Naustafossen

Karvatn, More og Romsdal County, Norway

About Naustafossen


Hiking Distance: 2.8km round trip
Suggested Time: 1 hour

Date first visited: 2005-07-03
Date last visited: 2019-07-15

Waterfall Latitude: 62.78424
Waterfall Longitude: 8.89786

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Naustafossen (or Nauståfossen; I think is pronounced “NAUS-toh-foss-un”) was our reward for doing a rather long, out-of-the-way detour towards the Trollheimen Mountains of the Surnadal Municipality.

It was a gorgeous 110m waterfall with a rather unique shape in that it had a tall plunge followed by a round waterwheel-like lower tier.

Naustafossen_004_07032005 - Nauståfossen
Nauståfossen

That lower tier spewed out enough mist to muddy the area around the falls (and wet my camera lens) on both of my visits – once in July 2005 and again in July 2019.

The waterfall sat near the hamlet of Kårvatn (pronounced “KOHR-vaht-n”), which really seemed to be some a collection of some farms (or just a farm).

The name of the hamlet also suggested there was a lake in the vicinity, but there wasn’t one from what I could tell.

When I came back here on a rainy second visit (14 years after my first time), I did notice that the farm seemed to have expanded its tourism infrastructure so it might have been possible to do a farm stay here.

Nauståfossen and Trollheimen

Naustafossen_015_07032005 - Nauståfossen backed by some shapely mountains belonging to the Trollheimen Range
Nauståfossen backed by some shapely mountains belonging to the Trollheimen Range

The mountains backing the falls that you see in the photo above were indeed part of the mountains of Trollheimen (“the Home of the Trolls”).

Trollheimen was known to be a backcountry hiking destination as well as a mountain range unique in that it supported a wide variety of climates.

In addition, we learned that this remote and out-of-the-way place was also said to contain some of the cleanest air and water in Norway.

Naustafossen_059_07152019 - Nauståfossen as seen from the footbridge fronting it on a rainy evening in July 2019
Nauståfossen as seen from the footbridge fronting it on a rainy evening in July 2019

That claim was really saying something considering most of Norway was rural, sparsely populated, and not overly industrialized.

Perhaps that reputation also underscored the wild and undeveloped nature of Trollheimen, even though our experience at Naustafossen merely scratched the surface of what could be experienced in this mountainous area.

Experiencing Nauståfossen

From the car park (see directions below), I walked towards the buildings at the end of the road, which I believed belonged to someone’s farm making up most of the settlement of Kårvatn.

Beyond the road, I crossed a bridge traversing the watercourse Toåa (which Nauståa ultimately fed into), then I followed the signs pointing the way to Nauståfossen.

Naustafossen_002_07032005 - Signs beyond the bridge helping us find the correct path to get closer to Nauståfossen as of our first visit in 2005
Signs beyond the bridge helping us find the correct path to get closer to Nauståfossen as of our first visit in 2005

When I first came here in 2005, the path directly veered right at the fork beyond the bridge.

When I returned in 2019, it appeared that I had to walk a little further before veering right then backtracking closer to the river before continuing on the same trail as before (roughly 300m from the car park).

So that development seemed to have slightly lengthened the hike though not by much (maybe extending the hike by 200m or so).

Nevertheless, it did seem to go deeper into the farm where I recalled encountering a white horse that seemed to think I was part of the cattle to be herded.

Naustafossen_023_07152019 - Looking back at the farm near Nauståfossen, where that white horse was busy corraling the cows
Looking back at the farm near Nauståfossen, where that white horse was busy corraling the cows

The track then pretty much went straight shot alongside the Toåa on what was apparently the Myrvangvegen Road.

During this stretch I was able to see across some parts of the open fields (if trees weren’t in the way) to get contextual looks at Naustafossen backed by some of the knobby mountains of Trollheimen.

Although the path was straight, I recalled encountering some very muddy patches where I really had to watch where I was putting my weight so as to not sink in the muck.

