Storseterfossen (or Storsæterfossen) was one of the more memorable waterfalls in the Geiranger Fjord area because of a couple of things. One was that it couldn’t be seen on the cruise of Geirangerfjorden, which itself featured numerous waterfalls, as this falls sat hidden in the Vesterås Valley (Vesteråsdalen). So we had to hike to it, which already made it stand out compared to the other waterfalls easily seen on the cruise. The other thing was that we were able to go behind the 30m falls so the experience felt more intimate. As a bonus during our hike, we were also able to catch views towards the imposing knob of Vinsåshornet where the cascading Grinddalsfossen tumbled beneath it. Julie and I were quite glad that we took the time to do this excursion after our Geirangerfjorden Cruise even though we were already pretty waterfall-fatigued by that time.
That said, Julie and I soon realized that getting to this waterfall wasn’t easy. From the car park (see directions below), we initially had to walk back down the unpaved road for a few minutes towards the Hole (“HOO-luh”) Hyttas camping before getting to the actual trailhead, which was well signposted. So far, this part wasn’t bad as we enjoyed the views across the valley towards the imposing knob of Vinsåshornet (VIN-sohs-horn-uh”) where the profile of the cascading Grinddalsfossen made its long tumble.Once we continued on the main trail, that was when things got interesting. We followed the demandingly steep but clearly marked path uphill for what seemed like an eternity. In some spots, we had to keep an eye out for painted red Ts on rocks (courtesy of the Norwegian Touring Association DNT or Den Norske Turistforeningen), especially where there were trail junctions. Fortunately, the trail gradually reduced in steepness the higher we went but not before Julie and I got pretty tired, hot, and sweaty. Amazingly, that didn’t seem to impact the popularity of this hike as we saw quite a few other people the entire time (especially during this climb).
After a little over an hour of climbing nearly 230m, the trail finally started to relent and flatten out. Not much later, we were then able to start seeing Storseterfossen through the bush beckoning us for both a better and closer look. There was one unsigned scramble that got us the view of the falls that you see at the top of this page (where there were a handful of other hikers enjoying the somewhat hidden spot as well). As we proceeded further along the main trail, our view of the falls started to disappear as the trail curved around the gorge and headed to the waterfall’s top.
Once we were up at the top, we had a choice of continuing into the Vesterås Valley or scramble around to our right to a safe path to get behind the waterfall. We noticed there appeared to be artifacts of what might have been an old path to our left as we faced the falls from its top, but that looked dangerous and unprotected. I’d imagine that it might have had something to do with past fatalities here. Anyhow, as we continued on the safer path to the right, we were aided by rocky steps and railings. Eventually, it led us right to the backside of Storseterfossen where we got to cool down in the shady cove while enjoying the unusual views.
This was the turnaround point of our out-and-back hike. Since the return hike was all downhill, it only took us under 45 minutes to return to the trailhead (for a grand total of 2 hours away from the car). Given the steepness of the terrain, it could get a little hard on the knees, but we were able to handle it without problems. Thus, I’d say this hike should be done by people who are reasonably fit.
To start the hike, we had to look for a small single-lane road leading from the main road Road 63 to the Vesterås Restaurant (it was near the top of the switchbacks as we left Geiranger due south about 3km from the ferry area). This turnoff was near the Hole Hyttas.
The single-lane road was a little scary because there were limited passing opportunities so things might get hairy if there was someone headed the other way (which fortunately wasn’t the case on our trip). The car park was near the Vesterås Restaurant (about 1km from Road 63) a few paces beyond the official trailhead.
For context, Geiranger was 75km (90 minutes drive) northeast of Stryn, 448km (6 hours drive) northwest of Oslo, 371km (6.5 hours drive with some ferry crossings) northeast of Bergen, and 376km (5.5 hours drive) southwest of Trondheim.
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