Sanddalsfossen was one of the prettier waterfalls we’ve seen during our June-July 2005 trip. However, I can’t exactly pin down why this waterfall was so memorable to us. Maybe it was the good weather and the clear colorful pool fronting this 150m waterfall? Or perhaps it was opposite the very beautiful and reflective lake Sanddalsvatnet? Whatever the case may be, we spotted it as we were driving into the beautiful valley Myklebustdalen, which caused us to immediately stop and try to look for a way to improve our view of it. That diversion ended up turning into a little bit of a hike through some interesting developments.
In order to get the photo you see at the top of this page (which in hindsight might not even be the closest accessible view possible), we followed a path leaving the county road going by some red building before following the Sanddal River. It also appeared that we could have gone through the Fossheim Hotel to join this trail as well. Then, we crossed a bridge over the river and walked uphill on a gravel road that went past some buildings. These buildings appeared as though they were supporting some sort of hydro developments, which was kind of a worrying sign about whether this waterfall might ultimately be sacrificed.
We’d ultimately continue climbing uphill until we reached the shore of a manmade lake with Sanddalsfossen perched behind it towering above the trees that conspired to block its lowermost sections from our view. We ultimately went around the pool and was stopped by a fence that we weren’t sure if we could proceed or not. So we turned back at this point, but truthfully we probably didn’t try to see if the gate was passable beyond this point. Thus, the round trip hiking probably took us about an hour round trip, which was surprisingly more time than we thought given how close the falls looked from the county road.
Initially before doing the hike described above, Julie and I had gone up a separate unpaved tractor trail on the other side of the river. We went up this road not certain if it was going beyond Sanddalsfossen with alternate views of it. But one thing was for sure, we had completely lost sight of the falls as the road was climbing up a series of switchbacks. So we didn’t pursue going up this path any further. That said, we read after the trip that this trail eventually would have taken us to one of the arms of the Myklebust Glacier along with some structures at Sanddalsstøylen in addition to an alpine lake called Svartebotnen. If it did go to the falls, it probably would’ve yielded a more naturesque experience without passing through the hydro infrastructure, but since we didn’t do it, this would all be speculation.
From Byrkjelo, we followed a turnoff signed “Myklebust” on our right as we were heading north out of town on the Route 60. Once on this turnoff, we then followed it for 4km to the Fossheim Hotel. We managed to find a small pullout somewhere in front of the Fossheim Hotel area where we left our car and went for the walk. I suppose had we been hotel guests, we could have parked directly on the property itself.
Byrkjelo was 19km north of Skei. For further context, Skei was about 376km (over 5.5 hours drive with ferry crossings) northwest of Oslo, 218km (nearly 4 hours drive) north of Bergen, and 152km (over 2.5 hours drive) south of Geiranger.
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