Sognefjell Waterfalls

Sognefjellet / Jotunheimen National Park, Sogn og Fjordane County / Oppland County, Norway

About Sognefjell Waterfalls


Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2019-07-22
Date last visited: 2019-07-22

Waterfall Latitude: 61.59199
Waterfall Longitude: 8.04012

The Sognefjell Waterfalls page is my waterfalling excuse to talk about the popular Sognefjellet National Tourist Route (Sognefjellsvegen) that cut right through the heart of Jotunheimen National Park.

Among the waterfalling highlights of this road as far as our experience went included Skautefossen, cascades behind Krossbu, twin waterfalls on the Nufsgrøvan, and Dumfossen just to name a few.

Rv55_249_07222019 - Looking up at a pair of twin waterfalls on the Nufsgrøvan, which were two of the more obvious and prominent waterfalls seen from Sognefjellsvegen
Looking up at a pair of twin waterfalls on the Nufsgrøvan, which were two of the more obvious and prominent waterfalls seen from Sognefjellsvegen

It made sense that we would expect to see waterfalls along this stretch of high mountain road as it passed by glaciers and mountains still clinging to snow even in the height of Summer.

In fact, Sognefjellsvegen was considered the highest mountain pass in Northern Europe, where its highest point sat at 1430m.

Given the skyscraping nature of this road, we actually had to wait out some bad weather before we finally got a chance to drive this road and see for ourselves what the fuss was all about.

Even with the clearing weather, we still had some low clouds taking their time burning off before we finally got to see the glaciers that provided many of the signature panoramas you see in the literature.

Rv55_552_07222019 - This was the signature view of the Sognefjellsvegen leading towards glaciers draping around the Smørstabbtindan peak
This was the signature view of the Sognefjellsvegen leading towards glaciers draping around the Smørstabbtindan peak

Technically, the Fv55 route stretched from all the way in Vaheim to the west and Lom to the east, but the National Tourist Route part of this stretch was said to go from Luster to Lom.

In our case, since we were time limited, we only made it as far as the vicinity of Slåligrende in the valley Leirdalen.

So for the purposes of this write-up, we’ll only focus on the waterfalls we witnessed along the Fv55 between Turtagrø and Slåligrende since we already have a write-up covering other parts of the Fv55 between Turtagrø and Skjolden.

Maybe if we’re fortunate to come back under good weather conditions with more time to spare, then we might do this whole drive properly and include Lom in this write-up.

Spotting Skautefossen

Rv55_085_07212019 - Looking back down at the tight hairpin turns on the way up the Sognefjellsvegen from the lookout where we were able to view the Skautefossen in the distance
Looking back down at the tight hairpin turns on the way up the Sognefjellsvegen from the lookout where we were able to view the Skautefossen in the distance

Skautefossen was one of the few named waterfalls that we noticed while driving the narrow Fv55 road climbing up towards Sognefjellet.

Since we didn’t take a detour and drive into Helgedalen, we had to settle for distant views of this waterfall.

Given that it drained a combination of alpine lakes and tarns as well as a glacier, it was no wonder why the falls had such a gushing flow, which we could appreciate from a distance.

We spotted this waterfall from a viewing area at a hairpin turn just under 3km from the Tindevegen turnoff (for Årdal) near the town of Turtagrø.

Rv55_094_07212019 - Distant look towards the Skautefossen seen as we were making our way east on the climbing Sognefjellsvegen
Distant look towards the Skautefossen seen as we were making our way east on the climbing Sognefjellsvegen

For the most unobstructed views of the Helgedalen and the Skautefossen, I had to walk a short distance from the viewing area onto a grassy knob in order to get the view you see above.

Cascading Waterfalls behind Krossbu

The waterfalls that we noticed behind the hamlet of Krossbu were primarily fed by the melting glaciers of both Leirbrean and Bøverbrean.

Both of these glaciers neighbored the Smørstabbrean, and together, they draped around the Smørstabbtindan, which provided the signature view of Fv55 leading towards this well-photographed ice field.

Krossbu was about 3km east of the Sognefjellshytta along the Fv55.

