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