At roughly 600m along this straight stretch, the trail reached a fork opposite where there appeared to be some cabins (which I didn’t recall being there on our first visit in 2005).

Naustafossen_031_07152019 - Lots of muddy patches on the trail leading away from the Myrvangvegen tractor road towards the Nauståfossen waterfall
Lots of muddy patches on the trail leading away from the Myrvangvegen tractor road towards the Nauståfossen waterfall

I wound up taking the spur path on the left, which then traversed through an even grassier wide trail, which also had to traverse even more muddier patches with greater frequency.

These muddy patches ensured that I would move along slowly, and I wondered if this trail could really use a boardwalk or something to minimize the impact on the soil here.

Eventually after another 350m or so on the sloshy trail, I finally arrived at the misty bridge fronting the waterfall.

There was also a spur path that went right into the mist zone at the base of Nauståfossen as well as a climbing ridge trail that promised a more unusual top down view of the falls (though I didn’t go high enough on that trail given the wet conditions).

Naustafossen_063_07152019 - The machinery on the other side of the footbridge before the Nauståfossen waterfall
The machinery on the other side of the footbridge before the Nauståfossen waterfall

Beyond the bridge, I noticed some machinery or gauge of some sort. I wasn’t sure what they were there for, but I did speculate that perhaps it might have harnessed the water power to provide localized power at Kårvatn.

This was my turnaround spot, and I returned back the way I came, which my GPS logs suggested that I had gone 1.4km in each direction.

The whole hike took me about 75 minutes though I did hastily make my hike due to a combination of bad rain, trying not to miss the last ferry, and the onset of darkness.

It was interesting to note that according to my trip notes in 2005 that it only took me 45 minutes to do the entire hike. Clearly, the trail must have been shorter back then (or at least allow for faster travel).

Naustafossen_078_07152019 - Looking back at Nauståfossen on the hasty hike back to the car park while dealing with the persistent rain during my 2019 visit
Looking back at Nauståfossen on the hasty hike back to the car park while dealing with the persistent rain during my 2019 visit

It was quite misty on the bridge, and I felt the views wouldn’t improve beyond it so I didn’t proceed any further even though it clearly looked like the path continued onwards past the bridge.

It was from the bridge that I was able to appreciate the waterwheel of Naustafossen’s lower tier though the upper and taller tier of the falls was a bit harder to see from this closer vantage point.

Authorities

Naustafossen resides in the Surnadal Municipality between Surnadal and Sunndalsøra in Møre og Romsdal County, Norway. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website or Facebook page.

