Valursfossen certainly had to be one of the most memorable hikes 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. In any case, the falls was a 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 as well as how we were all alone in such scenery when we probably would’ve been close to bedtime back at home. 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.
I really think such pleasant memories of the reward for such a unique and naturesque experience at around 8pm 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 moors, rocky scrambles requiring the use of all of our limbs, and hunting for sparsely located painted red Ts (courtesy of the Norwegian Hiking Organization DNT or Den Norske Turistforeningen also translated as The Norwegian Tourist Group). I even overlooked the fact that I had forgotten to bring my hiking socks, which turned out to be totally necessary for this hike. I ended up wearing some newly bought Norwegian dress socks (bought at the Fossli Hotel back at Vøringsfossen) inside my hiking boots.We started off by hiking from the car park at the very end of the road (see directions below). It turned out that we didn’t take the trailhead that we was officially for the waterfall, but in the end, it didn’t really matter that much. Nonetheless, we followed a trail leading towards Hardangervidda National Park. However, about 10 minutes or so from the car park, we had to take an unsigned spur to our right, which briefly traversed more low bush and rocks before joining up at a major intersection where we saw a collection of a few mountain houses (I think this area was called Veanuten). More importantly, we saw this reassuring sign that said, “Valursfossen.”
From that point, we took the proper trail past the remainder of the houses and followed an ascending, rather muddy, and sometimes steep trail through more quiet moors all the while trying to remain on the faint trails and the red Ts wherever we could. Somewhere in this stretch, we noticed a short spur leading to a rock outcrop with a commanding view of Hjølmodalen and the Eidfjord way in the distance.
The further we went on the hike, the more the trail became more primitive and muddy. There were a few moments where we weren’t sure if we were going the right way or not, but we persisted. For almost the next thirty minutes, the scenery was basically a mix of low-lying vegetation, alpine tarns, and more mud with some scattered gnarled trees and granite. It definitely had the feel that we were in the high country and that this area had been heavily influenced by the winter snow (though I’m sure we weren’t that high in elevation compared to other parts of the world).
Eventually, we started to hear the muffled roar of Valursfossen, and as it got louder, we eventually started to glimpse some of its top beyond another wide open grassy moor area as the trail made its final brief descent to the unofficial overlook at the end of the trail. 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. So this was our turnaround point, and the hike felt much easier on the way back than on the way in.
From Eidfjord, we had to drive some 7km on Rv7 towards the township of Øvre Eidfjord (Upper Eidfjord). 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. Near the top of the switchbacks, there was a signposted car park near the bridge for Valursfossen. This was the car park that we were supposed to have left the car to start the hike.
However, being the newbies that we were at the time, we continued about another 2km to the road’s end at the top of the plateau. That was where we found another car park, and that was where we ultimately began our hike (as described above).
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