Volefossen and the Oldedalen Waterfalls

Stryn Municipality / Oldedalen / Jostedalsbreen National Park, Sogn og Fjordane County, Norway

Rating: 3     Difficulty: 1
Volefossen seen from the Briksdalsbreen Trail

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Volefossen (I've also seen it spelled Vålefossen) was a very tall and commanding presence at the head of the valley Oldedalen. I've read that this waterfall was said to tumble from a height of a whopping 355m. It was situated right in front of the car park that we ended up using for our hike up to the Briksdal Glacier, and I guess it could have also been thought of as the crescendo of a dramatic drive through Oldedalen Valley. Of course this waterfall wasn't the only waterfall in Oldedalen Valley. Indeed, Julie and I saw countless more of them tumbling down both sides of the valley during our drive. Some looked very significant and may have names. Others seemed like run-of-the-mill temporary snowmelt types which would be significant in most places except here in waterfall-rich Norway.

From what I was able to tell on the Norgeskart map, the officially named waterfalls were Hundefossen, Melkevollfossen, and Volefossen. Hundefossen was on the Storelva watercourse spilling into the east side of Oldedalen right at the head of Oldevatnet. Beyond the headwaters of Oldevatnet near the head of Oldedalen Valley was Melkevollfossen, which ironically was not fed by the Melkevollbreen Glacier. Instead, this waterfall was on a seemingly unnamed watercourse fed by a highland tarn or lake left behind by the receding glacier Flatebreen. Melkevollfossen was on the next drainage north of that for Volefossen, which itself was also fed by other lakes and tarns left behind by the receding Flatebreen Glacier in back of the Blåfjellet Mountain.

As for the rest of the waterfalls on this page, I really had a difficult time identifying and associating our photos with place names on the maps. So I just decided to clump them on this page and at least showcase just the kind of waterfalling eye-candy we were in for during our pass through Oldedalen. That said, we thought the real highlight of Oldedalen was the chance to get right in front of the picturesque glacier Briksdalsbreen, where we have a dedicated writeup for the associated waterfall excursion that took us there.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Looking ahead over Oldevatnet as we entered the valley Oldedalen on our way to Volefossen (and the Briksdal Glacier)Looking ahead over Oldevatnet as we entered the valley Oldedalen on our way to Volefossen (and the Briksdal Glacier)
Looking back at Oldedalen Valley from the car park before Volefossen and BriksdalenLooking back at Oldedalen Valley from the car park before Volefossen and Briksdalen
The main attraction of Oldedalen was the side valley up Briksdalen leading up to the terminus of the glacier BriksdalsbreenThe main attraction of Oldedalen was the side valley up Briksdalen leading up to the terminus of the glacier Briksdalsbreen
Julie and I stayed at the town of Loen, where the calm but deadly lake Lovatnet was as well as the Ramnefjellsfossen WaterfallJulie and I stayed at the town of Loen, where the calm but deadly lake Lovatnet was as well as the Ramnefjellsfossen Waterfall
Passing alongside Oldevatnet as we went deeper into OldedalenPassing alongside Oldevatnet as we went deeper into Oldedalen

Looking directly over the scenic Oldevatnet as we continued driving deeper into OldedalenLooking directly over the scenic Oldevatnet as we continued driving deeper into Oldedalen

This picture should give you a good idea of how narrow the local road 724 was as we pulled over to allow this fellow to pass by usThis picture should give you a good idea of how narrow the local road 724 was as we pulled over to allow this fellow to pass by us

Looking ahead at what appeared to be the Melkevoll Glacier (Melkevollbreen) way up the valley with a waterfall starting to be visible on the rightLooking ahead at what appeared to be the Melkevoll Glacier (Melkevollbreen) way up the valley with a waterfall starting to be visible on the right

This fairly thick waterfall might be the one on Storelva near the head of Oldevatnet called Hundefossen (Dog Falls?)This fairly thick waterfall might be the one on Storelva near the head of Oldevatnet called Hundefossen (Dog Falls?)

Driving along a fairly open part of Oldedalen with what appeared to be Melkevollbreen and Volefossen up aheadDriving along a fairly open part of Oldedalen with what appeared to be Melkevollbreen and Volefossen up ahead

Side view against the late afternoon sun at what I believe to be MelkevollfossenSide view against the late afternoon sun at what I believe to be Melkevollfossen

This thin multi-tiered waterfall might be the one between Volefossen and Melkevollfossen or it could be the one just north of Melkevollfossen on the MyklebustsetraThis thin multi-tiered waterfall might be the one between Volefossen and Melkevollfossen or it could be the one just north of Melkevollfossen on the Mylkebustsetra

Driving up towards the end of Oldendalen where Volefossen was up ahead of usDriving up towards the end of Oldendalen where Volefossen was up ahead of us

Looking up at Volefossen as we were approaching the tolled car parkLooking up at Volefossen as we were approaching the tolled car park

Frontal view of Volefossen from the car parkFrontal view of the falls from the car park

View of Volefossen from the Briksdal Glacier trailView of the falls from the Briksdal Glacier trail

Back at the base of Volefossen after the hike to Briksdalbreen GlacierBack at the base of Volefossen after the hike to Briksdalbreen Glacier

As we were heading back out of Oldedalen Valley, we started paying more attention to the waterfalls around us.  This one was either Melkevollfossen or the one before it just after Volefossen on the east-facing wallAs we were heading back out of Oldedalen Valley, we started paying more attention to the waterfalls around us. This one was either Melkevollfossen or the one before it just after Volefossen on the east-facing wall

Looking across the valley, this waterfall appeared to be the one on the Brenna Stream so the falls could very well be called BrennafossenLooking across the valley, this waterfall appeared to be the one on the Brenna Stream so the falls could very well be called Brennafossen

This long and thick cascading waterfall was the one I thought was called MelkevollfossenThis long and thick cascading waterfall was the one I thought was called Melkevollfossen

Looking back across the lake Oldevatnet towards the east-facing cliff, this thin waterfall might be on Nesleelva so it might be called NeslefossenLooking back across the lake Oldevatnet towards the east-facing cliff, this thin waterfall might be on Nesleelva so it might be called Neslefossen

Finally, this waterfall that we saw closer to the mouth of Oldedalen might be the one on Storelva (Big River) and could very well be officially named Hundefossen (Dog Falls)Finally, this waterfall that we saw closer to the mouth of Oldedalen might be the one on Storelva (Big River) and could very well be officially named Hundefossen (Dog Falls)


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS




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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

The place to both view the falls and leave the car was right at the car park for the Briksdal Glacier (toll required) at the very end of Oldedalen. The county road 724 entering Oldedalen from the town of Olden was about 6.5km south of the town of Loen (17km from Stryn) as well as 17km east of the town of Innvik (40km from Byrkjelo) both along the Road 60.

From Olden, we went south on the Road 724 for about 22km. Note that there were many sections of this local road that were practically single-lane paved roads so we definitely had to exercise caution regarding oncoming traffic coming the other way.

For context, Stryn was 75km (90 minutes drive) south of Geiranger, 295km (5 hours drive) north of Bergen, and 474km (over 6 hours drive) northwest 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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