Steinsdalsfossen

Kvam Municipality / near Norheimsund, Hordaland County, Norway

Rating: 2.5     Difficulty: 1
Steinsdalsfossen

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Steinsdalsfossen (The Stone Valley Falls) was a waterfall that seemed to have a lot of fanfare and notoriety (at least that was our impression when we were researching for our trip). When we visited the falls in June 2005, we certainly found it to be one of the more popular places in the country as it consistently received tour bus traffic and scores of people. We weren't quite sure exactly what was it about this modestly-sized waterfall (generously said to be 46m tall) that warranted this notoriety, but we wondered if it had more to do with being so easily accessible as well as being one of those rare waterfalls that we were able to walk behind. I had read that this was Norway's 5th most popular attraction in the country, but we're not sure how accurate that statement was.

While doing a little research on this falls, I learned that apparently this waterfall was a favorite of Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. It was said that he would frequently visit Steinsdalsfossen every Summer (except a couple of them) between 1889 and the start of World War I in 1914. As a result of this, it was said that some people would refer to this waterfall as the "Kaiser Wilhelm Falls."

When Julie and I visited the falls, we pretty much took photos of its front from the busy car park area where there were many souvenir shops. Then, we saw that there was a well-developed sloping walkway that led up to the backside of the falls so naturally we did that. This was probably one of the more developed walkways that went behind a waterfall that we could remember. In any case, from the backside of the falls, we could look out towards the Mv7 motorway as well as the souvenir shops below. It looked like the walking path kept going, but we were pretty content to turn back from behind the falls and return to the car park. From the Mv7, we also managed to get a second glimpse of Steinsdalsfossen after filling up on petrol and a quick hot dog (pølse) takeaway dinner to the east of the falls near Norheimsund.

Steinsdalsfossen looked to be a permanent year-round waterfall sourced by the Mykla Lake (Myklavatnet) way up in the highlands before feeding into Steinsdalselva (Steinsdals River), which itself meandered through the valley Steinsdalen. That said, I had read that the falls could freeze over in the Winter. I had also read that there were floodlights at the base of the falls so it could be lit up at night. Since Julie and I only visited on a cloudy afternoon in June 2005, we didn't get to see it lit up at night nor frozen over.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Bergen was the city we visited before we turned back to Nature and headed east for about 78km to SteinsdalsfossenBergen was the city we visited before we turned back to Nature and headed east for about 78km to Steinsdalsfossen
On our way to Steinsdalsfossen from Bergen was this attractive waterfall called Fossen BratteOn our way to Steinsdalsfossen from Bergen was this attractive waterfall called Fossen Bratte
This was our second take on Steinsdalsfossen from the Mv7 as we were headed west towards the E16This was our second take on Steinsdalsfossen from the Mv7 as we were headed west towards the E16
On our way to Steinsdalsfossen, we noticed this waterfall near the egress of one of the last tunnels (one of several tunnels) on the Mv7On our way to Steinsdalsfossen, we noticed this waterfall near the egress of one of the last tunnels (one of several tunnels) on the Mv7

As soon as we got out of the car, here was Julie checking out SteinsdalsfossenAs soon as we got out of the car, here was Julie checking out the falls

Contextual view of Steinsdalsfossen from the car park.  Notice the floodlight near its base as well as what appeared to be a hint of more of the falls further upstream (so maybe the 46m height figure might be more credible if those upper hidden tiers were accounted for)Contextual view of the falls from the car park. Notice the floodlight near its base as well as what appeared to be a hint of more of the falls further upstream (so maybe the 46m height figure might be more credible if those upper hidden tiers were accounted for)

We then walked more towards the bridge for this more frontal view of SteinsdalsfossenWe then walked more towards the bridge for this more frontal view of the falls

Angled view back towards Steinsdalsfossen as we were about to go up the sloping walking path to its backsideAngled view back towards the falls as we were about to go up the sloping walking path to its backside

The walkway going behind SteinsdalsfossenThe walkway going behind the falls

Looking out from behind Steinsdalsfossen down towards the tour buses and souvenir shopsLooking out from behind Steinsdalsfossen down towards the tour buses and souvenir shops

On the other side of the backside of Steinsdalsfossen looking out towards the east of SteinsdalenOn the other side of the backside of the falls looking out towards the east of Steinsdalen

This was one of our last looks at Steinsdalsfossen as we were about to head back to the E16 along the Mv7This was one of our last looks at the falls as we were about to head back to the E16 along the Mv7


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS




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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

The nearest town to the falls is Norheimsund, which is about 3km east along Mv7 on the western shores of the Hardanger Fjord (Hardangerfjorden).

Julie and I actually visited this waterfall immediately after making a brief visit to the city of Bergen. That required us to drive about 37km to the north and east along the E16, then we left the E16 to continue onto the Mv7 for another 41km to the falls while passing by a few other waterfalls along the way including the impressive Fossen Bratte some 20km east of the E16 just before a tunnel.

For further context, Bergen was 103km (90 minutes drive) west of Voss (or Vossevangen) and 551km (7 hours drive) west of Oslo.




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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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