The Husedalen Waterfalls

Kinsarvik / Hardangervidda National Park, Hordaland County, Norway

About The Husedalen Waterfalls


Hiking Distance: 10km round trip (from Tveitafossen); 13km round trip (from official car park)
Suggested Time: 4-6 hours

Date first visited: 2005-06-25
Date last visited: 2019-06-23

Waterfall Latitude: 60.33111
Waterfall Longitude: 6.80182

Husedalen Waterfalls were a series of four giant waterfalls on the Kinso River making a mad dash down from the Hardanger Plateau (Hardangervidda) to the South Fjord (Sørfjorden) arm of the Hardangerfjord.

The cumulative drop of the Kinso River was said to be 840m over a 4km stretch as it could be argued these falls are collectively one giant waterfall when viewed from afar or in the air, I’d imagine.

Husedalen_041_06242005 - Søtefossen, which was the last of the major Husedalen Waterfalls on the Kinso River
Søtefossen, which was the last of the major Husedalen Waterfalls on the Kinso River

Anyhow, in the order that I saw them, these waterfalls were called Tveitafossen, Nyastølsfossen, Nykkjesøyfossen, and Søtefossen.

I think each of these four waterfalls could’ve easily been superlative waterfalls in its own right.

The fact that they were all on this one mega waterfall excursion really says something about the magnitude of this waterfalling adventure.

That said, during my visit in June 2005, I found out that this hike wasn’t easy as I ended up spending nearly 5 hours on the trail (and that included some trail running) where some sections were difficult to follow.

Husedalen_143_06242005 - This is a view of Tveitafossen and the power station below it seen from the switchbacking gravel road I ended up walking. This was the first of the Husedalen Waterfalls
This is a view of Tveitafossen and the power station below it seen from the switchbacking gravel road I ended up walking. This was the first of the Husedalen Waterfalls

I believe this would typically be at least a six-hour hike at a more leisurely pace under those circumstances.

Anyhow, it turned out that all the footbridges were either taken down or washed away due to the high flow of the Kinso River, and perhaps that was what made the hike harder than I was led to believe.

After finding out about the difficulties of the hike the hard way, I then got this sense that this hike should have been easier than I’m making it out to be when I was talking with a worker at the visitor center in Kinsarvik.

Upon me telling him it was a difficult hike, he looked at me strangely as if I didn’t know what I was talking about.

In any case, despite the difficulties, I thought the rewards of this hike were well worth the effort.

Husedalen_117_06242005 - This is Nykkjesøyfossen, which was the third of the Husedalen Waterfalls. Note the cabin, which was one of a handful of them on this hike, and it made me wonder if this was how Husedalen got its name
This is Nykkjesøyfossen, which was the third of the Husedalen Waterfalls. Note the cabin, which was one of a handful of them on this hike, and it made me wonder if this was how Husedalen got its name

Indeed, I thought this was the must do hike in Hordaland County, and if there was one waterfall hike where you would have to spend the better part of a day to do, this one would be it!

Forced Extension of the Official Husedalen Hike

It turned out that on my first visit in June 2005, I was able to hike a shorter distance than what the authorities advocate as of 2019.

When I came back here, I realized that they now want you to park about 1.5km before the Tveita power station, which also preceded some heliport.

I didn’t recall that heliport being there before on my first visit.

Husedalen_009_06232019 - The bridge by the sanctioned car park for Husedalen. It was another 1.5km to get from here to the Tveita Power Station
The bridge by the sanctioned car park for Husedalen. It was another 1.5km to get from here to the Tveita Power Station

There was some camping area and some space to park the car at this spot.

I’m presuming that extending the hike in this manner would have avoided some difficulty driving on the narrow single-lane road to the power station (especially if a car was going the other way!).

So this would add another 3km to the overall distance of the hike (count on adding another 60-90 minutes or so).

Nevertheless, I’m still going to proceed with the trail description below as if you start from the Tveita Power Station.

