Kvanndalsfossen

Geiranger / Dalsnibba, More og Romsdal County, Norway

About Kvanndalsfossen


Hiking Distance: about 1.6km round trip (includes scrambling for best views)
Suggested Time: 30-60 minutes (depends on degree of scrambling to seek best views)

Date first visited: 2005-07-01
Date last visited: 2019-07-19

Waterfall Latitude: 62.06439
Waterfall Longitude: 7.26159

Kvanndalsfossen was an unplanned waterfall that Julie and I stumbled upon when we passed by an obscure handwritten sign while making the drive towards the famous Geiranger Fjord from Loen on our first visit to Norway back in 2005.

When I swore that I saw the word “fossen” in the sign as we passed by, I was curious enough to double back and follow that sign.

Kvanndalsfossen_052_07192019 - Kvanndalsfossen from as direct of a view as I could get from the dicey rock outcropping protruding onto the Geirangerelva
Kvanndalsfossen from as direct of a view as I could get from the dicey rock outcropping protruding onto the Geirangerelva

That curiosity ultimately led us to the start of the walk to get to the base of what turned out to be Kvanndalsfossen.

After having visited the falls and studying the maps, we also came to the realization that our drive further up the mountain on the Fv63 between Loen and Geiranger happened to have passed by the upper tiers of the same waterfall!

Unfortunately, I also realized that the first experience didn’t quite hit the mark in terms of properly experiencing Kvanndalsfossen close up.

Indeed, it was only when I returned in July 2019, did I finally appreciate this waterfall’s main drop higher up the mountain from where I turned around on my first visit 14 years prior.

The end result was the photo at the top of this page though even that view came with a little caveat, which I’ll get into when I describe the hike in detail further below on this page.

Kvanndalsfossen_002_07012005 - Kvanndalsfossen as I saw it back on my first visit in 2005
Kvanndalsfossen as I saw it back on my first visit in 2005

Nevertheless, despite this waterfall’s close proximity to a seemingly popular campground (Dalen Camping was way busier and more expanded in 2019 than when we first saw it in 2005), I was still alone each time I’ve visited Kvanndalsfossen.

Thus, it seemed to be a very overlooked waterfall though I sensed there was some degree of ambiguity to how it should be experienced given the relative lack of clear signage as well as some rough and steep sections that I had to deal with.

As for the attributes of the falls itself, it seemed to have a cumulative drop of about 70m in its main section.

However, if you count its whole run (where the Geirangerelva finally calms down), its cumulative drop is more like 110m or so.

Experiencing Kvanndalsfossen

From the Dalen Gard camping area, I followed a sign pointing the way to Kvanndalsfossen, which followed a side path just past one of the structured accommodations.

Kvanndalsfossen_016_07182019 - The Kvanndalsfossen Trail continued to the right of this cabin at Dalen Camping
The Kvanndalsfossen Trail continued to the right of this cabin at Dalen Camping

There used to be an arrow sign saying the falls was 900m away, but I didn’t see that sign particular on my second visit. Instead, there was a different one saying it was only 500m away.

In any case, as I followed the path deviating from the road, I then went past some kind of stone fence with an opening before the path narrowed even more and meandered about as it generally started climbing.

The path eventually started to skirt the Geirangerelva, which was already churning at this point in the hike.

As the trail climbed in earnest, there was a side trail that led me to a small clearing where I was able to get a somewhat obstructed view of the twisting falls.

Kvanndalsfossen_028_07182019 - My view of Kvanndalsfossen before the trail really climbed steeply alongside the Geirangerelva
My view of Kvanndalsfossen before the trail really climbed steeply alongside the Geirangerelva

This was where I experienced Kvanndalsfossen on my first visit in 2005.

Continuing on with the main trail, it definitely got steeper the higher I went, and it eventually got to a bouldery section where I found a narrow path leaving the boulders and continuing to climb alongside the Geirangerelva.

Eventually after 20 minutes on the trail (roughly 700m according to my GPS logs), I reached a sign with “Kvanndalsfossen” written on it.

However, when I got there, I wasn’t exactly sure which part of the waterfall was the main part aside from a sliding drop near an outcrop.

Kvanndalsfossen_038_07192019 - Profile view of the main drop of Kvanndalsfossen somewhere near the sign
Profile view of the main drop of Kvanndalsfossen somewhere near the sign

While the view from the degenerated trail at this point was adequate, it was only a sideways profile view that left me wanting to see if it was possible to view it more directly.

