Feigefossen was a waterfall that Julie and I anticipated visiting because we learned from our pre-trip research (later supported by a sign we saw a the trailhead there) that it possessed the second-highest singular and unregulated freefall in Norway at 218m (behind Vettisfossen at 275m).
I later read from our Adventure Roads in Norway book that it was also said to be the fourth highest waterfall in Norway though I’m sure that there had to have been stipulations in how this falls was categorized for this statement to be plausible.
Anyhow, we took the time to experience this waterfall both from across the Luster Fjord (Lustrafjorden) as well as from a hike up to its base.
Each way yielded different views and different experiences.
And even the weather was different in the two different ways we experienced it.
Viewing Feigefossen from across Lustrafjorden
First off, Julie and I spotted this waterfall across the fjord as we were driving from Skjolden (at the very head of Lustrafjorden) to Jostedalen, whose turnoff was near the town of Gaupne on the west side of the fjord.
Under the late afternoon/early evening overcast skies when the rain had stopped earlier in the afternoon, we were still able to get satisfactory views even though the wide fjord kept us from getting closer.
That said, we were able to see the waterfall in its entire context, which really allowed us to better appreciate its magnitude against the houses that were dwarfed near its base.
Experiencing Feigefossen from its base
The next morning, the skies cleared up and the sun came out.
We spent the better part of that morning driving to the trailhead of the waterfall along the east side of Lustrafjorden (see directions below), and then we went on a hike that took us closer to the waterfall’s base.
There was a signposted car park (interestingly the sign spelled the waterfall “Feigumfossen”) before we proceeded to follow the signs (now spelling the falls “Feigefossen”).
The signs told us to continue walking along the road for about 300m to the hamlet of Ornes before joining up with the actual trail that left the road and went pretty steeply uphill towards the falls.
We definitely had to pay attention to the signs because there was a misleading “trail” (more like a driveway) that was right across from the car park, but it only led to some private residences and not the falls itself.
Even though Julie and I could see the waterfall appearing so tantalizingly close, the uphill walk was not as trivial as we had initially thought.
It started off benignly by following the watercourse responsible for the falls as it made its way around a few private residences and farm plots.
I recalled in this stretch, there were a few spots where we weren’t sure if we were trespassing or not (including a gate we had to go through).
However, for the most part, there were signs that helped steer us in the right direction.
As we continued to make our ascent, the trail seemed to get increasingly rockier and steeper as we finally started to get a decent look at the falls itself near its rocky base.
By this time, we had climbed about 150m high and it took us around 30-40 minutes each way.
Unfortunately, on the morning we showed up (which was around 9:30am), the sun was directly against our line-of-sight to Feigefossen.
Thus, the harsh lighting conditions made the falls very difficult to photograph (let alone view).
In hindsight, this was probably more of an afternoon waterfall with the sun out.
In any case, when we had our fill of the falls, we got to enjoy the views of the blue Luster Fjord on the way back as we were now getting the benefit of backlighting from the morning sun.
Something that I wish we had done had we given ourselves more time and diversified our trip a bit more was to continue driving further south on the road towards the stave church (stavkirke) at Urnes.
This was said to be one of the oldest and best preserved stave churches in Norway dating back to 1150 so it was included as a UNESCO World Heritage attraction given its cultural importance.
I’m sure it also didn’t hurt that this medieval church was also situation close to the scenic Lustrafjorden, thereby also making it photogenic.
I definitely hope we can come back here on a return trip and complete the experience!
Feigefossen was situated on the eastern side of Lustrafjorden near the hamlet of Feigom. The first way we viewed the falls was from across the fjord. From Skjolden, we drove about 17.5km west on Road 55 towards the village of Høyheimsvik. There were a handful of opportunities to pullover and get a look, but my notes indicated that we happened to stop by a building labeled “Kro Lustrafjorden.”
To hike to the base of the falls, we took the local road 331 south of Skjolden along the eastern shore of Lustrafjorden for a little over 16km to the signposted car park labeled “Feigumfossen.” From there, we did the walk as described above.
By the way, the historic stave church at Urnes was another 13.5km further south on the local road 331. There was also a ferry going across Lustrafjorden between Urnes and Solvorn where the local road 338 eventually rejoined Road 55 west of Solvorn.
For context, Skjolden (at the head of the Luster Fjord or Lustrafjorden) was about 124km (or 2.5 hours drive with a ferry crossing) north of Flåm, 346km (about 5.5 hours drive) northwest of Oslo, and 288km (over 4.5 hours drive with a ferry crossing) northeast of Bergen.
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