The Husedalen Waterfalls Hike – from Tveitafossen to Nyastølsfossen

Husedalen_149_06242005 - Context of the power station, Tveitafossen, and the rental car
Context of the power station, Tveitafossen, and the rental car

My hike began from a small power station at the trailhead of the hike (see directions below).

Right behind the power station was the waterfall Tveitafossen.

I was able to get in front of this waterfall from right beside the power station though there was a tremendous amount of mist that got thrown in my direction so it wasn’t easy to photograph.

That said, I’d imagine that it might not be as bad later in the Summer when the Kinso River would have a chance to calm down a bit.

Husedalen_002_06232019 - Looking up at Tveitafossen when the Kinso River was in lower flow during my brief visit in late June 2019
Looking up at Tveitafossen when the Kinso River was in lower flow during my brief visit in late June 2019

From the power station, I was a little confused as to which direction I should go.

At first, I went up a very rocky and uneven “path” that followed some thick diversion pipes that prevented me from seeing any more of Tveitafossen.

After a few minutes of going up this path, I decided that there must’ve been an easier path so I went back down to the power station, then I walked further down the road until I went up a chain-closed gravel road.

That road then climbed up to a point where I could get more contextual views of Tveitafossen in context with the power station, and I would then find myself at a few trail junctions (about 1km from the power station).

Husedalen_139_06242005 - Approaching a junction above the Tveita Power Station where there was a narrower trail on the right possibly leading to a path alongside the Kinso River. I kept left at this junction during my June 2005 hike
Approaching a junction above the Tveita Power Station where there was a narrower trail on the right possibly leading to a path alongside the Kinso River. I kept left at this junction during my June 2005 hike

It turned out that had I persisted on that rocky path earlier on, I would have ended up at one of these junctions.

There was also another narrow trail that branched off from the gravel road that seemed to go back towards the river.

Not certain of whether this trail was for the power station or not, I opted to stay on the gravel road.

In hindsight, that other path turned out to be the riverside trail that I probably was supposed to take in the first place.

Husedalen_138_06242005 - Entering Hardengervidda Nasjonalpark with Nyastølsfossen coming into view as the gravel road finally started to flatten out
Entering Hardengervidda Nasjonalpark with Nyastølsfossen coming into view as the gravel road finally started to flatten out

In any case, after another kilometer of hiking that involved some more climbing (which definitely warmed me up despite the chilly pre-dawn morning start I was getting), the road flattened out.

Soon thereafter, I eventually passed by a sign that said “Hardangervidda Nasjonalpark”, which indicated to me that I finally entered into the boundaries of the reserve.

Shortly thereafter, I started to see the full context of the thick and sloping Nyastolsfossen (more accurately spelled Nyastølsfossen or Nyastølfossen).

And even though I could see the extent of this massive waterfall, it always seemed like trees were blocking parts of the waterfall.

Husedalen_130_06242005 - View of Nyastølsfossen from the gravel road.  This was the second waterfall in Husedalen.
View of Nyastølsfossen from the gravel road. This was the second waterfall in Husedalen.

In hindsight, I would later learn that the riverside spur trail that I skipped would be the path to get me closer to the falls.

So instead, I had to “settle” for the distant views, but as you can see from photos on this page, this view was quite good anyways!

The Husedalen Waterfalls Hike – from Nyastølsfossen to Nykkjesøyfossen

Next, the gravel road went past Nyastølsfossen and eventually reached a dead-end after another 0.5km.

From there, I had to look very carefully for red “T”‘s painted onto rocks or trees.

Husedalen_020_06242005 - A rock with a red T, which was the first such marker that I encountered after reaching the end of the gravel road
A rock with a red T, which was the first such marker that I encountered after reaching the end of the gravel road

These trail markers were apparently painted by DNT (Den Norske Turistforeningen), which was the authority maintaining the trails in much of Norway.

They were definitely helpful in not only this section of the hike but even further beyond!

When I finally started to pick up on the “bread crumbs” and regain the hiking trail, I then found myself alongside the Kinso River again.

Not long thereafter, I started to see Nykkjesøyfossen, which was the third waterfall in the Husedal Valley series.