Exploration Around Kvanndalsfossen

It turned out that to get that direct view, I had to scramble onto that outcrop protruding into the Geirangerelva right in front of Kvanndalsfossen.

And that was where there were some parts of the scramble that I found to be potentially dicey due to the overgrowth and dropoff exposure.

It definitely was not a sanctioned path.

In any case, from this vantage point, I ultimately wound up with the photo you see at the top of this page.

Kvanndalsfossen_049_07192019 - Looking back towards the valley and Dalen Camping from the dicey rock outcrop at the foot of the main drop of Kvanndalsfossen
Looking back towards the valley and Dalen Camping from the dicey rock outcrop at the foot of the main drop of Kvanndalsfossen

I also managed to get a nice view back down into the valley and the Dalen Gard campground (essentially telling me how high up I had climbed to get to this point).

The trail actually kept climbing alongside Kvanndalsfossen until it ended up back at the Fv63 (Geirangervegen).

From up here, I could see that there was no road shoulder nor pullout, and the falls fell right below the road bridge over the Geirangerelva so most motorists wouldn’t have noticed it.

I didn’t see the need to explore any further by the Fv63 so this was essentially my turnaround point to descend all the way back down to the campground.

Kvanndalsfossen_089_07192019 - Returning to the Dalen Camping to conclude my Kvanndalsfossen hike
Returning to the Dalen Camping to conclude my Kvanndalsfossen hike

When all was said and done, I wound up hiking about 1.8km according to my GPS logs, which included the additional scrambling up to the Fv63.

I wound up spending about 60 minutes away from the car.

On my first visit, when I shortchanged myself by not seeing the best part of Kvanndalsfossen, I had spent a little over 30 minutes away from the car.

Authorities

Kvanndalsfossen resides in the Stranda Municipality near Geiranger in Møre og Romsdal County, Norway. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website or Facebook page.