Rv55_213_07222019 - Looking towards a cascade tumbling towards what I think was the hamlet or camping area at Krossbu
Looking towards a cascade tumbling towards what I think was the hamlet or camping area at Krossbu

I recalled there might have been some pullouts to stop the car and enjoy the view though I didn’t recall that they were sighposted.

The Nufshaugen Waterfall

This was a twin waterfall tumbling on the Nufsgrøvan that faced west so we were looking directly against the morning sun at it.

It seemed like a popular waterfall in a similar manner that Låtefossen drew a lot of attention due to this side-by-side segmented characteristic.

There was even a sign at a pullout called Nufshaugen, which was why I tended to unofficially call this the Nufshaugen Waterfall.

Rv55_251_07222019 - One half of the Nufshaugen Waterfall with that tour bus in the frame on the lower left, which took up most of the pullout
One half of the Nufshaugen Waterfall with that tour bus in the frame on the lower left, which took up most of the pullout

To my knowledge, this waterfall didn’t have an official name, but of all the ones we saw along the Sognefjellsvegen, Julie and I think this was the most impressive one.

During our visit, there was even a tour bus that stopped here (and blocked a lot of the good views since it took up the choicest part of the pullout).

The Nufshaugen pullout was about 2km north of Krossbu or 5km east of the Sognefjellshytta.

Brangsgrove

I’m speculating about this waterfall because I don’t know if it really did fall on the Brangsgrove Stream.

Rv55_306_07222019 - Looking towards what I think was the Brangsgrove Waterfall though I couldn't totally be sure
Looking towards what I think was the Brangsgrove Waterfall though I couldn’t totally be sure

However, from correlating the time stamps on my photos in relation to other ones taken around the same time, I’m going with this educated guess.

We only spotted this waterfall when we were driving back west along the Fv55 somewhere west of the Jotunheimen Fjellstue though I didn’t recall that we could stop safely for it.

Spotting Dumfossen

The last waterfall that we’re singling out on this page (though it was by no means the last one we could have singled out) was also another educated guess on my part.

However, based on the photographs and their time stamps in our library, I came to the conclusion that this could very well be the one called Dumfossen on Norgeskart.

Rv55_280_07222019 - Direct look at what I think was Dumfossen
Direct look at what I think was Dumfossen

If so, then this was a tall waterfall fed by the Dumhøbrean Glacier as it tumbled into the Leirdalen Valley near the Jotunheimen Fjellstue.

It seemed like we had plenty of opportunities to spot and photograph the waterfall because we had quite a few photographs from either a pullout or from Julie taking photos while I was driving.

Finally, I do want to mention that we spent about 4 hours doing this drive, and it wasn’t all of it.

GoogleMaps suggested that the 82km stretch between Skjolden and Lom would take about 90 minutes without stops, but I highly doubt you’ll want to zoom your way through this stretch of road.

Authorities

The Sognefjellet Waterfalls reside in both the Luster Municipality in Sogn og Fjordane County as well as Lom Municipality in Oppland County, Norway. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their websites here and here.