Husedalen_112_06242005 - Alongside the Kinso River looking ahead at Nykkjesøyfossen
Alongside the Kinso River looking ahead at Nykkjesøyfossen

This falls was a bit more modestly-sized compared to the first two, but it was a very welcome sight considering the degree of uncertainty and doubt I had to go through in trying to continue the hike.

Around this waterfall, I also noticed a handful of mountain cabins or homes (hytta) that further assured me that I was going the right way.

By the way, I wondered if these cabins or homes that seemed to be in the middle of wilderness had something to do with the name Husedalen as I understood it to mean “the house valley”.

The Husedalen Waterfalls Hike – from Nykkjesøyfossen to Søtefossen

Continuing beyond Nykkjesøyfossen, I continued past the cabins and followed more of the red Ts along the Kinso River.

Husedalen_096_06242005 - After following some red Ts, I found myself against the wall responsible for the Nykkjesøyfossen, where I then had to make another steep climb to get higher on the Husedalen Waterfalls hike
After following some red Ts, I found myself against the wall responsible for the Nykkjesøyfossen, where I then had to make another steep climb to get higher on the Husedalen Waterfalls hike

I had to get around one tricky flooded creek crossing, but fortunately I was able to scramble around the flooded section without getting my feet wet.

Eventually, the red Ts led me up to the wall responsible for the falls, and it was at this point that I had to ascend a steep scramble that went up this wall.

With the red Ts assuring me that I went the right way, I found myself using both my hands and my legs until this climb briefly flattened out amidst a moorish terrain consisting of mud, bush, granite, and short trees.

Proceeding further up the trail was not easy as I found myself looking for sparsely-placed red Ts.

Husedalen_039_06242005 - Beyond Nykkjesøyfossen, I had to endure some rough scrambling to scale the wall responsible for that waterfall.  Fortunately, I spotted more red Ts, which were useful as trail markers.
Beyond Nykkjesøyfossen, I had to endure some rough scrambling to scale the wall responsible for that waterfall. Fortunately, I spotted more red Ts, which were useful as trail markers.

I would eventually have to go up another tricky rock-wall scramble (again using all of my limbs) until I finally reached the plateau above Nykkjesøyfossen.

At that point, there were some confusing red Ts and stacked rock cairns that seemingly led me right to the turbulent Kinso River.

It would turn out that those “misleading” paths were supposed to be where footbridges would help me continue on the other side of the Kinso River.

So instead, I just continued off-trail scrambling towards Søtefossen (“the sweet waterfall”?), which was the fourth and last of the big Husedalen Waterfalls.

Husedalen_078_06242005 - Looking back at some cascades with Søtefossen in the background
Looking back at some cascades with Søtefossen in the background

With that waterfall clearly in sight, I basically scrambled to a point where I was able to get a photo of the falls as you see at the top of this page.

This was ultimately about 1.2km of non-trivial scrambling and route-finding beyond Nykkjesøyfossen.

And as you can see from the photos, it was an unusually-shaped sloping pair of waterfalls dropping at nearly 90-degree angles from each other.

From what I could tell, I was surrounded by the walls of the Hardanger Plateau (Hardangervidda) as well as the rushing Kinso River.

Husedalen_070_06242005 - Clouds starting to descend and swirl around Søtefossen, which was my cue to head back to Kinsarvik
Clouds starting to descend and swirl around Søtefossen, which was my cue to head back to Kinsarvik

Even though the trail maps indicated that I could somehow keep going higher and onto the plateau above the falls, I was content to see the falls and return back the way I came.

This was especially since clouds were starting to swirl and descend over the falls thereby obscuring it.

However, given how difficult it was to route-find my way just to get up here, it was nearly as difficult to route-find my way back the way I came.

At least I had the confidence of knowing that I took a path to get up here and I could also survey where I was going since I was always higher than where I was going on the return hike.

Husedalen_092_06242005 - Looking down from the top of Nykkjesøyfossen into part of Husedalen Valley on the return hike
Looking down from the top of Nykkjesøyfossen into part of Husedalen Valley on the return hike

I ended up going back the same route that I took on the way up.

