Stigfossen and Tverrdalsfossen

Rauma Municipality / Trollstigen, More og Romsdal County, Norway

Rating: 4     Difficulty: 1
Stigfossen tumbling before the famous Trollstigen (the troll ladder)

TABLE OF CONTENTS



[Back to top]

INTRODUCTION

Stigfossen and Tverrdalsfossen were the pair of main waterfalls surrounding the famous 11-turn serpentine road Trollstigen ("the troll ladder"). This memorable scene of steep switchbacking roads where we kept seeing one waterfall or the other at each switchback very much reminded us of another famous serpentine road with a pair of waterfalls flanking it that we encountered earlier on our June-July 2005 trip - Stalheimskleiva. Having gone through that other serpentine road, we knew what to expect in terms of taking it slow while also looking for opportunities to pull over and relish in the glorious scene within us. We also noticed some people on mountain bikes as well as a handful of people even walking parts of the old packhorse road called Kløvstien that was once the main means of travel between Sunnmøre and Romsdal Counties before modern changes were made to accommodate automobiles. Prior to these developments, the 800m wall was impassable.

The larger waterfall that we noticed as we approached Trollstigen was Stigfossen, which we thought was the main feature waterfall of the two. We were able to see this 180m waterfall from various angles. The progression for us started with a full frontal view near the bottom of the road before Trollstigen's first switchback. More than two-thirds the way up the road we then approached the bridge Stigfossbrua where we got a little sprayed by the mist of Stigfossen's uppermost sections of its cascade. Ultimately, when we reached to very top of Trollstigen at Stigrøra, we then took a short and well-developed walking path down to an overlook of the switchbacks along with a partial view of Stigfossen and the valley Isterdalen beyond the bottom of the serpentine road (as shown at the top of this page).

Climbing the switchbacks of Trollstigen alongside Stigfossen Tverrdalsfossen was the other waterfall tumbling opposite Trollstigen of Stigfossen. We actually didn't know about this semi-official name of the falls on Tverrelva because Norgeskart didn't seem to acknowledge this name. So for the longest time, we were informally calling it "Trollfossen" until we looked in our Adventure Roads in Norway book after the trip and noticed its more formal name in there. In any case, this waterfall was said to be taller than Stigfossen, and we would repeatedly see this falls from higher vantage points as we would approach every eastern switchback. Unlike with Stigfossen, there seemed to be fewer pullouts or opportunities to better enjoy this waterfall outside of the car.

Both waterfalls had good volume though Stigfossen's volume was much more significant and probably most likely to be year-round. That was probably due to the fact that it was draining at least two major lakes (Bispevatnet and Alnesvatnet) as well as the melting of some receding glaciers. Meanwhile, Tverrdalsfossen drained only the lake Stigbotnvatnet and we can't say for sure if it does or does not flow year-round. That said, it was certainly voluminous and significant during our visit in early July 2005. To not get confused about which waterfall is which, as you face Trollstigen on the ascent, Stigfossen is the waterfall on the right while Tverrdalsfossen is the waterfall next to the switchbacks on the left.

During our visit, there was quite a bit of construction work going on, especially near the bottom of the road. Julie and I had read a sign there talking about how a 600m stretch of road covering a pair of switchbacks were being re-routed because of its vulnerability to rockfalls. From looking at the top down photo shown on the sign, a combination of the steep walls of Trollstigen combined with the water from Tverrdalsfossen seemed to present an engineering challenge. In any case, I'm sure by the time you get to ascend or descend Trollstigen, the driving experience will be quite different from what Julie and I were able to do.

As Julie and I read more about Trollstigen, we learned that it opened in July 1936 after eight years of construction under the reign of King Haakon VII. Given its dramatic ascent (or descent) between the two giant waterfalls, beneath several majestic mountains (many of which were named like Kongen [the King] and Dronninga [the Queen]), and capping it off with an incredible panorama looking back down the valley Isterdalen, it was said that Trollstigen was the most traveled tourist road in Norway. We can probably corroborate this claim given how many people we had to share the narrow serpentine road with on our visit. Supposedly, the Norwegian road authority, Statens Vegvesen, was said to have big plans for the stretch of Road 63 that included Geiranger and Trollstigen. They wanted to make the so-called Atlantic Road as part of the National Tourist Road system to further establish Norway as a self-driving destination. We're not sure if these big plans have been completely executed or not, but it seemed to make a lot of sense given the concentration of seemingly iconic sights along this route.




