Ramnefjellsfossen

Lovatnet, Sogn og Fjordane County, Norway

About Ramnefjellsfossen


Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2005-06-30
Date last visited: 2019-07-19

Waterfall Latitude: 61.78944
Waterfall Longitude: 6.96683

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Ramnefjellsfossen was a very tall waterfall spilling into the beautiful but deceptively calm and dangerous lake Lovatnet (pronounced “LOO-vaht-nuh”; meaning “the napping or laughing lake”?).

Depending on how you measure the length of its run, it could have a drop of around 500m or even as high as 800m.

Kjenndalsbreen_236_07192019 - Ramnefjellsfossen and the head of the lake Lovatnet
Ramnefjellsfossen and the head of the lake Lovatnet

In my mind, this waterfall had more than just its height going for it, however.

Indeed, the Lovatnet lake with the Ramnefjellsfossen spilling into it provided one of the more stunning landscapes that Julie and I had ever witnessed.

And that was what made this waterfalling experience special.

Experiencing Ramnefjellsfossen

For all intents and purposes, this was essentially a roadside waterfall.

Kjenndalsbreen_226_07192019 - Kjenndalstova backed by Ramnefjellsfossen and the headwaters of Lovatnet
Kjenndalstova backed by Ramnefjellsfossen and the headwaters of Lovatnet

However, we primarily experienced it from a signed viewing area as well as from the Kjenndalstova by the head of the Lovatnet lake.

In between these spots, we did manage to pull over at a couple of rare pullouts with views across Lovatnet towards the falls.

That was pretty much the extent of our viewing Ramnefjellsfossen as it was really more of a backdrop waterfall as opposed to one that we would hike close to for a more intimate experience.

Nomenclature

Ramnefjellsfossen made its leap on the Utigardselva so I’ve also seen the falls called Utigordsfossen [Utigørdsfossen] or Utigardsfossen [Utigårdsfossen].

Kjenndalsbreen_348_07192019 - Focused on the cascades at the head of Nesdal Valley (Nesdalen), but depending on the map's zoom, Norgeskart actually called the river through this valley Utigardselva instead of Inigardselva!
Focused on the cascades at the head of Nesdal Valley (Nesdalen), but depending on the map’s zoom, Norgeskart actually called the river through this valley Utigardselva instead of Inigardselva!

Moreover, I’ve also seen the falls spelled as Ramnefjellfossen.

Nevertheless, you may have actually seen this waterfall in the literature under the premise of tallest waterfalls in the world as a result of these other names.

But Ramnefjellsfossen was its official name because it tumbled beneath the mountain Ramnefjellet, which supported the Ramnefjellbreen Glacier.

And it was ultimately the glacier that supplied this waterfall with its flow.

Lodalen’s Tragic History

Lovatnet_010_06302005 - Looking back towards Lovatnet from the lookout with the memorial plaque naming the victims of tragedy here as seen in our first visit back in 2005
Looking back towards Lovatnet from the lookout with the memorial plaque naming the victims of tragedy here as seen in our first visit back in 2005

I had mentioned that the lake Lovatnet was deceptively calm and dangerous.

The reason why was because we learned that this place was notorious for a pair of deadly landslides in 1905 and 1936.

Mt Ramnefjell featured prominently in these tragedies because it was the source of the rockfalls that dropped into Lovatnet.

This resulted in the tidal waves that had wiped out the lakeside communities of Nesdal and Bødal.

Kjenndalsbreen_353_07192019 - Ramnefjellsfossen and Mt Ramnefjell to the right of it.  The giant scar you see on that mountain was where the rockfalls that caused the tsunamis had occurred
Ramnefjellsfossen and Mt Ramnefjell to the right of it. The giant scar you see on that mountain was where the rockfalls that caused the tsunamis had occurred

The second incident killed 74 people (even with mitigation measures since the 1905 incident) and became Norway’s biggest natural disaster in its recorded history.

This explained why the entire Lodalen Valley was so eerily quiet during our visits in both 2005 and 2019 as I’d imagine a lack of desire for any further developments in the valley.

It definitely reminded us of the forces involved that often result in such dramatic scenery that we behold today.