In hindsight, I probably could have done this hike as a loop going up the riverside trail besides Nyastølsfossen, then going down the gravel road back to the power station by Tveitafossen.

Authorities

The Husedalen Waterfalls reside in the Ullensvang Municipality near Kinsarvik in Hordaland County, Norway. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website or Facebook page.

Husedalen_005_06232019 - Some WCs as well as space for parking further down the road closer to Kinsarvik as seen in June 2019, which made the Husedalen Waterfalls hike much longer than when I first did it in June 2005
Husedalen_010_06232019 - These days, you're supposed to walk on this road for 1.5km (note the turnoff on the right is for a heliport) to get to the power station at Tveitafossen
Kinsarvik_007_jx_06242005 - This was a pair of troll statues we noticed near the Kinsarvik Hotel, where we were staying for the night before I did the Husedalen Waterfalls hike in June 2005
Husedalen_003_06242005 - Approaching Tveitafossen on the narrow road leading to the power station seen during the pre-dawn hours in June 2005
Husedalen_009_06242005 - Early morning view of Tveitafossen before I started on the hike of the Husedalen Waterfalls in June 2005
Husedalen_011_06242005 - Side view alongside Tveitafossen as I tried to hike on the awkward rocky path besides the diversion pipes in June 2005
Husedalen_012_06242005 - Entering Hardengervidda Nasjonalpark with Nyastølsfossen coming into view as the gravel road finally started to flatten out during my June 2005 hike
Husedalen_016_06242005 - Partial and obstructed view of Nyastølsfossen seen from the gravel road during the early morning hours of my June 2005 hike
Husedalen_017_06242005 - Looking across Nyastølsfossen while hiking on the gravel road above this waterfall en route to the remaining waterfalls in Husedalen on my June 2005 hike
Husedalen_018_06242005 - Looking downstream across the bottom part of Nyastølsfossen from the gravel road during my June 2005 hike
Husedalen_118_06242005 - At the very end of the gravel road where then I had to figure out where to go next during my June 2005 hike
Husedalen_119_06242005 - I would later find this faint path past this plastic tarp held down by a rock as seen during my June 2005 hike
Husedalen_021_06242005 - Nykkjesoyfossen coming up with a house in front of it as seen during my early morning June 2005 hike. Notice that Sotefossen was further upstream barely visible from this spot.
Husedalen_023_06242005 - Flooded part of the Husedalen trail during my June 2005 visit, where I was lucky enough to find a muddy scrambling path to avoid drenching my hiking boots
Husedalen_025_06242005 - A closer look at Nykkjesøyfossen while continuing to figure out where to hike to next on my June 2005 hike
Husedalen_026_06242005 - This was one of a handful of mountain or hunting cabins seen along the Husedalen Trail during my visit in June 2005.  It made me wonder whether this was why Husedalen was so named since 'hus' means house and 'dal' mean valley.
Husedalen_027_06242005 - Another look amongst the cabins around the Nykkjesøyfossen en route to the highland plateau of Hardangervidda and the other waterfalls of Husedalen Valley during my June 2005 hike
Husedalen_028_06242005 - Another encouraging red T as I got closer to the third of the Husedalen Waterfalls during my June 2005 visit
Husedalen_029_06242005 - Getting closer to the Nykkjesøyfossen while still trying to figure out how to proceed higher on the Husedalen Waterfalls hike in June 2005
Husedalen_036_06242005 - Another look over the Kinso River towards Nykkjesøyfossen while on my Husedalen Waterfalls hike in June 2005
Husedalen_038_06242005 - Finally, Søtefossen started coming into view after a bit of scrambling to find a way to get up to it during my June 2005 hike
Husedalen_040_06242005 - More of Søtefossen was being revealed as I scrambled closer to it during my June 2005 hike
Husedalen_046_06242005 - Finally before Søtefossen (the sweet waterfall?)! This was my turnaround point of my June 2005 morning hike
Husedalen_057_06242005 - Some other side waterfall near Søtefossen as seen in my June 2005 visit
Husedalen_059_06242005 - Looking back at the moorish highland tundra-like terrain that I had to scramble through before finally seeing Søtefossen on my June 2005 hike
Husedalen_063_06242005 - Looking down the valley besides one of the sparsely placed rock cairns on my Husedalen Waterfalls hike in June 2005
Husedalen_067_06242005 - Looking further downstream along the Kinso River towards the South Fjord arm of the Hardangerfjord way in the distance on my June 2005 hike in Husedalen
Husedalen_076_06242005 - Looking down towards the brink of Nykkjesøyfossen just beyond this rock cairn as I was returning to Kinsarvik after having seen all four major waterfalls in Husedalen during my June 2005 hike
Husedalen_085_06242005 - Another look back down towards the South Fjord arm of the Hardangerfjord from Husedalen Valley during my June 2005 hike
Husedalen_087_06242005 - Looking back towards Søtefossen while descending back down the Husedalen Valley during my June 2005 hike
Husedalen_093_06242005 - Looking down over from the brink of Nykkjesøyfossen towards the remote cabins down by this flat part alongside the Kinso River as I was returning to Kinsarvik during my June 2005 hike
Husedalen_102_06242005 - Angled look back towards the Nykkjesøyfossen after having descended back downstream from it on my return hike in Husedalen Valley in June 2005
Husedalen_116_06242005 - Looking back at Nykkjesøyfossen as the light was improving during my return hike to Kinsarvik in June 2005
Husedalen_121_06242005 - Looking across Nyastølsfossen from the gravel road later that morning on the return hike in June 2005
Husedalen_123_06242005 - Looking way back at Søtefossen as I was making my way back towards Nyastølsfossen on my return hike to Kinsarvik in June 2005
Husedalen_125_06242005 - Looking back at the context of Søtefossen and the gravel road that I had taken as part of my long Husedalen Waterfalls hike in June 2005
Husedalen_128_06242005 - Angled view of Nyastolsfossen as I hiked on the gravel road during my return hike to Kinsarvik in June 2005
Husedalen_136_06242005 - Looking back at the context of the Nyastølsfossen with the gravel road that I had descended on during my return to Kinsarvik in June 2005
Husedalen_148_06242005 - Fighting off the mist for this direct view of Tveitafossen at the very end of the hike in Husedalen in June 2005

