Eidsfossen was a powerful waterfall on the Gloppen River that literally made us fell like the ground beneath our feet was trembling. Indeed, the operative word with this waterfall was “power”, and it was most certainly on display during our late June 2005 visit to this region of Norway. So it was no wonder that we saw infrastructure around the falls indicating that it was being tapped for hydroelectricity. Yet even with this degree of intervention, the falls was still flowing forcefully. Imagine how much crazier the falls would be flowing if the hydro infrastructure wasn’t there! There was so much spray kicked up by the base of the falls that there were even bold rainbows arcing just downstream of the waterfall’s main drop.
The falls was said to have a cumulative height of 33m, which Julie and I were able to appreciate from a couple of viewing spots. From the upper viewing spot near the brink of its power drop (as shown in the photo at the top of this page), we also noticed there was a salmon ladder that was said to be the longest in the world at 230m as it allowed salmon to continue swimming upstream past this otherwise impenetrable barrier on the Gloppen River. I had read after the trip that the largest known catch along this stretch of river was an amazing 26kg! Anyhow. it was from this vantage point that we truly felt dwarfed by the sheer volume of water that was passing by us. Julie and I couldn’t even hear ourselves talk from here.
After having our fill of the upper vantage point, we then continued driving a short distance downstream where there was a very wide plunge pool as well as a look back at the falls from a distance. Yet even though we were on the opposite end of the large plunge pool, we were still getting so much spray from the falls that it was difficult to photograph. This was further exacerbated by the fact that the mid-morning sun was also somewhat against us as we viewed it. We were further stymied by the muddy terrain around the river so we were limited on where else we could go to change up the view. Then, there was the ugly power station to the left of the falls that also conspired to make this vantage point a bit less appealing to linger around much longer.
In any case, most of the waterfalls we had seen in Norway to this point were of the tall and stringy variety. However, with Eidsfossen, it was definitely about the immense power which contrasted our other Norwegian waterfalling experiences nicely. So with all things considered, this waterfall had all the makings of being a very highly-rated 4 waterfall (especially with the bold rainbow and the sheer feeling of being humbled by something so thunderous), but we ultimately dropped it down to a 3.5 given the hydroelectric infrastructure around it.
The way we went to Eidsfossen was from Byrkjelo, which itself was about 20km north of the Rv5/E39 junction in the town of Skei. We continued west on E39 from Byrkjelo for about 14km as it passed by the scenic Breimvatnet. Near Vassenden, the turnoff leading to the falls was on our left (a blue sign with the Norwegian icon for attraction tipped us off to look for a way to the falls). That turnoff didn’t have worded signs during our visit so we actually had to make two passes at it before we finally left the E39 to get to the falls.
Once we took the turnoff, we had to watch out for potholes on the unpvaed road. We quickly turned right at the next junction then followed the road (ignoring the smaller side roads) for about 800m. Eventually, we reached a large clearing where we were able to park the car and walk down the stairs to the first overlook (by the brink of Eidsfossen) mentioned above.
We then drove further down the unpaved road towards a dead-end by a power station where we could park the car and walk along the banks of the river for a more frontal but misty view.
Going in the other direction on the E39 from the town of Sandane (which I think benefitted from the hydroelectric infrastructure at Eidsfossen) the turnoff was about 2.2km heading east on the highway before the turnoff to leave the highway would be on the right.
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