Kvernhusfossen and Geitaskardet

Mo, Hordaland County, Norway

About Kvernhusfossen and Geitaskardet


Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2005-06-26
Date last visited: 2019-06-28

Waterfall Latitude: 60.81826
Waterfall Longitude: 5.79609

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Both Kvernhusfossen and Geitaskardet were attractive waterfalls on opposite sides of the valley of Modalen (the Health Valley?) and the town of Mo (pronounced “MOO”).

The town was situated right at the headwaters of the Mo Fjord (Mofjorden) and the mouth of the Mo Valley.

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Context of Kvernhusfossen seen from the public area in the town of Mo i Modalen

And it was a town that I tend to remember for its tranquility in addition to its scenic surroundings.

When we first visited Mo i Modalen on a rainy late afternoon in June 2005, the town was seemingly isolated and quiet (though I’d imagine the bad weather had a lot to do with that).

When I came back in late June 2019, there was a bit more local activity going on as well as a few Summer holidaymakers enjoying some of the picnic and camping spots in the sleeping town.

Both Kvernhusfossen and Geitaskardet were visible pretty much throughout town.

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Looking back across Mofjorden towards picnickers and campers parked with a view of Geitaskardet in Mo i Modalen

Kvernhusfossen was the larger and more reliable of the two waterfalls.

It tumbled down a south-facing mountainside with a possible cumulative height of 230m (175m was what I saw based on how I had read the topographic maps).

Since Kvernhusfossen was fed from a pair of lakes called Nedstavatnet and Øvstavatnet, we suspect the waterfall would flow well for most of the year (if not all year round).

I managed to get my best views of the waterfall from the Fv569 in front of a farm just north of the narrow bridge in town as well as from a public area on the south side of the bridge near Bryggjeslottet.

As far as Geitaskardet (“GYE-ta-skar-duh”; the name I think might have something to do with goats since geit means “goat” according to my Norwegian dictionary) was concerned, it was a more strandy segmented waterfall tumbling right into the Mofjorden.

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This is how Julie and I saw Kvernhusfossen on a very rainy evening during our first visit back in June 2005

Its flow wasn’t as reliable, but with the high amount of rainfall in this part of Fjord Norway, it tends to get rejuvenated enough to put on a show.

When it was raining during our first visit back in June 2005, Geitaskardet appeared as “veins” in the mountains in much the similar manner as how we saw spontaneous waterfalls in New Zealand’s Fiordland region.

There was one more waterfall that we had missed on both of our visits, and that was Hellandsfossen.

This regulated 34m waterfall was said to possess Norway’s largest salmon ladder.

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Geitaskardet when we first saw it back in June 2005

As far as experiencing these waterfalls, we really didn’t have to do much exertion.

If anything, we merely just drove around and repositioned ourselves as we explored the different ways to experience this place.

Authorities

Kvernhusfossen and Geitaskardet reside in the Modalen Municipality. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

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There were a couple of ways that I was able to drive to Mo i Modalen from Bergen, which I’m using that city as the baseline though I could have easily started from Voss.

There was the more northern approach and the southern approach. I’ll describe the northern approach first since that’s significantly faster.

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Approaching the scenic town of Mo i Modalen while driving the Fv569 from the west

From Bergen, I headed north on the E39 for about 66km towards the suburb of Lindås.

Then, I turned right on the narrow Fv569 for about 15km going into the town of Mo i Modalen.

Once in town, I managed to find parking on the south side of the narrow bridge over the Moelva as well as some more limited parking closer to the public area at Bryggjeslottet towards the very south end of town.

Overall, this drive would take less than 90 minutes.

As for the more southerly approach, which is shorter distancewise, it would take longer due to the amount of driving on the very narrow Fv569.

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A small car park fronting the Mo Church and the single-lane bridge over Moelva in the sleepy town of Mo i Modalen

From Bergen, I would go I drove on the E39 for roughly 12km before reaching the roundabout at the junction with the E16.

I then took the E16 exit and drove for about 49km to the turnoff for Mo (Fv569) on the left (note that this turnoff was about 36km west of Voss).

Once on the Fv569, I then took the very narrow (mostly single-lane) road north for about 33km towards Modalen (which left a tunnel) and joined up with the Fv346.

After turning left on this county road, it then led into the town of Mo.

According to GoogleMaps, this drive would be under 2 hours.

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Looking back at the turnaround by the parking spaces fronting Bryggjeslottet as well as some shops and businesses in Mo

For some geographical context, Bergen was 103km (over 90 minutes drive) west of Voss, 135km (about 3 hours drive with a ferry crossing) west of Odda, 156km (about 2.5 hours) west of Eidfjord, 175km (a little over 3 hours drive with a ferry crossing) south of Førde, 211km (under 5 hours drive with ferry crossings) north of Stavanger, and 464km (about 7 hours drive) west of Oslo.

Semi-circular sweep showing Kvernhusfossen before panning over to Geitaskardet


Sweep covering the town of Mo and both waterfalls from the small beach area by the memorial

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Tagged with: mo, modalen, osterfjorden, osterfjord, vaksdal, hordaland, norway, waterfall, geitaskardet, kvernhusfossen

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