Gloppefossen

Setesdal Valley, Aust-Agder County, Norway

About Gloppefossen


Hiking Distance: 6km round trip
Suggested Time: 2 hours

Date first visited: 2019-07-25
Date last visited: 2019-07-25

Waterfall Latitude: 59.28308
Waterfall Longitude: 7.47953

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Gloppefossen was one of the highest permanent waterfalls (Reiårsfossen could be taller) in the Setesdal Valley with a cumulative drop of around 120m (or up to 140m if I include some of the cascades above and below the steepest part).

This waterfall actually haunted me ever since the first time we visited the Setesdal Valley back in late June 2005, but completely missed on it.

Gloppefossen_082_07242019 - Gloppefossen in mid- or late-Summer flow in 2019
Gloppefossen in mid- or late-Summer flow in 2019

Since then, I had been itching to finally get to see this waterfall, and I had to wait 14 years and towards the end of our 2019 trip when the weather was good enough to finally do it.

The waterfall flowed on the Veiåne River, which was sourced by highland lakes and plateaus including Husebøvatnet as well as Torvikvatnet just to name a few.

So with this permanent flow, it carved a deep and wide canyon called Veiåjuvet through which the hiking trail traversed through while crossing the river about three or four times.

The hike itself was about 3km each way (6km round trip), and didn’t have any severe climbs.

However, all but two of the river crossings were unbridged so I didn’t think it was a good idea to do this hike when the rivers would be swollen during heavy rains (which was the case when we first stayed in Setesdalen in late June 2019).

Gloppefossen_151_07242019 - The Gloppefossen hike went into the Veiåjuvet canyon as it followed along the Veiåne that carved it out
The Gloppefossen hike went into the Veiåjuvet canyon as it followed along the Veiåne that carved it out

When I came back a month later, the river levels were low enough that I didn’t get my feet wet though there was a good deal of balancing (hiking sticks would help) to get through the unbridged crossings.

Nevertheless, it was a pretty simple hike though I did have to race the morning sun since it was a west-facing waterfall.

In other words, if it’s sunny, then afternoon would be a good time to take photos.

Hiking to Gloppefossen

The hike began right off the Rv7 road at the start of what appeared to be an old gravel road (see directions below).

Gloppefossen_005_07242019 - The Gloppefossen trailhead started right at the start of the gravel road because a barricade was set up to prevent vehicles from driving up to the old trailhead
The Gloppefossen trailhead started right at the start of the gravel road because a barricade was set up to prevent vehicles from driving up to the old trailhead

A barricade blocked further vehicular traffic from the turnoff so I had to walk the gravel road.

For the first 1.2km , the gently ascending trail left the open valley and went into a forested area as the trail made a hook bend to the left.

Eventually, the trail arrived at a small loop where the old trailhead used to be, and this confirmed my suspicion that they used to let you drive this gravel road.

In any case, beyond this loop, the trail continued on an old and narrow tractor road as it started to follow the Veiåne (or Veiåni as labeled on Norgeskart) and would do so for the remainder of the hike.

Gloppefossen_037_07242019 - This was the first crossing of the Veiåne River, which was by a picnic table, but there happened to be a sturdy bridge nearby to make this traverse easy (at least as of my July 2019 visit)
This was the first crossing of the Veiåne River, which was by a picnic table, but there happened to be a sturdy bridge nearby to make this traverse easy (at least as of my July 2019 visit)

At a little over 400m from the old trailhead (or 1.6km from the current trailhead), I reached a crossing of the river.

Although I could have gone right through this crossing unbridged, I did notice a pretty sturdy footbridge nearby, so I took that to avoid getting wet.

Beyond the bridge, the trail resumed its gentle riverside meander for the next 900m or so.

Towards the end of this stretch, the trail probably reached its highest point where there was some kind of box as well as my first glimpses of the Gloppefossen up ahead.

Gloppefossen_061_07242019 - The second crossing of the Veiåne on the Gloppefossen hike, which also happened to be bridged
The second crossing of the Veiåne on the Gloppefossen hike, which also happened to be bridged

After a brief descent back down to the river level, the trail made another river crossing, which was also bridged during my visit in July 2019.

Beyond this footbridge, the twisted a few times with the falls being partially visible throughout, and as the views of Gloppefossen became tantalizingly close, I then encountered the third river crossing roughly 350m beyond the second bridge.

Unlike the first two crossings, this third crossing was unbridged, but there were some big rocks arranged so that I could balance myself on them and still make the crossing without getting wet.

Shortly after getting across this third crossing of the Veiåne, the trail briefly went up and down a short hill before encountering the fourth and final crossing less than 100m later.

Gloppefossen_071_07242019 - Context of the third crossing of the Veiåne, which was unbridged, but as you can see, the Gloppefossen was getting very close
Context of the third crossing of the Veiåne, which was unbridged, but as you can see, the Gloppefossen was getting very close

Of all the river crossings, this last one was the trickiest to traverse without getting wet.

After getting past the last of the stream crossings, I then went about 50-60m further before I finally got to a place where I got a pretty satisfying view of the entirety of Gloppefossen.