Naustafossen_006_07152019 - Approaching a fork in the road as I started the walk to get to Nauståfossen under some pretty bad weather
Naustafossen_011_07152019 - Looking towards what appeared to be an expanded farm at Kårvatn, which now appeared to accommodate farm stays or other tourist amenities as of my visit in 2019
Naustafossen_014_07152019 - Crossing the bridge over the Toåa on my way to the waterfall
Naustafossen_016_07152019 - Context of Nauståfossen backing an open field with a white horse corraling the cows
Naustafossen_017_07152019 - The white horse apparently thinking that I was part of the cattle to be corraled as I was hiking to Nauståfossen
Naustafossen_029_07152019 - On the tractor road going straightshot from the farm to get closer to Nauståfossen
Naustafossen_032_07152019 - A fork in the footpath that led onto this muddy and grassy detour leading closer to Nauståfossen
Naustafossen_044_07152019 - Some cabins alongside the Myrvangvegen near the fork in the trail leading to Nauståfossen. I swore I didn't see these cabins on my first visit in 2005
Naustafossen_050_07152019 - On the approach to Nauståfossen after leaving Myrvangvegen under some pretty bad weather
Naustafossen_053_07152019 - Getting closer to Nauståfossen where the footing on the trail seemed to be a bit more firm than the muddy mess I had to traverse to get here
Naustafossen_054_07152019 - Approaching the misty base of Nauståfossen
Naustafossen_057_07152019 - The footbridge fronting Nauståfossen
Naustafossen_061_07152019 - View of the two main tiers of Nauståfossen from the footbridge
Naustafossen_066_07152019 - Another look at Nauståfossen from the footbridge as the weather was once again deteriorating
Naustafossen_069_07152019 - Entering the spray zone as I attempted to go up a grassy ridge to get a different look at Nauståfossen before I decided to bail as the terrain got steeper and more slippery, especially under the bad weather
Naustafossen_075_07152019 - Traversing along the Myrvangvegen besides these cabins as I was leaving from Nauståfossen
Naustafossen_076_07152019 - Traversing through the muck of the Myrvangvegen on the way back from Nauståfossen
Naustafossen_088_07152019 - The final stretch as I was hastily making my way back to the parked car at Kårvatn as the weather really became wet and dreary at the end of the hike
Naustafossen_001_jx_07032005 - Some cascade we saw on the way to Kårvatn while driving through Todalen back in July 2005
Naustafossen_001_07032005 - After getting out of the car, I walked towards the bridge over Toåa to continue on the hike to get closer to Nauståfossen. Notice how much different it looked in this 2005 photo as opposed to the 2019 photo
Naustafossen_019_07032005 - Nauståfossen was easily visible throughout the walk even through this farm clearing back in 2005
Naustafossen_017_07032005 - Only 700m more of muddy fun before I'm there, even in benign weather back in July 2005
Naustafossen_014_07032005 - Looking at the upper parts of Nauståfossen from the trail during our first visit back in July 2005
Naustafossen_013_07032005 - The lower part of Nauståfossen started to have its view obstructed by trees
Naustafossen_010_07032005 - Getting closer to Nauståfossen on the muddy trail
Naustafossen_009_07032005 - Not much further before I get to the real wet part of the walk near Nauståfossen, which seemed to have a bit higher flow in 2005 than during our 2019 visit

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Naustafossen was near the hamlet of Kårvatn.

We started the drive from Sunndalsøra so that’s how I’ll describe the driving directions.

Naustafossen_002_jx_07032005 - Approaching the hamlet of Kårvatn backed by the beautiful Nauståfossen as seen back in July 2005
Approaching the hamlet of Kårvatn backed by the beautiful Nauståfossen as seen back in July 2005

First, we headed north on the Rv70 for about 19km as it junctioned with Fv670 at the town of Ålvund.

Veering right at the intersection and continuing north on the Fv670 road for about the next 6km, we then arrived at the ferry stop at Rykkjem.

After taking the ferry across the Todalsfjord, we continued driving on the Fv670 for the next 6km to its junction with the Fv671 on the right.

Turning right onto Fv671, we then drove the next 16km to the head of Todalsfjorden where the Fv671 junctioned with the local (unpaved) Fv323 (I had Fv324 on our first trip) across a bridge over the Toåa River (or Todalselva).

Naustafossen_012_07152019 - Looking back at the car park at the end of the road in Kårvatn on a very rainy evening in July 2019
Looking back at the car park at the end of the road in Kårvatn on a very rainy evening in July 2019

From there, we continued driving further into Todalen for the next 11km to the end of the road at Kårvatn.

Even though Naustafossen was visible from the road, it was certainly worth the walk for a closer look.

Including the ferry, this drive took about 90 minutes.

For some additional context, Sunndalsøra was 104km (90 minutes drive) southeast of Kristiansund, 128km (2 hours drive) east of Åndalsnes, 187km (over 2.5 hours drive) southwest of Trondheim, 235km (3.5 hours drive) east of Ålesund, 466km (6 hours drive) north of Oslo, and 578km (over 8.5 hours drive with ferry crossings) northeast of Bergen.

Video showing the front of the falls before going onto the bridge for a different perspective

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Tagged with: surnadal, todal, todalen, todalselva, karvatn, trollheimen, trollheim, sunndalsora, more og romsdal, norway, waterfall



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