Valursfossen

Hjolmodalen / Hardangervidda National Park, Hordaland County, Norway

About Valursfossen


Hiking Distance: 5.2km round trip (lower trailhead); 5.6km round trip (upper trailhead); 7.2km loop (incl. both trailheads)
Suggested Time: 2-3 hours

Date first visited: 2005-06-25
Date last visited: 2019-06-25

Waterfall Latitude: 60.36006
Waterfall Longitude: 7.14486

Valursfossen certainly had to be one of the most memorable waterfalls (let alone hikes) that Julie and I had ever done.

This wild and powerful waterfall on the Velg River was said to be 262m tall but I also saw a more credible figure in the literature saying its main drop was 70m.

Valursfossen_014_06252005 - Valursfossen as seen on our first visit back in late June 2005
Valursfossen as seen on our first visit back in late June 2005

In any case, the falls was our tremendous reward for the somewhat scary drive (see the Vedalsfossen page for more about the drive) and hike to get here.

When I close my eyes and think about how we ended this day, I can’t help but recall the warm glow of the evening sun on both Valursfossen and the moorish highlands.

Moreover, we were all alone in such scenery when we probably would’ve been close to bedtime back at home as we had witnessed the waterfall at around 8pm.

Indeed, it felt magical and it was still one of those moments that was hard to capture in words but certainly lives on in memory, and hopefully we can impart some of that magic to you through this page.

The Hike to Valursfossen

Valursfossen_115_06252019 - The kind of conditions that I had to deal with while slogging my way through the boggy plateau en route to Valursfossen
The kind of conditions that I had to deal with while slogging my way through the boggy plateau en route to Valursfossen

I really think such pleasant memories of the reward for such a unique and naturesque experience made us not think too much about how difficult (relatively speaking) this hike was for us.

You see, we had to hike about an hour each way through an obstacle course of muddy bogs, rocky scrambles requiring the use of all of our limbs, and hunting for sparsely located painted red Ts.

Those trail markers were courtesy of the Norwegian Hiking Organization DNT or Den Norske Turistforeningen (kind of like the Norwegian Sierra Club, if you will).

Distance-wise, Julie and I did this hike as a 5.2km out-and-back hike on our first visit back in 2005.

Valursfossen_010_06252005 - Final approach to Valursfossen
Final approach to Valursfossen

When I returned 14 years later, I actually did a loop hike that encompassed both trailheads, which spanned a distance of about 7.3km when all was said and done.

Anyways, speaking of the two trailheads, I’ll describe each one separately in the succeeding sections.

The Hike to Valursfossen – the out-and-back hike from Hjølmmaberget

We started off by hiking from the car park at the very end of the Hjølmo Fjellvegen or Hjølmo Mountain Road (see directions below), which I believe is officially known as Hjølmaberget.

From there, we followed a well-used trail that went past a bridge and some signage before going over a small stream.

Valursfossen_037_06252019 - The trail junction leaving the Vivelid Trail and interluding towards Veanuten. These ruins were right at the that trail junction
The trail junction leaving the Vivelid Trail and interluding towards Veanuten. These ruins were right at the that trail junction

Once past that stream, we walked about another 400m before we reached a trail junction next to some relics or ruins.

Back on our first visit in 2005, the signage made no mention of Valursfossen.

However, on my latest visit in 2019, it seemed like the signage was more obvious.

So turning right at this trail junction (and not heading towards Vivelid), we then traversed an undulated terrain that crossed a couple more thin streams as well as plenty of boggy sections.

Valursfossen_036_06252005 - Some reassuring red Ts seen near some mountain cabins of Veanuten
Some reassuring red Ts seen near some mountain cabins of Veanuten

After a little over 500m of this interlude, we then reached another trail junction surrounded by a sparse scattering of mountain cabins at a place that I believe is called Veanuten.

From there, we then followed a sign pointing the way to Valursfossen.

Not long thereafter, we began the first of many steep climbs as the trail would continue undulating over the Hardanger Plateau.

Barely 100m from the trail junction at Veanuten, there was a nice view over the context of Hjølmodalen down below.

Valursfossen_002_06252005 - View into Hjølmodalen from the Valursfossen Trail from our first visit back in June 2005
View into Hjølmodalen from the Valursfossen Trail from our first visit back in June 2005

Continuing further for another 1.5km, the trail degenerated into a combination of rocky scrambles and slushy bogs.

We really had to choose our steps carefully (especially if the ground was saturated with rainfall or snowmelt in the early Summer) during this stretch.