While there were false trails or signs of other people scrambling further (either for different views or perhaps to get to the bottom fo the falls – requiring yet another river crossing), this was my turnaround point.

The return hike was mostly gradually downhill on the return, so when all was said and done, I took a little over 2 hours away from the car to cover the 6km round trip.

Authorities

Gloppefossen resides in the Valle Municipality. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Gloppefossen_004_07242019 - This sign asked us to park off the road so I guess certain locals could still use the road
Gloppefossen_009_07242019 - Traversing the open area flanked by Summer wildflowers at the beginning of the Gloppefossen hike
Gloppefossen_013_07242019 - After the clearing, the Gloppefossen hike went into a lightly forested area
Gloppefossen_015_07242019 - The Gloppefossen Trail then started to bend to the left
Gloppefossen_017_07242019 - In the initial 1.2km of the gravel road, the cliffs of the Veiåjuvet started to come into view
Gloppefossen_022_07242019 - When I arrived at the loop marking the end of the 1.2km gravel road, the Gloppefossen hike then resumed on a narrower tractor road
Gloppefossen_033_07242019 - The tractor road on the Gloppefossen hike was considerably narrower than earlier on
Gloppefossen_036_07242019 - Approaching a picnic table
Gloppefossen_040_07242019 - Looking back at the sturdy footbridge at the first crossing of the river on the Gloppefossen hike
Gloppefossen_045_07242019 - Beyond the first river crossing, the Gloppefossen hike resumed on a more grassy trail, which seemed to be prone to having lots of mosquitos during my July 2019 hike
Gloppefossen_046_07242019 - Zoomed in on one of the wildflowers blooming besides the Gloppefossen hike
Gloppefossen_057_07242019 - Continuing along the Gloppefossen Trail which went deeper into the Veiåjuvet canyon
Gloppefossen_058_07242019 - Starting to get my first glimpses of the Gloppefossen just as I reached some kind of box at perhaps the apex of the hike
Gloppefossen_068_07242019 - After the second footbridge, the trail consistently allowed me to view Gloppefossen partially looming above the trees at the head of the Veiåjuvet canyon
Gloppefossen_166_07242019 - Looking towards the hill just past the third crossing of the Veiåne, which was unbridged
Gloppefossen_074_07242019 - This was the fourth and final crossing of the Veiåne River, which I felt was the trickiest one to cross as you can see.  It required a bit of nifty balancing and boulder hopping as well as a log aid that someone put in there to make it even easier
Gloppefossen_087_07242019 - My first good look at the Gloppefossen fronted by the Veiåne River
Gloppefossen_101_07242019 - Full context of Gloppefossen with the rest of the headwall of the Veiåjuvet canyon
Gloppefossen_106_07242019 - From a slightly alternate viewing spot, I got this look at the entirety of Gloppefossen
Gloppefossen_131_07242019 - Looking up towards an erosion prone cliff at the head of the Veiåjuvet canyon, which had a bunch of boulders at the base as evidence of its erosion potential
Gloppefossen_143_07242019 - After having my fill of he Gloppefossen, it was time to go back across the unbridged crossings of the Veiåne and return to the trailhead
Gloppefossen_180_07242019 - After getting past all the unbridged crossings of the Veiåne, I was pretty much home free on the Gloppefossen Trail
Gloppefossen_181_07242019 - Back at some kind of box along the Gloppefossen Trail where I wasn't sure what its purpose was
Gloppefossen_201_07242019 - Back on the gravel road as I was returning from Gloppefossen
Gloppefossen_211_07242019 - Back at the opening near the trailhead for Gloppefossen
Gloppefossen_216_07242019 - Approaching the end of the Gloppefossen hike just as the weather appeared to be clearing up this morning

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Gloppefossen was in the northern part of the Setesdal Valley.

Since we were staying in the small town of Rysstad, we’ll describe the driving directions from there.

Basically from Rysstad, we drove north on the Rv7 for about 25km until we reached the signed turnoff and trailhead for Gloppefossen on the right.

Gloppefossen_003_07242019 - The Gloppefossen trailhead
The Gloppefossen trailhead

This was a little over 3km north of the Fv45 and Rv7 junction.

This drive took me about 35 minutes.

Coming from the other direction in Haukeligrend, we would drive south on the Rv7 for about 72km.

The trailhead would be on the left, and this drive would take about an hour.

For some geographical context, Rysstad was 97km (about 1.5 hours drive) south of Haukeli, 141km (under 2 hours drive) north of Kristiansand, 159km (over 2.5 hours drive) southwest of Rjukan, 159km (over 2.5 hours drive) east of Stavanger, and 300km (under 5 hours drive) west of Oslo.

Sweep of my first look at Gloppefossen and examining it from a couple of spots along the trail before the 3rd stream crossing


Sweep showing the cliffs around Gloppefossen before examining the falls more closely all before the stream that the falls fed into


Sweep of the falls from a slightly different vantage point after pursuing one of the false trails, which revealed a little bit of the lowermost cascades between the trees

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Tagged with: valle, setesdalen, setesdal valley, rysstad, waterfall, veiani, rv7, norway, aust-agder



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