join-booking-970x240-1.jpg


To get to the trailhead, I left the Rv13 in the town of Kinsarvik (just behind the Kinsarvik Hotel about 42km north of Odda and 25km southwest of Eidfjord) and drove up a 4km road.

I took the road uphill all the way to its end to the power station by Tveitafossen, and that was where I left the car.

Of course, that was back then in 2005. When I came back in 2019, I learned that the car park was now 1.5km before the power station.

Husedalen_004_06232019 - The sanctioned car park for the Husedalen hike, which was 1.5km before the power station at Tveitafossen
The sanctioned car park for the Husedalen hike, which was 1.5km before the power station at Tveitafossen

Therefore, the hike was now extended by another 3km round trip.

For some geographical context, Odda is 41km (about 45 minutes drive) south of Kinsarvik, 42km (about 45 minutes drive) north of Røldal, 72km (about 90 minutes drive) south of Eidfjord, 134km (about 3 hours drive with a ferry crossing) east of Bergen, 179km (over 3 hours drive with some ferry crossings) north of Stavanger, and 323km (about 5 hours drive) west of Oslo.

Tagged with: husedalen, husedal, kinsarvik, ullensvang, hordaland, norway, waterfall, eidfjord, tveitafossen, nyastolsfossen, nykkjesoyfossen, sotefossen, hardanger, hardangervidda, kinso



Visitor Comments:

No users have replied to the content on this page


Share your thoughts about what you've read on this page

You must be logged in to submit content. Refresh this page after you have logged in.

Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

No users have submitted a write-up/review of this waterfall


Have you been to a waterfall? Submit a write-up/review and share your experiences or impressions

Review A Waterfall

Nearest Waterfalls

Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
Read More About Johnny | A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls.