Reiarsfossen

Setesdal Valley, Aust-Agder County, Norway

About Reiarsfossen


Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2005-06-22
Date last visited: 2019-07-25

Waterfall Latitude: 58.94137
Waterfall Longitude: 7.68796

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Reiarsfossen (or Reiårsfossen; I think is pronounced “RYE-ors-foss-un”) was probably the one seemingly major waterfall that Julie and I targeted and visited while in the Setesdal Valley (Setesdalen).

It wouldn’t surprise us if this waterfall was about 200m tall because it was a pretty thick twisting band of water coming down the steep mountain wall spilling into Setesdalen and ultimately feeding into the Åraks Fjord (Åraksfjorden).

Reiarsfossen_040_07252019 - Reiårsfossen seen from across a small 'inlet' on the Åraksfjorden Lake
Reiårsfossen seen from across a small ‘inlet’ on the Åraksfjorden Lake

We managed to see this falls both from alongside the highway, from a short scramble near its base, and from a grassy camping area (see directions below).

Since this was an east-facing waterfall, we had to contend with the late afternoon light on our first visit. However, we timed it perfectly when we made a morning drive from Rysstad to Kristiansand on a subsequent visit many years later.

Experiencing Reiårsfossen from the Official Viewpoint

In my mind, this was the most obvious way to experience Reiarsfossen due to its proximity to the Rv9 (see directions below).

It also featured a spacious car park with plenty of signage to ensure you don’t miss it.

Setesdal_034_06192019 - Reiårsfossen seen from the official car park and viewpoint along the Rv9 in Setesdalen
Reiårsfossen seen from the official car park and viewpoint along the Rv9 in Setesdalen

While the views from this roadside stop put us quite close to its impressive drop, it left quite a bit to be desired, especially since trees tended to obstruct the line of sight to its bottom.

However, after doing a quick recon of the area, I noticed a path that started towards the south side of the car park.

Once on that path, it climbed briefly towards an informal junction, where the footpath on the left led up an even more overgrown and rocky ascent right up to Reiarsfossen’s base.

Along the way, I managed to get commanding views across Setesdalen, and after a few minutes more, I managed to scramble onto the rocks right at the base of the falls.

Setesdal_058_06192019 - Looking up at Reiårsfossen after scrambling closer to its base from the official viewpoint area
Looking up at Reiårsfossen after scrambling closer to its base from the official viewpoint area

I’m sure scrambling closer to the falls was possible, but I didn’t feel the need to take any further risks to go further.

Experiencing Reiårsfossen from the Camping

Across the Rv9 we also managed to get satisfying full views of Reiarsfossen as you can see from the photos at the top of this page.

Once within the camping complex, we could turn left at the fork to a clearing where we could get out of the car and walk towards the river for an unobstructed view of the falls reflected in the water.

Deeper into the camping complex, I managed to get contextual views where the camping buildings fronted the waterfall.

Setesdal_098_06192019 - Contextual view of Reiårsfossen backing the camping area from which the photo was taken
Contextual view of Reiårsfossen backing the camping area from which the photo was taken

For all intents and purposes, this waterfall didn’t require any exertion as it was visible from just about anywhere on site.

Indeed, you could camp or rent a cabin here, and you’ll likely score a nice view of Reiarsfossen.

Authorities

Reiarsfossen resides in the Bygland Municipality. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website or their Facebook page.

Setesdal_039_06192019 - Looking out across the Rv9 towards Åraksfjorden from the official car park for Reiårsfossen
Setesdal_037_06192019 - How Reiårsfossen looked from the car park and picnic area
Setesdal_040_06192019 - I spotted this little tractor road on the south side of the Reiarsfossen car park as I pursued a way to get up to the base of the falls
Setesdal_042_06192019 - Looking towards Åraksfjorden from the tractor road leading closer to the base of Reiårsfossen
Setesdal_048_06192019 - Ascending a narrow and rough footpath leading up to the base of the main drop of Reiårsfossen
Setesdal_049_06192019 - Some parts of the trail of use to the base of Reiarsfossen looked a bit on the overgrown side
Setesdal_051_06192019 - Looking right up from near the base of Reiårsfossen
Setesdal_064_06192019 - From the lofty vantage point near the base of Reiårsfossen, I was able to look across Åraksfjorden without as many trees in the way
Setesdal_069_06192019 - After having my fill of Reiårsfossen, I took the footpath back down to the car park
Setesdal_071_06192019 - Apparently, this part of Setesdal Valley was lush enough to yield banana slug sightings like this one near Reiårsfossen
Setesdal_074_06192019 - Looking towards Reiårsfossen from the camping across the street
Setesdal_083_06192019 - Looking towards Reiårsfossen from the clearing at the manager's side of the camping complex
Setesdal_101_06192019 - Once I had my fill of Reiårsfossen I noticed this waterfall just to the north of it along the Rv9, which I think is called Heisfossen
Setesdal_109_06192019 - Context of Rv9 and Heisfossen
Setesdal_144_06192019 - Closer to the town of Rysstad, I spotted these waterfalls after the area had seen another dose of rain during my Reiarsfossen visit
Reiarsfossen_007_07252019 - NO CAPTION
Reiarsfossen_053_07252019 - NO CAPTION
Reiarsfossen_054_07252019 - NO CAPTION
Reiarsfossen_057_07252019 - NO CAPTION
Reiarsfossen_008_06222005 - NO CAPTION
Reiarsfossen_001_06222005 - Julie checking out Reiårsfossen from Hwy 9
Reiarsfossen_010_jx_06222005 - Julie checking out Reiårsfossen from a camping area
Reiarsfossen_004_06222005 - Looking away from Reiårsfossen towards Åraksfjorden

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Reiarsfossen was right along the Hwy (Riksvei) 9 through Setesdal Valley.

The well-signed official pullout sat about 25km south of the town of Rysstad, and about 21km north of the town of Bygland.

Setesdal_072_06192019 - The well-signed car park and picnic area for Reiårsfossen along the Rv9
The well-signed car park and picnic area for Reiårsfossen along the Rv9

This drive would take around a half-hour or less.

The turnoff for Reiarsfossen Camping was about 200m south of the aforementioned official pullout.

For geographical context, Rysstad was 43km (a little over a half-hour drive) north of Bygland, 97km (about 1.5 hours drive) south of Haukeli, 141km (under 2 hours drive) north of Kristiansand, 159km (over 2.5 hours drive) southwest of Rjukan, 159km (over 2.5 hours drive) east of Stavanger, and 300km (under 5 hours drive) west of Oslo.

Semi-circular sweep of Reiarsfossen and reflections as well as some of the surrounding scenery as seen from the river running through Setesdal


Sweep from the signed car park right near the base of the waterfall


Short semicircular sweep starting with the panorama across the Setesdal Valley before panning along the stream to the falls


Long video showing various angles of the falls as seen from the camping area

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Tagged with: bygland, setesdal, aust-agder, southern norway, scandinavia, norway, waterfall, kristiansand, byglandsfjord



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