About Laukelandsfossen and Osfossen
Laukelandsfossen was a waterfall that Julie and I thought had a scenic allure rivaling the more famous Huldrefossen as the Sunnfjord region’s prettiest waterfall. What this waterfall had going for it was its 120m drop backed by the sugarloaf-shaped mountains called Laukelandshesten (the Laukeland Horse) and Mt Kringla. The falls was on the Storelva (Big River), which itself drained several lakes so it seemed like the vigor of its flow would be assured. We happened to see it from across the Dalsfjord, which we felt was the right position to see both the falls and its impressive backdrop.
Laukelandsfossen kind of sat alone compared to the other waterfalls of the so-called Waterfall Country (Fossheimen) encompassing the joint municipalities of Førde and Gaular. So we had to do a bit of an out-and-back detour following the Dalsfjord (see directions below). During that drive, we also visited the waterfall Osfossen (also called Osenfossen) sitting right at the head of the Dalsfjord where the Gaula River dropped 11.5m before joining the waters of the fjord.
Osfossen was a well-known river-type waterfall on the Gaula River whose claim to fame was its reputation as an exclusive and expensive salmon fishing spot. It was said that most of the salmon caught on the Gaula was within a 500m stretch between the fjord and the waterfall. There was also a salmon ladder on the south side of the west-facing waterfall that was said to be the oldest in Norway. I recalled there was a car park or pullout area near the southern side of the falls, which was where Julie and I experienced it. It also appeared that the falls could be viewed from the opposite side of the river though we didn’t get a chance to do that on our late June 2005 visit.
Beyond Osfossen, we found ourselves on a narrow road county road that seemed almost like it could barely fit two cars side-by-side. On such roads, it was fine for traffic going in opposite directions, but I doubted that it would be safe to pass someone going slow. Once we started to notice Laukelandsfossen across the fjord, there were very limited amounts of pullout spots to get out of the way of traffic. I recalled that it definitely wasn’t signposted, and the challenge was to take photos of the waterfall without it being ruined by power lines or other homes in the foreground. That said, this was really nothing more than a roadside stop to us though I’d imagine that fjord cruises on the Dalsfjord might enjoy more intimate views of the falls from within the body of water itself.
Overall, our out-and-back detour encompassing both waterfalls took us a little less than an hour round-trip.
Julie and I visited both Laukelandsfossen and Osfossen from the town of Førde so we’ll describe the driving directions starting from there.
From the junction of the E39 and the Rv5 within the town center, we continued west on the E39 for a little over 1 kilometer, then we veered left to stay on the E39 (the right fork went onto the Road 609) as it steeply climbed up switchbacks above town. About 12.5km from Førde, we left the E39 to head went on the Road 57.
At around 11km from the E39 along the Road 57, we reached a junction with the road 610 above the Osfossen Waterfall. Continuing on the Road 57 a short distance to the west, I recalled there was a little bit of a car park or pullout to allow us to get out of the car and check out Osfossen.
Another 18km west of Osfossen along the Road 57, we then started to get the best views of Laukelandsfossen that we were able to get from across Dalsfjorden. We did have to take our time to find a suitable pullout or bus stop to better enjoy the falls from outside of the car. I didn’t recall there being an obvious pullout (let alone signs) to better indicate to us where we should have stopped at in the first place.
Going back in the other direction, we then backtracked east on the Road 57 to the Road 610 near Osfossen. From there, we continued going east on the Road 610 for another 10km before this road rejoined the E39 (though we ended up continuing on the Road 610 instead of the E39 as we’d eventually loop our way back to Førde.
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