Movatnet / Sunnfjord, Sogn og Fjordane County, Norway

About Huldrefossen

Hiking Distance: 800m round trip
Suggested Time: 20-30 minutes

Date first visited: 2005-06-29
Date last visited: 2005-06-29

Waterfall Latitude: 61.43162
Waterfall Longitude: 5.99235

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Huldrefossen (I’ve also seen it spelled Huldefossen as well as Huldrafossen) was perhaps the most well-known waterfall of the Sunnfjord region.

This area encompassed the dozens upon dozens of waterfalls in the so-called Waterfall Country of the Førde and Gaular municipalities.

When Julie and I saw the falls during our late June 2005 visit to Norway, Huldrefossen fell in two powerful tiers from a reported height of 87m.

Huldrefossen_018_06292005 - Huldrefossen

It yielded enough spray to produce a rainbow in its mist refracting the evening sun, which further added to its scenic allure (see photo above).

Since the falls was directly fed by the large lake Åsvatnet, it was no wonder why it had such a healthy flow.

Thus, we felt it was with good reason that the falls was as famous as it was.

It was certainly the one waterfall of the Sunnfjord region that we were well aware of going into our trip that we just had to see amongst the many to choose from.

With Huldrefossen, it felt to Julie and I like the central theme was the cows (even the neighboring town was called Mo [pronounced “MOO”]).

Experiencing Huldrefossen

It started from the car park (see directions below) where we walked through what appeared to be the campus of an agricultural school (Mo Og Jølster Vidaregåande Skule).

Huldrefossen_005_jx_06292005 - One of many cows within the enclosure before Huldrefossen
One of many cows within the enclosure before Huldrefossen

We basically walked for around 10 minutes amongst a group of buildings along an unsigned paved path (going against “Mo-stein” signs) before we eventually started to see the falls oppposite the river Jølstra.

We continued on the path as it took us to a bridge crossing over the river.

Just on the other side of it, we had to go through a gate that enclosed a bunch of cows (there had to have been at least a dozen or so) grazing in a grassy area fronting the falls.

Since it was enclosing livestock, we had to be sure to keep the gate closed once we entered the enclosure.

Anyhow, once we were in the grazing area, we tried to improve our view of the falls from within this field.

However, that meant we had to avoid the numerous mounds of cow dung spread out all over the grazing field.

Huldrefossen_001_06292005 - View of Huldrefossen with one of the cows grazing in the field before us
View of Huldrefossen with one of the cows grazing in the field before us

Many of these mounds actually looked like rocks so we really had to pay attention to where we were going.

Unfortunately for Julie, she mistook one of them for a rock and ended up getting the stuff all over her shoe (including over the top of it)!

Timing of Huldrefossen

Julie and I actually visited this waterfall twice on the same day.

The first time we saw it was early in the afternoon around 2:30pm.

During that time, it seemed like the falls was in partial shadow and didn’t photograph that well.

However, we then returned later in the evening at around 9pm and that was when the falls was benefiting from the soft evening glow thus yielding the photo you see at the top of this page.

Huldrefossen_012_06292005 - Huldrefossen in partial shadow seen at around midday
Huldrefossen in partial shadow seen at around midday

While there was an exhibition explaining farm life in Sunnfjord in the 19th century, it was said to be open only from 11:00-18:00 on Summer weekdays and from 12:00-17:00 on Summer weekends.

We didn’t take the time to check it out when it was open so we can’t say more about it.

The Legend of Huldra

According to my Norwegian dictionary, the word hulder meant “fairy”, but from our Adventure Roads in Norway book as well the rest of the literature, we learned that in Scandinavian folklore, Huldra pertained to seductive ladies of the forest whose only flaw was that they had a cow’s tail.

Apparently, huldras had a lust for men such that she would seduce them to have intercourse, rewarding those who satisfied her but killing those who didn’t.

In keeping with the agricultural theme, it seemed that huldras may seduce local farm boys, and that if she was treated well, she’d lose her tail and they’d live happily ever after.

But she could easily beat and subdue men (using that tail as a weapon) who didn’t treat her kindly.


Huldrefossen resides in the Førde Municipality. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website or Facebook page.

Huldrefossen_014_jx_06292005 - As we entered the agricultural field, there were many cows grazing in front of Huldrefossen, including this one chilling out by the river Jølstra
Huldrefossen_005_06292005 - View of Huldrefossen with a cow grazing right in front of it
Huldrefossen_008_06292005 - A stream draining the outflow of the falls, though I wonder how much fertilizer and cow dung matter might be found in such a stream
Huldrefossen_014_06292005 - Contextual frontal view of the attractive Huldrefossen in the early afternoon
Huldrefossen_035_06292005 - We returned to Huldrefossen later in the afternoon or evening when the lighting was much better
Huldrefossen_033_06292005 - By this time in the afternoon, there were no cows in the field and we got to pay more attention to reflective pools like this one
Huldrefossen_022_06292005 - Another look at Huldrefossen and rainbow in the evening

From Førde, Huldrefossen was about 10km along the E39/Mv5 east to the town of Mo just past the lake Movatnet. There was a signed turnoff for the falls on the right. Going in the other direction on the E39, this turnoff was about a kilometer west of the junction involving E39/Mv5 and Rv13 at Moskog (or about 33km west along the E39 from the Rv5/E39 junction at Skei).

After taking this turnoff, we were led to a car park for the agricultural school that seemed to have ample parking.

For context, Skei was about 376km (over 5.5 hours drive with ferry crossings) northwest of Oslo. Førde was 176km (over 3 hours drive) north of Bergen.

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Tagged with: forde, skei, jolstra, sogn og fjordane, norway, cows, cow, huldra, waterfall, agricultural school, gaular, sunnfjord, mo

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