Kvanndalsfossen_002_07182019 - On the Fv63 as I was approaching the signed turnoff for Dalen Camping. Note the cascades in the background, which I believe might feed into Kvanndalsfossen. This photo and the next several shots took place in July 2019
Kvanndalsfossen_011_07182019 - On the unpaved road to Dalen Camping with some cascades high up on the mountains in the distance, which I believe ultimately feed into Kvanndalsfossen
Kvanndalsfossen_012_07182019 - Sign at Dalen Camping saying that Kvanndalsfossen was only 500m away, which I don't think was correct
Kvanndalsfossen_014_07182019 - Walking in the general direction for Kvanndalsfossen as I was traversing through the Dalen Camping complex
Kvanndalsfossen_017_07182019 - The Kvanndalsfossen Trail leaving the road where this car was parked, which somehow didn't seem kosher
Kvanndalsfossen_018_07182019 - On the grassy trail towards Kvanndalsfossen
Kvanndalsfossen_019_07182019 - Some kind of stone fencing with some farm equipment relics on the way to Kvanndalsfossen
Kvanndalsfossen_020_07182019 - The grassy trail continuing towards Kvanndalsfossen
Kvanndalsfossen_021_07182019 - For a good portion of the beginning of the Kvanndalsfossen Trail, it was not climbing severely as well as pretty easy to follow
Kvanndalsfossen_022_07182019 - Here's a part of the Kvanndalsfossen that was a little bit on the overgrown side
Kvanndalsfossen_025_07182019 - Here's a part of the Kvanndalsfossen Trail where it started climbing quite steeply
Kvanndalsfossen_029_07182019 - Continuing higher up on the Kvanndalsfossen Trail as the clouds had overtaken me and I was hiking up into the fog
Kvanndalsfossen_030_07192019 - The Kvanndalsfossen Trail became much narrower and more primitive the higher I went
Kvanndalsfossen_031_07192019 - Finally making it up to the Kvanndalsfossen sign
Kvanndalsfossen_044_07192019 - Partial profile view of Kvanndalsfossen from a little higher up the mountain than the sign
Kvanndalsfossen_045_07192019 - Somewhat direct view of the main drop of Kvanndalsfossen
Kvanndalsfossen_036_07192019 - Making it up to the Fv63 above Kvanndalsfossen
Kvanndalsfossen_037_07192019 - Looking in the other direction along the Fv63 by Kvanndalsfossen
Kvanndalsfossen_072_07192019 - Looking back towards Kvanndalsfossen with an RV driving on the Fv63 above it
Kvanndalsfossen_081_07192019 - Last look back towards the bottom part of Kvanndalsfossen
Kvanndalsfossen_085_07192019 - I noticed this bit of rubbish hidden on the Geirangerelva.  I wasn't sure what the deal was here, but that didn't seem like they were supposed to be here by the Kvanndalsfossen Trail
Kvanndalsfossen_086_07192019 - Back at the stone fence at Dalen Camping along the Kvanndalsfossen Trail
Kvanndalsfossen_093_07192019 - Looking towards other thin cascades across the Dalen Camping complex after I had just completed my hike to Kvanndalsfossen
Rv63_Rv15_014_07192019 - When we were back on the Fv63 heading towards Stryn and ultimately Olden, we encountered more cascades that I believe fed into Geirangerelva and the Kvanndalsfossen
Rv_15_003_jx_07012005 - While driving along Rv15 from Stryn in July 2005, we noticed this tall and impressive-looking waterfall. By the way, this photo and the rest of the photos in this gallery took place on this visit
Rv_15_005_jx_07012005 - We also noticed this other waterfall while driving the Rv15 north towards the tunnels leading to Fv63
Rv_63_006_jx_07012005 - Driving amongst the snow in the mountainous Fv63 in 2005
Rv_63_011_jx_07012005 - There were a handful of mountain cabins by the Fv63 in 2005
Rv_63_020_jx_07012005 - This was our view of what I believe to be the uppermost tiers of Kvanndalsfossen as we were descending towards Kvanndalsbrua on Fv63
Rv_63_022_jx_07012005 - Closer look at one section of the cascade belonging to Kvanndalsfossen by Fv63
Rv_63_023_jx_07012005 - These very interesting homes or cabins near Kvanndalsbrua looked like they were historical.  I think they were Kvanndalssætra as seen in 2005
Kvanndalsfossen_004_jx_07012005 - This was the tiny road sign for Kvanndalsfossen at the turnoff from Fv63 in 2005
Kvanndalsfossen_001_jx_07012005 - The Kvanddalsfossen sign at the trailhead from back in 2005.  Note that it says it was 900m away instead of the less realistic 500m that I saw in 2019
Kvanndalsfossen_004_07012005 - Another view of Kvanndalsfossen, but this time with lots of foliage obstructing the line of sight in 2005
Rv_63_027_jx_07012005 - When we left Geiranger, we went south and east on the Fv63, where we encountered more cascades that I think ultimately fed Kvanndalsfossen
Rv_63_029_jx_07012005 - Looking towards some more mountain cascades fronted by cabins seen along Fv63 near Kvanndalsfossen
Rv_63_034_jx_07012005 - A closer afternoon view of the upper tiers of Kvanndalsfossen from the Fv63 in 2005
Rv_63_035_jx_07012005 - This was the series of cascades that I believe to be the uppermost tiers of Kvanndalsfossen seen from the Fv63 in July 2005
Rv_63_043_jx_07012005 - Back into the snowy moors during our first trip to Norway in 2005 as we left Kvanndalsfossen and saw more of these isolated mountain cabins in seemingly inhospitable terrain

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Kvanndalsfossen sat to the south of the town of Geiranger so we’ll describe the driving directions from there.

We’ll also describe the route in the opposite direction from Stryn.

From Geiranger, we drove about 6.5km south on the Fv63 before turning right at the signposted turnoff for Dalen Camping.

Once on the turnoff, the unpaved road went for about 500m to a large car parking area within the Dalen Gard Camping complex.

Kvanndalsfossen_013_07182019 - The car park area at Dalen Camping, which also doubled as the Kvanndalsfossen Trailhead
The car park area at Dalen Camping, which also doubled as the Kvanndalsfossen Trailhead

This was where I parked the car and started walking.

This drive took me about 15-20 minutes.

Coming in the other direction from Stryn, we drove east on the Rv15 for about 51km to the junction with the Fv13.

Then, we drove about 17km north on the Fv63 before turning left onto the turnoff for Dalen Camping.

Kvanndalsfossen_092_07192019 - Looking back at the general Dalen Camping complex
Looking back at the general Dalen Camping complex

And then, we took the remaining 500m of unpaved road to the car park by the reception for the Dalen Campground.

For context, Geiranger was 75km (90 minutes drive) northeast of Stryn, 448km (6 hours drive) northwest of Oslo, 371km (6.5 hours drive with some ferry crossings) northeast of Bergen, and 376km (5.5 hours drive) southwest of Trondheim.

Semi-circular sweep showing the valley downstream of Kvanndalsfossen before panning over to the waterfall's main drop


Short sweep showing the lower cascades of Kvanndalsfossen where the clouds hadn't fogged up the scene yet

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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.
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