About The Eikesdal Valley Waterfalls and the Aursjovegen Waterfalls
It seemed to Julie and I that a very underappreciated part of Eikesdalen Valley was further up the valley from the famous Mardalsfossen.
This was where we found a plethora of big but seemingly unnamed waterfalls all along the head of Eikesdalen Valley.
However, the hits didn’t stop there.
We also went up the toll mountain road bridging Eikesdal Valley with the Litldal Valley while passing over the mountain plateau spanning the two valleys.
Not only did we see such an incredible display of waterfalls (especially on our first visit in early July 2005 as shown in the photo above), but we also witnessed some of Norway’s other tall but unsung waterfalls in the Litldalen Valley.
One such waterfall was named and it happened to be the Tagfossen (or Tågfossen) where it dropped about 859m over its entire run between the Tågvatna and the Dalavatnet down below.
That said, there have been more modest measurements of 706m, which still puts Tågfossen amongst the tallest waterfalls in Norway (although it doesn’t seem to have reliably permanent year-round flow).
In any case, such a smorgasbord of waterfalls in a single driving excursion deserves to have a write-up dedicated to it, and that’s why I’ve put together this page.
The route I’m describing here covers the Fv191 county road south from the mouth of Eikesdalsvatnet to the head of Eikesdalen Valley, then going east on the mountain plateau as part of Aursjøvegen, before going northwards through Litldalen towards the town of Sunndalsøra.
This drive covers about 94km and would likely take about 2.5 hours without stops.
Of this stretch, 52.5km was on the toll mountain road called Aursjøvegen which started at an automated toll boom by Finnset in the west and near the Dalabrua in Litldalen in the east.
Personally, I’d recommend allowing yourself at least a half-day to experience this drive though if you do intend to make stops or hikes along the way, you probably would want an entire day devoted to this route.
From the mouth of Eikesdalsvatnet to the head of Eikesdalen
As mentioned in the Mardalsfossen write-up, we’ve managed to observe several waterfalls (mostly unnamed) along the Fv191 seen across the lake Eikedalsvatnet.
Of course, the most notable waterfall of those seen across the lake was the Mardalsfossen itself.
As we continued to drive south on the Fv191 deeper into Eikesdalen beyond the Mardalsfossen turnoff, we then found ourselves surrounded by other big waterfalls that seemingly didn’t have names.
The first waterfall I encountered or noticed in this head-of-Eikesdalen stretch was on the Rangåa Stream, where a few segmented strands were noticeable on the west-facing wall. However, on my second visit, I didn’t seem to notie them as much.
At around 6km south of the Mardalsfossen turnoff I noticed a waterfall on the Kjøtåa Stream on the west-facing wall of Eikesdalen, which was visible across the small lake Litlevatnet.
Around 700m further, I noticed another tall waterfall on a west-facing cliff wall. This time, it was on the Ramnåa Stream fronted by some farm buildings for a sense of scale.
Still, another 1.3km further to the south on the east-facing wall, I noticed a pair of waterfalls tumbling side-by-side on the streams Høvla and Tverrgrøva.
Although these were the waterfalls that I happened to notice the most, that’s not to say that there could have easily been more waterfalls depending on the amount of snowmelt that was occurring at the time.
Aursjøvegen from Finnset to Aursjøhytta
At about 10km south of the Mardalsfossen turnoff, I reached a signed junction in the road where the left fork went to the hamlet of Finnset while the right fork went up the Aursjøvegen.
Pretty much right off the bat, there was an automatic toll boom where you make a credit card payment in order to lift the boom.
From there, the road made a steep climb up a handful of switchbacks as it afforded some mindblowing views back down into the U-shaped Eikesdal Valley.
At around 5km up this narrow unpaved road, I got to what I called the “Many Falls” view, where several waterfalls could tumble down towards the head of Eikesdalen in one place such as what you see in the 2005 photo at the top of this page.
As the climb started to peter out and follow along the highland plateau, we noticed a few more waterfalls across the canyon as well as a gushing one right on the Aura itself.
At a little over 10km from the Finnset toll boom, I made a brief stop at an interesting cabin next to an alpine tarn.
Beyond this cabin, the road went another 8km or so towards the Aursjøhytta perched right above where the dam wall holding up the Aursjøen Reservoir was located.
If you’re not in a hurry, this seemed like a suitable place to take a break.
Aursjøvegen from Aursjøhytta through Litldalen
Beyond the Aursjøhytta, the road then veered northwards.
At around 16km from the Aursjøhytta, I encountered a waterfall seen across the Langvatnet though I wasn’t exactly sure which stream it was on.
At nearly 20km from the Aursjøhytta, I made it to a turnoff by the Ostbu, which led to a dam holding up the Langvatnet.
At this point, the narrow road started going down for about 4km before making an even sharper descent down a handful of switchbacks as the road was entering Litldalen.
While the plateau scenery was a bit more subtle and flatter, this descent into Litldalen represented a shift back to the dramatic as nearly vertical cliffs flanked the narrow canyon.
Towards the bottom of the descent (nearly 5km from the top of Litldalen), I encountered the head of a small lake called Litlvatnet, which preceded the Dalavatnet.
There was an attractive cascade on the Svannhammarbekken was acted as a pretty backdrop to the reflective lake.
Then, I continued driving north on the road as it hugged around the eastern shore of Dalavatnet.
I ultimately found a pullout near the mouth of the lake, and that was where I walked back to get a nice look at Tågfossen framing the Dalavatnet and the Litldalen Valley.
After having my fill of Tågfossen, I then continued driving north as I passed the other toll boom in another 1km beyond the place I pulled out just north of Tågfossen.
Eventually, the road started to get smoother and wider as I went past the Trædal Hotel turnoff at a little over 6km north of the Litldalen toll boom.
In another 850m the road rejoined the Rv70 just southwest of the sentrum of Sunndalsøra thereby ending this epic drive.
Overall, I spent about 4 hours on this drive if I don’t count the Mardalsfossen hike so that should give you an idea of the time commitment involved.
The waterfalls on this page reside in the Nesset Municipality. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.
The route described on this page began south of the hamlet of Eresfjord at the lake Eikesdalsvatnet, and it ended just south of the town of Sunndalsøra.
Because the driving directions were already described in detail in the Mardalsfossen page, I’m punting you to that page to get to the start of the drive on the west side.
To get to the east side (if your desire is to do this drive in reverse of what was described on this page), then you can route to Sunndalsøra and look for the turnoff going into Litldalen.
This turnoff was about 1.1km east of the Hammartunnelen exit on the right.
In the other direction, it was about 2km west of the roundabout where the Rv70 and Fv62 intersected at the Sunndalsøra sentrum on the left.
For context, Åndalsnes was 128km (under 2 hours drive) west of Sunndalsøra, about 54km (over an hour drive) northeast of Valldalen, 87km (over 2 hours drive with a ferry crossing) northeast of Geiranger, 105km (under 90 minutes drive) northwest of Dombås, 108km (90 minutes drive) east of Ålesund, 303km (over 4 hours drive) southwest of Trondheim, 442km (over 5.5 hours drive) northwest of Oslo, and 508km (8 hours drive) northeast of Bergen.
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