For those head-scratching moments where it wasn’t obvious where we needed to go next, we found red Ts to help guide the way.

Eventually after what seemed like forever (due to the boggy and primitive conditions, which meant progress was slower), we ultimately started to see Valursfossen from a distance at about 1.6km from the trail junction at Veanuten.

Valursfossen_007_06252005 - Julie using all of her limbs to get over steep obstacles like this one on the Valursfossen Trail
Julie using all of her limbs to get over steep obstacles like this one on the Valursfossen Trail

In order to get cleaner views of Valursfossen, we had to descend lower and closer to the edge of the rapidly declining cliffs.

Once at the end, that was when we were able to see the main tier plunging some 60m-70m (allegedly) before sloping another 202m into the shadows of the gorge below.

There was also another powerful but smaller waterfall further upstream (which the maps called Røvskorfossen), but it can only be partially seen from this vantage point.

We didn’t pursue getting a better view of it as we were content with the main falls itself.

Valursfossen_150_06252019 - Approaching Valursfossen where I also noticed an upper waterfall that I believe was called Røvskorfossen
Approaching Valursfossen where I also noticed an upper waterfall that I believe was called Røvskorfossen

So this was our turnaround point, and the hike felt much easier on the way back than on the way in.

I noticed that the main trail seemed to continue well beyond the general waterfall viewing spots.

However, in both of my visits here, it was simply too great of a time commitment to delve deeper into the vast Hardanger Plateau so we never bothered with them.

I believe the continuation of the trail ultimately went to some village in a remote valley called Vivelid.

Valursfossen_154_06252019 - Back at Valursfossen when the weather momentarily calmed down enough for me to go on this adventurous hike into the Hardanger Plateau in late June 2019
Back at Valursfossen when the weather momentarily calmed down enough for me to go on this adventurous hike into the Hardanger Plateau in late June 2019

By the time Julie and I had returned to the upper car park on the Hardanger Plateau, we ultimately spent around two hours away from the car.

The Hike to Valursfossen – long loop hike encompassing Valursfossen and both trailheads

There was also a lower car park and trailhead about 1.8km before the end of the road at Hjølmaberget.

While I easily could have described this hike as an out-and-back hike, I think the steep scrambles on the stretch between this lower trailhead and the mountain cabins at Veanuten made me reconsider having to go through that again in the opposite direction.

From the lower Valursfossen Trailhead (see directions below), I crossed a bridge then walked past a couple of cabins while following the Veig River.

Valursfossen_057_06252019 - A gushing cascade though I was never able to get a clean view of it as I was hiking from the lower trailhead to Valursfossen towards Veanuten
A gushing cascade though I was never able to get a clean view of it as I was hiking from the lower trailhead to Valursfossen towards Veanuten

Barely 150m into the hike, I already noticed a gushing waterfall on the Veig though it was difficult to experience due to vegetation obstructing the views of it.

As I had warned earlier, this stretch of trail was actually quite rough and served to foreshadow the non-trivial hiking between Veanuten and Valursfossen.

Some of the rocky scrambles required the use of all my limbs, and the thought of having to descend those steep sections on the way back essentially made up my mind about not going through those steep sections in the opposite direction.

Nevertheless, after a little over 900m of this rough hiking, I finally started to see the mountain cabins as well as a reassuring trail sign pointing the way to Valursfossen.

Valursfossen_090_06252019 - One of a handful of cabins that I encountered on the way to Valursfossen, especially in the beginning as I was headed towards Veanuten
One of a handful of cabins that I encountered on the way to Valursfossen, especially in the beginning as I was headed towards Veanuten

From there, I hiked the remaining 1.6km to the waterfall itself, which follows the description given in the previous section (so I won’t repeat it here).

When I return to this trail junction at Veanuten, that’s where I had a choice of returning the way I came (something I chose not to do), or hiking the trail described in the previous section in reverse to Hjølmaberget.

By the time I made it back to the upper car park at Hjølmaberget, I had walked on the order of 5.5km.

That said, since my rental car was still sitting at the lower trailhead, I had to walk the road the remaining 1.8km back down the switchbacks and ultimately to the lower car park to complete the loop hike.

Valursfossen_238_06252019 - Walking the mountain road back from the upper car park at Hjølmaberget to the lower car park
Walking the mountain road back from the upper car park at Hjølmaberget to the lower car park

Given that most of this road hiking was all downhill, I didn’t find the extra hiking too bad.

All things considered, I wound up spending a little over 3 hours on the hike of the entire circuit, including all the photo and water breaks.

