Laerdalsoyri, Sogn og Fjordane County, Norway

About Stodnafossen

Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2005-06-27
Date last visited: 2019-07-22

Waterfall Latitude: 61.1109
Waterfall Longitude: 7.50007

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Stodnafossen (Stødnafossen; I think is pronounced “STUED-nuh-foss-un”) was a waterfall that Julie and I didn’t anticipate seeing going into our first trip to Norway in June 2005.

We only spotted it upon leaving the really long (24.5km) Lærdal Tunnel (Lærdalstunnelen) then heading into the town of Lærdal.

Laerdalsoyri_041_07222019 - Stødnafossen

And that was when we noticed this conspicuous waterfall backing the residences of the east side of town, which we simply couldn’t ignore.

Naturally, we tried to find a sign or some kind of sanctioned infrastructure to better experience this waterfall, but we had to settle for miscellaneous roadside views.

When we returned in July 2019, we sought to get a more sanctioned and closer look just like we tried on our first visit to Norway.

However, we once again only managed to find views within the residential neighborhood as we did not successfully find neither infrastructure nor trails in support of this waterfall.

So our experiences pretty much degenerated into pulling over in one of the quiet residential streets, getting our views, and then moving on.

Laerdal_003_06272005 - Stødnafossen as how we first saw it back during our first visit in late June 2005
Stødnafossen as how we first saw it back during our first visit in late June 2005

I don’t know if this apparent lack of infrastructure was because we didn’t look hard enough or if it was really just one of those waterfalls taken for granted.

But whatever the case, it perplexed us why there couldn’t be signage or lookouts for it given how easy it was to see it from the main Rv5 road.

After all, it fell on the Åselvi River over 88m at its steepest run (according to my measurements on Norgeskart) and apparently had a healthy waterflow both times we’ve seen it despite not being sourced by an obvious large drainage like a lake or glacier.

Of the waterfalls that we visited in the Lærdal Valley, I felt that this was probably the most compelling one even though it seemed like Sjurhaugfossen had a bit more fanfare as well as infrastructure devoted to it.


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

Laerdalsoyri_015_07222019 - The main drag through the historical part of Lærdal was interesting, and I wondered if staying here if we could have even walked to Stødnafossen. This photo was taken in our July 2019 visit.
Laerdalsoyri_035_07222019 - View of Stødnafossen as we drove some residential streets in search of a good way to see the falls during our July 2019 visit
Laerdalsoyri_039_07222019 - Driving on one of the residential roads as we left the sentrum and went looking for Stødnafossen in July 2019
Laerdalsoyri_040_07222019 - A bike and pedestrian path where we ultimately wound up finding a somewhat close view to Stødnafossen in July 2019
Laerdal_002_jx_06272005 - On our way to Lærdal from Flåm, we noticed this tall stringy waterfall across Aurlandsfjorden shortly before we entered the Lærdal Tunnel (Lærdalstunnelen) in our 2005 trip. The rest of the photos in this gallery took place on that day
Laerdal_001_06272005 - Stødnafossen seen zoomed in from the Rv5 during our first trip to Norway in 2005
Laerdal_007_jx_06272005 - This view of Stødnafossen was the fruit of our attempt at trying to get a closer look while navigating the residential streets of Lærdal in 2005
Laerdal_011_jx_06272005 - Somewhere 30 minutes east of Stødnafossen on the Rv5 was this waterfall as we were headed towards Hemsedal
Laerdal_012_jx_06272005 - Somewhere near Borgund, we were looking for Sjurhaugfossen during our first trip to Norway in 2005, but this photo of some rapids within the Lærdalselvi was all we had to show for it

We found Stodnafossen on the eastern outskirts of the town of Lærdal or Lærdalsøyri.

While we could see it from the Rv5, we were unsuccessful in finding the official trailhead and viewpoint, if it exists.

Laerdalsoyri_038_07222019 - Stødnafossen as seen from a residential area though it was an unofficial view
Stødnafossen as seen from a residential area though it was an unofficial view

In any case, you can route to the town of Lærdalsøyri by any number of methods, including GoogleMaps or other similar apps.

For geographical context, Lærdal was about 31km (under 30 minutes drive) south of Årdalstangen, 36km (over 30 minutes drive) north of Aurland, 41km (over 30 minutes drive) north of Flåm, 90km (under 2 hours drive) south of Skjolden, 206km (over 3 hours drive with a ferry crossing) northeast of Bergen, and 284km (over 4 hours drive) northwest of Oslo.

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Sweep showing the falls from a residential area in Laerdalsoyri before walking over to a dead-end in the road for another look at the waterfall

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Tagged with: laerdal, laerdal tunnel, laerdalstunnelen, laerdalsoyri, sogn og fjordane, norway, waterfall, aselvi, borgund

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