Regarding the fine balance between carving out a living in such dangerous landscapes and dealing with the risks.

Kjenndalsbreen_347_07192019 - Context of the headwaters of Lovatnet fronting Ramnefjellsfossen and the Nesdal Valley to the left of it.  The cleared area in the flat was where I'd imagine the town of Nesdal once stood
Context of the headwaters of Lovatnet fronting Ramnefjellsfossen and the Nesdal Valley to the left of it. The cleared area in the flat was where I’d imagine the town of Nesdal once stood

I recalled a Hurtigruten guide really hit home the level of respect he has for people living with the realities of Norway’s nature.

He stated that there’s no how-to guide for how to live in Norway’s steep values, and it’s all trial-and-error.

And as you can see by the consequences, the “errors” are always a constant aspect of life here.

Authorities

Ramnefjellsfossen resides in the Stryn Municipality near Loen in Sogn og Fjordane County, Norway. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website or Facebook page.

Kjenndalsbreen_006_07192019 - Looking towards one of many streaking waterfalls feeding Lovatnet as seen from Fv723 as seen during our July 2019 visit. This photo and the next several shots were taken from this day
Kjenndalsbreen_007_07192019 - The narrow Fv723 road leading past Lodalen and into Kjenndalen, which as you can see is also shared with bicyclists
Kjenndalsbreen_026_07192019 - Looking across Lovatnet from the Fv723 towards the same tall streaky cascade
Kjenndalsbreen_034_07192019 - Looking towards the head of Lovatnet with one of the glacier arms way in the distance (not sure if it was Krunebreen)
Kjenndalsbreen_039_07192019 - Looking up towards a different set of streaky waterfalls across Lovatnet that you can see directly comes from the meltwaters of the glacier above it
Kjenndalsbreen_047_07192019 - More contextual view of the streaky waterfall beneath a glacier coming down opposite Lovatnet as seen from Fv723
Kjenndalsbreen_057_07192019 - A driver doing the right thing by pulling over at this pullout on the narrow Fv723 road so other drivers could pass
Kjenndalsbreen_228_07192019 - The shores of the headwaters of Lovatnet with Ramnefjellsfossen in the background on the opposite side
Kjenndalsbreen_233_07192019 - Context of the viewing area at the headwaters of Lovatnet by Kjenndalstova
Kjenndalsbreen_249_07192019 - Focused on the Ramnefjellsfossen across the headwaters of Lovatnet
Kjenndalsbreen_250_07192019 - Looking back towards Kjenndalstova and the car park as well as Kjenndalen in the distance
Kjenndalsbreen_259_07192019 - Another look at Ramnefjellsfossen fronted by Lovatnet except a boat was going across and causing ripples in the lake thereby taking out the reflections.  It took a pretty solid few minutes for the ripples to settle out and the reflections to return
Kjenndalsbreen_338_07192019 - Back on the Fv723 after leaving Kjenndalstova, where we got to see Ramnefjellsfossen again on the way out
Kjenndalsbreen_342_07192019 - At one of the pullouts looking right across Lovatnet towards Ramnefjellsfossen
Kjenndalsbreen_361_07192019 - View of Lovatnet from the lookout with the memorial plaque naming those who died here from the tragedies
Kjenndalsbreen_373_07192019 - View towards Ramnefjellsfossen with Nesdalen across from Lovatnet as seen from the lookout with the memorial plaque
Kjenndalsbreen_378_07192019 - Looking towards the mouth of Lovatnet as we were making our way back out on the Fv723
Rv_60_004_jx_06302005 - Driving from Byrkjelo towards Nordfjorden en route to Loen on our first Norway trip in July 2005. This photo and the rest of the photos in the photo gallery took place on this day
Rv_60_005_jx_06302005 - On our first visit in 2005, it was a gorgeous and cloudless day to see the glacial colors of the fjords sprinkled about with idyllic homes along the Road 60 on our way to Loen
Lovatnet_002_06302005 - Looking into Lodalen Valley from the northern shores of Lovatnet as we were on our way to Ramnefjellsfossen back in 2005
Lovatnet_004_jx_06302005 - Looking across the lake Lovatnet towards other tall and stringy waterfalls spilling into Lodalen Valley in 2005
Lovatnet_004_06302005 - Shortly before reaching our first views of Ramnefjellsfossen, we noticed this narrow side road up the Bødal Valley where it looked like there might be more waterfalls to be found up there
Lovatnet_022_jx_06302005 - View over the headwaters of Lovatnet towards Ramnefjellsfossen and the big scar on Mt Ramnefjell as of our first Norway trip in 2005
Lovatnet_008_06302005 - More focused angled view of Ramnefjellsfossen from near the road closure spot by Rauhella on our first Norway trip in 2005
Lovatnet_005_06302005 - Julie checking out Ramnefjellsfossen from the end of the drivable part of the county road 723 as seen in 2005