[Back to top]

PHOTO JOURNAL

We pulled over near the construction area and got this uninterrupted look at StigfossenWe pulled over near the construction area and got this uninterrupted look at Stigfossen
This was the classic view of Trollstigen and Isterdalen Valley from the lookout at the topThis was the classic view of Trollstigen and Isterdalen Valley from the lookout at the top
Looking towards the top of Tverrdalsfossen as we descended Trollstigen on our second go later in the eveningLooking towards the top of Tverrdalsfossen as we descended Trollstigen on our second go later in the evening
Beyond Trollstigen was the impressive Valldalen, which was the valley spanning Isterdalen (and Trollstigen) to the north and Tafjorden to the southBeyond Trollstigen was the impressive Valldalen, which was the valley spanning Isterdalen (and Trollstigen) to the north and Tafjorden to the south
On the Road 63 towards Trollstigen shortly after leaving the E136On the Road 63 towards Trollstigen shortly after leaving the E136

On the Road 63 getting closer to TrollstigenOn the Road 63 getting closer to Trollstigen

Approaching Trollstigen with Tverrdalsfossen to our leftApproaching Trollstigen with Tverrdalsfossen to our left

The imposing wall that Trollstigen would ascend with Stigfossen coming into viewThe imposing wall that Trollstigen would ascend with Stigfossen coming into view

Looking towards Tverrdalsfossen to our left as we started to go up TrollstigenLooking towards Tverrdalsfossen to our left as we started to go up Trollstigen

About to enter the first switchback of Trollstigen with this view of Stigfossen alongside the serpentine roadAbout to enter the first switchback of Trollstigen with this view of Stigfossen alongside the serpentine road

Construction zone before StigfossenConstruction zone before the falls

Higher up Trollstigen with this closeup view of TverrdalsfossenHigher up Trollstigen with this closeup view of Tverrdalsfossen

On Trollstigen with Stigfossen and more steep switchbacks further aheadOn Trollstigen with Stigfossen and more steep switchbacks further ahead

Approaching a switchback turning right before Tverrdalsfossen.  Notice the slope on the continuation of the road showing how steep Trollstigen wasApproaching a switchback turning right before Tverrdalsfossen. Notice the slope on the continuation of the road showing how steep Trollstigen was

Looking up at the upper sections of Stigfossen from the Trollstigen road next to the bridge StigfossbruaLooking up at the upper sections of Stigfossen from the Trollstigen road next to the bridge Stigfossbrua

Looking into Isterdalen from within the switchbacks of TrollstigenLooking into Isterdalen from within the switchbacks of Trollstigen

Now we were high enough on Trollstigen to feel like we were at eye level with the top of TverrdalsfossenNow we were high enough on Trollstigen to feel like we were at eye level with the top of Tverrdalsfossen

Following someone on a bike as we were approaching a switchback near the top of StigfossenFollowing someone on a bike as we were approaching a switchback near the top

Looking down at part of Stigfossen tumbling besides a switchbackLooking down at part of the falls tumbling besides a switchback

Looking towards Storgrovfjellet and the top of Tverrdalsfossen from the last stretch of TrollstigenLooking towards Storgrovfjellet and the top of Tverrdalsfossen from the last stretch of Trollstigen

Looking towards a waterfall along Valldalen well upstream and further south from Trollstigen.  Possibly on the Slufså watercourse, so could it be called Slufsåfossen?Looking towards a waterfall along Valldalen well upstream and further south from Trollstigen. Possibly on the Slufså watercourse, so could it be called Slufsåfossen?

Back at that waterfall on Slufså seen in Valldalen on our way back to TrollstigenBack at that unnamed waterfall on Slufså seen in Valldalen on our way back to Trollstigen

Now we were descending Trollstigen, but it seemed like there were some clouds starting to hang lower later that eveningNow we were descending Trollstigen, but it seemed like there were some clouds starting to hang lower later that evening

Following a car on our way down Trollstigen, using low gear to ensure we wouldn't wear out our brakesFollowing a car on our way down Trollstigen, using low gear to ensure we wouldn't wear out our brakes

Still following a car on the narrow road as we were headed back down TrollstigenStill following a car on the narrow road as we headed back down Trollstigen. Notice how easy it was for that driver to take up the whole road showing how narrow it was


[Back to top]

VIDEOS OF THE FALLS




[Back to top]

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From the junction of the E136 and Road 64 in the town of Åndalsnes, we drove southeast along the E136 for about 4.5km to the junction with the Road 63 to our right. We then crossed the bridge over the Rauma River and followed the Road 63 for the next 9km to the first switchback at the bottom of Trollstigen.

Going in the other direction from the town of Sylte (on the north shore of Norddalsfjorden; about 33km from Geiranger with a ferry ride across the fjord from Norddal), we had to drive about 36km through highland moors of Valldalen to the top of Trollstigen at Stigrøra. This entire stretch would be along the Route 63.

For context, Åndalsnes was 303km (over 4 hours drive) southwest of Trondheim, 442km (over 5.5 hours drive) northwest of Oslo, and 508km (8 hours drive) northeast 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 Møre og Romsdal Waterfalls Page]

[Go to the Norway Page]


[Return from Stigfossen and Tverrdalsfossen to the World of Waterfalls Home Page]