Good Luck Socks?

Another thing I remembered about our first visit was that I even had forgotten to bring my hiking socks for this hike.

So, I ended up wearing some newly bought Norwegian dress socks (bought at the Fossli Hotel back at Vøringsfossen), and I used them as my hiking socks.

To this day, I still keep those socks as a reminder of this adventure as well as acting as a good luck pair of socks whenever I found myself needing to wear dress socks at work or in more formal occasions.

Authorities

Valursfossen resides near the town and municipality of Eidfjord in Hordaland County, Norway. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website or Facebook page.

Valursfossen_055_06252019 - Starting at the lower trailhead for Valursfossen, where I was greeted by these signs and red Ts just on the other side of the footbridge over Berdølo Stream
Valursfossen_058_06252019 - Obstructed view of an impressively gushing waterfall while hiking on the trail from the lower car park for Valursfossen
Valursfossen_060_06252019 - One of the cabins seen along the way from the lower trail to Veanuten and Valursfossen
Valursfossen_062_06252019 - A more direct look at part of that waterfall I saw on the lower part of the trail towards Veanuten and ultimately to Valursfossen
Valursfossen_063_06252019 - Going by another one of the cabins seen along the lower trail en route to Veanuten and Valursfossen
Valursfossen_064_06252019 - The somewhat faint lower trail to Valursfossen turned out to not be as well used as I had anticipated
Valursfossen_067_06252019 - The trail from the lower trailhead to Valursfossen tended to ascend
Valursfossen_069_06252019 - This was one of the really steep parts of the trail between the lower Valursfossen Trailhead and the cabins at Veanuten.  It was spots like this that made me reconsider going back the way I came when I started and ended the hike at the lower car park
Valursfossen_072_06252019 - Looking towards the gorge carved out by the Veig River while hiking the lower trail to Veanuten and ultimately Valursfossen
Valursfossen_075_06252019 - About to tackle another steep and rocky ascent on the lower trail leading to Veanuten and eventually to Valursfossen
Valursfossen_085_06252019 - Approaching another one of the cabins on the lower trail, but this time it was closer to the cluster of cabins at Veanuten
Valursfossen_090_06252019 - Looking back towards another one of the remote cabins at Veanuten after having started from the lower car park
Valursfossen_095_06252019 - Sharing the Valursfossen Trail with sheep at Veanuten as I was about to follow the sign at this junction for Valursfossen
Valursfossen_099_06252019 - The weather wasn't the greatest when I did my 2019 hike to Valursfossen, and as you can see from this photo, the clouds were shrouding the Hjolmodalen Valley
Valursfossen_104_06252019 - Looking across a clearing towards some more cabins at Veanuten as I was on the trail heading towards Valursfossen
Valursfossen_108_06252019 - On the plateau trail leaving Veanuten towards Valursfossen
Valursfossen_119_06252019 - The plateau trail to Valursfossen was tricky to follow and quite primitive so the strategically-placed red Ts were a lot of help
Valursfossen_127_06252019 - More red Ts helping to guide me towards this steep rock scramble on the way to Valursfossen
Valursfossen_134_06252019 - One of the really boggy stretches of the plateau trail leading to Valursfossen
Valursfossen_139_06252019 - With all the muddy stretches of the Valursfossen Trail, I actually didn't mind the granite sections like this one
Valursfossen_146_06252019 - Approaching a signed trail junction in view of Valursfossen.  I didn't remember that sign being there when Julie and I first did this hike back in 2005
Valursfossen_151_06252019 - Descending the granite slope to improve our view of Valursfossen
Valursfossen_158_06252019 - Looking right down at the roaring gush of Valursfossen
Valursfossen_167_06252019 - Although I knew where I needed to go to return from Valursfossen, it still wasn't easy as evidenced by this rock scramble that I had to do
Valursfossen_197_06252019 - Another one of the tricky parts of the return hike from Valursfossen as I had to scale this steep slope or go into the mud besides it
Valursfossen_200_06252019 - Looking back at another muddy stretch of the Valursfossen Trail on the return hike
Valursfossen_218_06252019 - Back at the ruins by the Vivelid Trail after leaving Veanuten. It seemed like they restored this ruin because it was just a jumble of rocks from this same spot on our 2005 hiking photos of this place
Valursfossen_223_06252019 - Sheep being herded on the Vivelid Trail on my way back to the upper car park after leaving Valursfossen
Valursfossen_245_06252019 - Returning to the lower car park for Valursfossen to complete the 7.3km loop that I had just done
Valursfossen_001_06252005 - The very first of the three main car parks had this crazy three-wire bridge over the rushing stream leading to the top of Berdølofossen.  This was taken back in our first visit back in 2005, but on my return visit 14 years later, this bridge was no longer there
Valursfossen_042_06252005 - The car park we ended up starting the hike in 2005
Valursfossen_040_06252005 - Looking further up some creek towards the moorish highlands of the Hardanger Plateau
Valursfossen_038_06252005 - Sign somewhere near the trail connecting the other trail we took from the last car park and that main intersection area with houses
Valursfossen_037_06252005 - Some kind of organized series of rocks that I wasn't sure if it was some old ruin or not as seen back in 2005
Valursfossen_004_06252005 - Julie about to enter a rocky scramble
Valursfossen_005_06252005 - Julie moving ahead past a red T during our first visit to Valursfossen back in 2005
Valursfossen_006_06252005 - Lots of red Ts spraypainted here assuring us that we were supposed to make this scramble
Valursfossen_009_06252005 - We had finally made it to some open moors en route to Valursfossen back in our 2005 visit
Valursfossen_011_06252005 - Once we got to this point, we had to scramble around to improve our view of Valursfossen
Valursfossen_026_06252005 - Julie having a well-earned seat while staring at Valursfossen
Valursfossen_030_06252005 - While we were basking in the glory of our accomplishment and the beauty of Valursfossen, we noticed another upper waterfall further upstream, which our maps identified as Røvskorfossen
Valursfossen_034_06252005 - All good things must come to an end so we started to leave Valursfossen and head back
Valursfossen_035_06252005 - Back at the mountain cabins of Veanuten.  Between 2005 (when this photo was taken) and 2019, it seemed like the character of the cabins still remained here
Valursfossen_039_06252005 - Julie crossing the bridge near the car park where we started
Valursfossen_046_06252005 - This was signage suggesting that the lower car park was the official trail to Valursfossen back in 2005 as the upper car park didn't have any such sign indicating Valursfossen could be accessed from there.  The reverse was true in 2019 as the signs here noticeably made no mention of Valursfossen.