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Ramnefjellsfossen sat within Lodalen Valley, where the well-signed narrow county road Fv723 that leaves the Fv60 road at the town of Loen provided the main access to experience the falls.

We drove the mostly single-lane road around the northeast shore of Lovatnet.

Kjenndalsbreen_049_07192019 - Driving the narrow Fv723 towards a spot where we can better see the Ramnefjellsfossen on the right
Driving the narrow Fv723 towards a spot where we can better see the Ramnefjellsfossen on the right

At about 14km from the Fv723 Road turnoff in Loen, we reached a small car park and viewing area for Ramnefjellsfossen across from Lovatnet.

There was a plaque here naming the people who had lost their lives in the rockslide-caused tsunami back in 1936.

There were then a few pullouts to look across Lovatnet for more direct views of Ramnefjellsfossen (including one that was about 600m beyond the viewpoint with the memorial mentioned above).

At about 1.8km beyond the lookout with the memorial, we then encountered the self-help toll station.

Kjenndalsbreen_223_07192019 - On the narrow road leading to Kjenndalstova with Ramnefjellsfossen in the background
On the narrow road leading to Kjenndalstova with Ramnefjellsfossen in the background

At 200m beyond the toll station, we then turned right to go the final distance to the car park for Kjenndalstova, where there was a cafe as well as a nice dock area with a gorgeous view of Ramnefjellsfossen and Lovatnet (which is pictured at the top of this page).

For context, Loen was 6km (under 10 minutes drive) northeast of Olden, 11km (under 15 minutes drive) southeast of Stryn, 86km (over 90 minutes drive) southwest of Geiranger, 110km (over 90 minutes drive) northeast of Førde, 128km (about 2 hours drive) north of Sogndal, and 284km (about 5 hours drive with a ferry crossing) northeast of Bergen.

Finally, we do have to mention that we didn’t get to make it all the way to Kjenndalstova on our first visit to Norway in 2005 because the road was closed near the current location of the viewpoint with the memorial (under 14km from Loen).

Kjenndalsbreen_336_07192019 - Looking back towards the fairly sizable car park at the Kjenndalstova
Looking back towards the fairly sizable car park at the Kjenndalstova

We’re still not certain why it closed back then.

But I bring this up because there could be issues with road access availability, especially given Lodalen’s history of natural disasters due to rockslides.

Sweep from the signed pullout with a view over Lovatnet as well as an angled one of Ramnefjellsfossen


Sweep from a pullout on the single-lane road as we were leaving Kjenndalstova, where we examined a trio of waterfalls as well as te Ramnefjellsfossen over the head of Lovatnet


Semi-circular sweep starting with the Krunebreen Glacier before panning over to Lovatnet and the Ramnefjellsfossen

Tagged with: utigordsfossen, utigardsfossen, stryn, lovatnet, loen, olden, nordfjord, geiranger, sogn og fjordane, norway, waterfall, tragedy, kjenndalsbreen, glacier, kjenndal, nesdal, rauhella, lodalen



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Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

Ramnefjellsfossen July 3, 2019 1:56 pm by John Lasher - For many years this underrated waterfall was listed as the third tallest in the book 'The Top Ten of Everything'. But, then, after Cascata de Yumbilla was discovered and measured [whereby it became third tallest], Ramnefjellsfossen dropped to fourth. Whatever? I viewed this waterfall on a clear day in early June 2017. A sublime experience… ...Read More

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