Oddadalen, Hordaland County, Norway

About Latefossen

Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2005-06-24
Date last visited: 2019-07-24

Waterfall Latitude: 59.94796
Waterfall Longitude: 6.58608

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Latefossen (Låtefossen [maybe pronounced like “LOH-teh-foss-un”]; also seen it spelled Lotefossen) was probably the most popular and dramatic of the waterfalls in Oddadalen (the Odda Valley).

Although we thought almost all of the waterfalls we encountered in the waterfall-laced Oddadalen were spectacular, I guess this one got the notoriety given its dual cascade appearance each with high volume flow.

Rv13_143_07242019 - Låtefossen seen on a fine day in late July 2019
Låtefossen seen on a fine day in late July 2019

We had a difficult time trying to keep our camera lens dry while attempting to take a clean all-encompassing photo of it given the nearly constant mist being thrown in our direction.

And this was the case despite the fact at that we were standing besides the car park on the opposite of the bridge (said to be completed in 1859) a little downstream of the base of the falls!

The signs here indicated that the pair of waterfalls tumbled from a height of 165m.

That said, I’ve also seen that its maximum vertical drop was said to be 51m, which I found the conflicting numbers to be confusing.

Latefossen_002_cropped2_06242005 - Låtefossen when we first saw it back in June 2005
Låtefossen when we first saw it back in June 2005

We have visited this waterfall over a couple of trips 14 years apart, and on that second trip, we even experienced it about a month apart.

So we can confidently say that this waterfall has permanent flow, and its volume doesn’t seem to noticeably change throughout the Summer months.

Låtefossen’s Attributes

The forceful flow of Låtefossen came from the lake Lotevatnet (Låtevatnet), which itself drained much larger lakes and snow fields belonging to the protected Hardangervidda National Park.

Hardangervidda is said to be Europe’s largest mountain plateau.

Oddadalen_045_06232019 - Looking towards the southern arm of Låtefossen which I believe was called Skarsfossen
Looking towards the southern arm of Låtefossen which I believe was called Skarsfossen

The falls was also said to be part of the protected Opo Watershed so that pretty much guaranteed its year-round flow and existence.

By the way, this protected watershed also allowed Oddadal Valley’s numerous other waterfalls to persist as well.

Also according to our Adventure Roads in Norway book, the more southern waterfall of the pair was technically supposed to have a different name called Skarsfossen.

Meanwhile, the more northern waterfall was supposed to have the more familiar name of Låtefossen.

Nevertheless, I tend to think of the two waterfalls together as Låtefossen, and I believe the literature agrees with this naming convention.

Experiencing Låtefossen

Oddadalen_016_06232019 - It can get pretty crowded at the kiosk and car park before Låtefossen, especially when there's a tour bus or two at the same time
It can get pretty crowded at the kiosk and car park before Låtefossen, especially when there’s a tour bus or two at the same time

It was definitely busy at the falls during our June 2005 visit despite the threatening weather.
They had put a little car park area, which seemed kind of small for the amount of traffic (at least for each of the times when we were there).

We had to queue up a little before we found a spot, but somehow the infrastructure here seemed to be strangely sufficient at the time.

That said, some drivers had to take some liberties with improvised parking that may have blocked in some other cars parked further within the long parking spaces (no doubt to accommodate RVs or trailers).

Speaking of infrastructure, there was also a snack bar as well as the aforementioned signs containing some advertisements as well as a few words about the falls.

Rv13_120_07242019 - Looking directly up at Låtefossen from the banks of the river right at the confluence of the waterfall's stream and the river itself
Looking directly up at Låtefossen from the banks of the river right at the confluence of the waterfall’s stream and the river itself

For a slightly different experience, we noticed an informal scrambling path towards the banks of the river that the waterfall fed into.

It was right below the corner with the Kaiser Wilhelm II memorial, and that allowed us to have a more direct look at the waterfall without getting sprayed on the Rv13 road bridge.


Låtefossen resides near the town and municipality of Odda in Hordaland County, Norway. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website or Facebook page.

Oddadalen_008_06232019 - Looking ahead towards the congestion fronting Låtefossen in Oddadalen during our visit in June 2019
Oddadalen_035_06232019 - Direct view of Låtefossen in Oddadalen from the banks of the river as seen during our visit in June 2019
Rv13_114_07242019 - Back at Låtefossen in Oddadalen a month later in late July 2019 when the weather happened to be a lot better than it was in late June in 2019
Rv13_132_07242019 - Slightly different look up towards Låtefossen from the banks of the river through Oddadalen in late July 2019
Rv13_148_07242019 - Looking downstream past the Skarsfossen part of Latefossen in late July 2019
Rv13_150_07242019 - There's always going to be people and cars in your line of sight before Låtefossen, which attests to how much traffic this place gets. This picture was taken in late July 2019
Rv13_151_07242019 - Trying to compose a shot of Låtefossen with blooming flowers in late July 2019
Latefossen_001_06242005 - Context of the approach to Latefossen from the car park from our first time here in June 2005
Latefossen_002_jx_06242005 - Sign by the snack bar of Latefossen during our first time here as of June 2005
Latefossen_004_jx_06242005 - This was Julie's attempt at photographing Latefossen while trying to keep the bridge out of the photo back in June 2005
Latefossen_002_cropped_06242005 - Partial portrait view of Latefossen from June 2005
Latefossen_005_06242005 - Bright focused look at the Latefossen as seen in late June 2005

Latefossen is on the southern part of Odda Valley (aka the Valley of Waterfalls) along the Rv13 about 15km south of Odda and 3km north of the E134/Rv13 junction by Skare.

It’s about 350m north of Espelandsfossen and roughly 7km south of Vidfoss.

For some geographical context, Odda is 17km (under 30 minutes drive) north of Skare, 42km (about 45 minutes drive) north of Røldal, 72km (about 1 hour drive) northeast of Etne, 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.

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Short semi-circular sweep covering the falls from kiosk level

360 degree sweep of Latefossen from beneath the Kaiser Wilhelm II memorial

Right to left sweep from below the bridge before Latefossen under blue skies

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Tagged with: odda, hordaland, sorfjorden, sorfjord, tyssedal, oddadalen, fjord, norway, waterfall

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Latefossen January 9, 2010 2:13 am by Julie A. - We were there in 1993 and viewed many waterfalls during our trip by car around the Haugesund, Bergen, Voss areas. The year we were there was a particularly heavy rainfall year and the waterfalls were powerful and very wet when we stood at the bottom to view and take pictures. I still get goosebumps when… ...Read More

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