join-booking-970x240-1.jpg


From Eidfjord, we had to drive some 7km on Rv7 towards the township of Øvre Eidfjord (Upper Eidfjord).

Hjolmodalen_002_06252005 - Looking down at the narrow single-lane road that I had to take to even get up to the Valursfossen Trailheads
Looking down at the narrow single-lane road that I had to take to even get up to the Valursfossen Trailheads

From there, a local county road leaves Rv7 and headed south into Hjølmodalen (the county roads were Sæbøvegen or Hagavegen ultimately becoming Hjølmovegen).

The road quickly became an unsealed and narrow single-laned road shared with sheep.

This section of the drive was also described on the page for Vedalsfossen, which was across the valley to the right about 4.5km from Rv7.

Beyond Vedalsfossen, the Hjølmovegen road proceeded another 4km climbing up steep switchbacks alongside the cascading Berdølofossen.

Valursfossen_044_06252005 - The lower car park for Valursfossen, which looked like it hadn't changed a whole lot over the years as this picture was taken back in June 2005
The lower car park for Valursfossen, which looked like it hadn’t changed a whole lot over the years as this picture was taken back in June 2005

Near the top of the switchbacks, there was a signposted car park near the bridge for Valursfossen.

This was the lower car park for Valursfossen, but in my mind, the preferred and easier hiking came from the upper trailhead.

So we continued about another 2km to the road’s end at the top of the plateau.

That was where we found the upper car park, and that was where I’d recommend the hike should begin from.

Valursfossen_024_06252019 - The parking situation at the upper car park on the Hardanger Plateau at the very end of the Hjølmo Fjellvegen at Hjølmaberget
The parking situation at the upper car park on the Hardanger Plateau at the very end of the Hjølmo Fjellvegen at Hjølmaberget

For some geographical context, Eidfjord is about 51km (about 45 minutes drive) southeast of Voss, 70km (over an hour drive) north of Odda, about 90km (under 90 minutes drive) west of Geilo, 310km (4.5 hours drive) west of Oslo and 153km (2.5 hours with a ferry crossing) east of Bergen.

Semi circular sweep showing the canyon and semi-scramble to get down to this viewing spot before focusing on the main falls itself

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Tagged with: eidfjord, hjolmodalen, veanuten, hardanger, hardangervidda, hordaland, berdolo, berdolofossen, valursfossen, ovre eidfjord, norway, waterfall



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