Sanddalsfossen

Gloppen Municipality / Myklebustdalen, Sogn og Fjordane County, Norway

Rating: 3     Difficulty: 2
Sanddalsfossen

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Sanddalsfossen was one of the prettier waterfalls we've seen during our June-July 2005 trip. However, I can't exactly pin down why this waterfall was so memorable to us. Maybe it was the good weather and the clear colorful pool fronting this 150m waterfall? Or perhaps it was opposite the very beautiful and reflective lake Sanddalsvatnet? Whatever the case may be, we spotted it as we were driving into the beautiful valley Myklebustdalen, which caused us to immediately stop and try to look for a way to improve our view of it. That diversion ended up turning into a little bit of a hike through some interesting developments.

In order to get the photo you see at the top of this page (which in hindsight might not even be the closest accessible view possible), we followed a path leaving the county road going by some red building before following the Sanddal River. It also appeared that we could have gone through the Fossheim Hotel to join this trail as well. Then, we crossed a bridge over the river and walked uphill on a gravel road that went past some buildings. These buildings appeared as though they were supporting some sort of hydro developments, which was kind of a worrying sign about whether this waterfall might ultimately be sacrificed.

We'd ultimately continue climbing uphill until we reached the shore of a manmade lake with Sanddalsfossen perched behind it towering above the trees that conspired to block its lowermost sections from our view. We ultimately went around the pool and was stopped by a fence that we weren't sure if we could proceed or not. So we turned back at this point, but truthfully we probably didn't try to see if the gate was passable beyond this point. Thus, the round trip hiking probably took us about an hour round trip, which was surprisingly more time than we thought given how close the falls looked from the county road.

Initially before doing the hike described above, Julie and I had gone up a separate unpaved tractor trail on the other side of the river. We went up this road not certain if it was going beyond Sanddalsfossen with alternate views of it. But one thing was for sure, we had completely lost sight of the falls as the road was climbing up a series of switchbacks. So we didn't pursue going up this path any further. That said, we read after the trip that this trail eventually would have taken us to one of the arms of the Myklebust Glacier along with some structures at Sanddalsstøylen in addition to an alpine lake called Svartebotnen. If it did go to the falls, it probably would've yielded a more naturesque experience without passing through the hydro infrastructure, but since we didn't do it, this would all be speculation.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

This beautiful shot of the mountains of Myklebustdal Valley being reflected was of the lake Sanddalsvatnet, which was quite literally within walking distance of SanddalsfossenThis beautiful shot of the mountains of Myklebustdal Valley being reflected was of the lake Sanddalsvatnet, which was quite literally within walking distance of Sanddalsfossen
Had we continued driving north on the Road 60 from Byrkjelo instead of turning to go to Myklebustdalen, this would be the view of the Innvikfjord (part of Nordfjord) further to the northHad we continued driving north on the Road 60 from Byrkjelo instead of turning to go to Myklebustdalen, this would be the view of the Innvikfjord (part of Nordfjord) further to the north
The next valley to the east of Myklebustdalen was Oldendalen, which was on the way to the beautiful Briksdalbreen Glacier, but the valley yielded beautiful scenes like thisThe next valley to the east of Myklebustdalen was Oldendalen, which was on the way to the beautiful Briksdalbreen Glacier, but the valley yielded beautiful scenes like this
This was the Briksdal Glacier when we saw it in June 2005. I'm sure with Global Warming, it's significantly receded now from the way we saw it thenThis was the Briksdal Glacier when we saw it in June 2005. I'm sure with Global Warming, it's significantly receded now from the way we saw it then
Looking towards the attractive Myklebustdal Valley from near the Sanddalsfossen TrailLooking towards the attractive Myklebustdal Valley from near the Sanddalsfossen Trail

Start of the trail we took to get to SanddalsfossenStart of the trail we took to get to the falls. That red house had a sign that said "PHS 1929", which I wasn't sure what the significance of what that sign meant (public high school 1929?)

Sign near the start of the trailSign near the start of the trail

Getting closer to Sanddalsfossen as well as some of the buildings (for hydro, I suspect) up aheadGetting closer to the falls as well as some of the buildings (for hydro, I suspect) up ahead

Closer look at Sanddalsfossen from across the clear man-made poolCloser look at the falls from across the clear man-made pool

An even more zoomed in look at Sanddalsfossen from as far as we could get from the propertyAn even more zoomed in look at the falls from as far as we could get from the property

This fence prevented me from continuing further to get closer to SanddalsfossenThis fence prevented me from continuing further to get closer to the falls (though I wondered if we should have looked a little closer to see if this fence opened and closed)

Walking on the gravel path heading back towards the start of the trailWalking on the gravel path heading back towards the start of the trail


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS




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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Byrkjelo, we followed a turnoff signed "Myklebust" on our right as we were heading north out of town on the Route 60. Once on this turnoff, we then followed it for 4km to the Fossheim Hotel. We managed to find a small pullout somewhere in front of the Fossheim Hotel area where we left our car and went for the walk. I suppose had we been hotel guests, we could have parked directly on the property itself.

Byrkjelo was 19km north of Skei. For further context, Skei was about 376km (over 5.5 hours drive with ferry crossings) northwest of Oslo, 218km (nearly 4 hours drive) north of Bergen, and 152km (over 2.5 hours drive) south of Geiranger.




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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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