taller tier of the falls was a bit harder to see from this closer vantage point.

The out-and-back hike took me 45 minutes to complete, but I'd imagine it could easily take about an hour round trip at a more leisurely pace. Most of the time spent that late afternoon was actually in the car driving the out-and-back detour to get here.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Closer look at Nauståfossen from the bridge near its base, where I was getting some of the waterfall's sprayCloser look at Nauståfossen from the bridge near its base, where I was getting some of the waterfall's spray
It took a bit of a detour to make it all the way to Nauståfossen from Sunndalsøra, but we at least got this attractive view of where the Todalselva emptied into TodalsfjordenIt took a bit of a detour to make it all the way to Nauståfossen from Sunndalsøra, but we at least got this attractive view of where the Todalselva emptied into Todalsfjorden
Near the town of Sunndalsøra, we managed to glimpse this fjord view with some seeimingly very tall waterfalls spilling into the fjord in the distanceNear the town of Sunndalsøra, we managed to glimpse this fjord view with some seeimingly very tall waterfalls spilling into the fjord in the distance
Some cascade we saw on the way to Kårvatn while driving through TodalenSome cascade we saw on the way to Kårvatn while driving through Todalen

Finally, Nauståfossen could be seen as we got to the end of the road at KårvatnFinally, Nauståfossen could be seen as we got to the end of the road at Kårvatn

After getting out of the car, I walked towards the bridge over Toåa to continue on the hike to get closer to NauståfossenAfter getting out of the car, I walked towards the bridge over Toåa to continue on the hike to get closer to Nauståfossen

Turn right at this fork right after the bridgeTurn right at this fork right after the bridge

Nauståfossen was easily visible throughout the walk even through this farmThe falls was easily visible throughout the walk even through this farm

Only 700m more of muddy fun before I'm thereOnly 700m more of muddy fun before I'm there

Looking at the upper parts of Nauståfossen from the trailLooking at the upper parts of the falls from the trail

The lower part of Nauståfossen started to have its view obstructed by treesThe lower part of the falls started to have its view obstructed by trees

Getting closer to Nauståfossen on the muddy trailGetting closer to the falls on the muddy trail

Not much further before I get to the real wet part of the walk near NauståfossenNot much further before I get to the real wet part of the walk


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS




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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

Naustafossen was near the hamlet of Kårvatn. We started the drive from Sunndalsøra, then headed north on Rv70 for about 19km as it junctioned with Road 670 at the town of Ålvund. Veering right at the intersection and continuing north on the road 670 for about the next 7km, I then arrived at the ferry stop at Rykkjem.

After taking the ferry across the Todalsfjord, we continued driving on the Road 670 for the next 6km to its junction with the Road 671. Turning right onto Road 671, we then drove the next 14km to the head of Todalsfjorden where the Road 671 junctioned with the local (unpaved) Road 324 across a bridge over the Toåa River (or Todalselva). From there, we continued driving further into Todalen along road 324 for the next 11km to the end of the road at Kårvatn.

Even though Naustafossen was visible from the road, it was certainly worth the walk for a closer look.

For some additional context, Sunndalsøra was 128km (2 hours drive) east of Åndalsnes, 187km (over 2.5 hours drive) southwest of Trondheim, 466km (6 hours drive) north of Oslo, and 578km (over 8.5 hours drive with ferry crossings) northeast of Bergen.




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ITINERARIES

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




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MAP OF THE FALLS



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TRIP REPORTS

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




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES




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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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