Rv55_055_07212019 - On the Fv55 looking back in the direction of Turtagrø as we were climbing our way up to Sognefjellet on the Sognefjellsvegen
Rv55_066_07212019 - Looking towards some sharp peaks and some snow remnants while on the Sognefjellsvegen
Rv55_068_07212019 - This was the lookout where I also walked a little further past this spot to a knob where I got a decent distant look towards Skautefossen among other things
Rv55_070_07212019 - Looking towards the Tindevegen Mountain Road from the lookout where I also saw Skautefossen
Rv55_093_07212019 - Distant look towards Skautefossen as spotted while driving the Sognefjellsvegen
Rv55_097_07212019 - Approaching some cascade as we drove up the Sognefjellsvegen
Rv55_104_07212019 - Free roaming sheep as we were driving along the Sognefjellsvegen
Rv55_121_07212019 - Looking over a tarn towards part of the Fannaråkbreen Glacier along the Sognefjellsvegen
Rv55_130_07212019 - One thing we had to contend with were stubborn low clouds concealing the glaciers in the most dramatic part of the Sognefjellsvegen
Rv55_135_07212019 - Context of the mountain supporting Fannaråkbreen with the Sognefjellsvegen for scale
Rv55_141_07212019 - Wider look at the Fannaråkbreen while making a brief stop along the Sognefjellsvegen
Rv55_196_07212019 - One of the stops at the dramatic part of the Sognefjellsvegen had this interesting relic
Rv55_227_07222019 - Driving into the Breidsaeterdalen after having passed through Krossbu
Rv55_229_07222019 - Continuing to head north through the Breidsaeterdalen while driving on the Sognefjellsvegen
Rv55_242_07222019 - Looking up at the Nufshaugen Waterfall just as the morning sun was about to breach the cliffs
Rv55_246_07222019 - Looking into the Breidsaeterdalen along the Sognefjellsvegen as seen from Nufshaugen
Rv55_252_07222019 - Context of the pullout and Julie photographing the Nufshaugen Waterfall
Rv55_254_07222019 - Descending from the pass while driving on the Sognefjellsvegen
Rv55_267_07222019 - The Sognefjellsvegen heading towards a tall waterfall that I think was Dumfossen
Rv55_270_07222019 - Direct look towards Dumfossen while driving on the Sognefjellsvegen
Rv55_273_07222019 - Looking into what I think was the head of Leiradalen
Rv55_291_07222019 - Context of a wooden cabin as seen while driving along the Sognefjellsvegen in Leiradalen
Rv55_339_07222019 - Looking back towards the Breidsaeterdalen with the Sognefjellsvegen in context
Rv55_425_07222019 - We took a brief break from driving the Sognefjellsvegen by checking out the glaciers around the Sognefjellshytta
Rv55_430_07222019 - Looking at some people hiking on a short loop trail in view of some glaciers around the Sognefjellshytta
Rv55_462_07222019 - Context of hikers on a hill before the Fannaråkbreen Glacier as seen from near the Sognefjellshytta
Rv55_510_07222019 - Some of the ice near the Fannaråkbreen seemed like they were pooling on the ice as seen along the Sognefjellsvegen
Rv55_504_07222019 - Contextual view towards the glaciers of the Sognefjellet just as the clouds started to lift as seen from the Sognefjellsvegen
Rv55_552_07222019 - Looking back at the almost classic view of the Sognefjellsvegen leading to the glaciers of Sognefjellet
Rv55_546_07222019 - Zoomed in look at the glaciers of Sognefjellet and the Sognefjellsvegen leading towards it
Rv55_564_07222019 - Finally having had our fill of Sognefjellet, we then drove back down the Sognefjellsvegen towards Turtagro and eventually Ardal

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Even though the route description of this page covered a stretch between Turtagrø and somewhere within the Leirdal Valley, I’d recommend either starting the drive from Luster or Skjolden to the west and Lom to the east.

Then, if time and weather permits, if I had to do it all over again, I’d complete the Fv55 drive between the above-mentioned starting points.

For directions on getting to Skjolden, Luster, or Lom, you can use GoogleMaps or any other app to route from where you’re at to those towns.

For geographical context, Skjolden was about 12km (under 30 minutes drive) northeast of Luster, 30km (over 30 minutes drive) northeast of Ornes, 27km (30 minutes drive) northeast of Gaupne, about 43km (under an hour drive without a ferry) or 34km (over an hour drive with a ferry) northeast of Solvorn, 55km (about an hour drive) northeast of Sogndal, 47km (over an hour drive via the mountain pass on Fardalvegen/Tindevegen) north of Øvre Årdal, 82km (over 90 minutes drive) southwest of Lom, 124km (or 2.5 hours drive with a ferry crossing) north of Flåm, and 288km (over 4.5 hours drive with a ferry crossing) northeast of Bergen.

Short sweep from a pullout of a pair of waterfalls seen along the Sognefjellet Road

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Tagged with: sognefjellet, luster, lom, oppland, sogn og fjordane, norway, waterfalls, skautefossen, dumfossen, leira, krossbu, nufsgrovan, glaciers, jotunheimen



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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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