Asafossen ("Vassbakkfossen"), "Liingafossen", and the Waterfalls of Skjolden and Fortunsdalen

Skjolden, Sogn og Fjordane County, Norway

About Asafossen (“Vassbakkfossen”), “Liingafossen”, and the Waterfalls of Skjolden and Fortunsdalen


Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2005-06-28
Date last visited: 2019-07-21

Waterfall Latitude: 61.47895
Waterfall Longitude: 7.66227

Asafossen (more correctly called Åsafossen) was the conspicuous waterfall spilling into Fortundalen easily seen from the scenic town of Skjolden.

I used to call this waterfall “Vassbakkfossen” since our first trip to Norway in 2005 because I had trouble finding its formal name, and it happened to be situated right across from the Vassbakken Camping and Kro.

Lustrafjorden_001_06282005 - Åsafossen ('Vassbakkfossen') with 'Liingafossen' seen over Eidsvatnet as of our first trip to Norway in 2005
Åsafossen (‘Vassbakkfossen’) with ‘Liingafossen’ seen over Eidsvatnet as of our first trip to Norway in 2005

It was only when I returned to Norway in 2019 did I finally start to see local tourism literature refer to this waterfall as Åsafossen, which fittingly flowed on the Åselvi Stream.

The falls dropped from perhaps about 180m (based on my Norgeskart measurements) over its steepest section on the Vassbakken cliffs.

By the way, I believe vassbakken means “the watery hill” so if that’s true, then I guess the cliffs were aptly-named.

Even though I got the closest views of the falls from the Vassbakken Camping area, I found the most atmospheric views of this waterfall came from the mouth of Eidsvatnet (closer to Skjolden).

Vassbakken_005_07212019 - Context of Åsafossen as seen from the Vassbakken Camping and Kro
Context of Åsafossen as seen from the Vassbakken Camping and Kro

That was where I could see this waterfall as well as a taller thinner waterfall on the Liingaelvi (so we informally called it “Liingafossen”).

Anyways, since I easily saw the Åsafossen from the roadside along the Fv55, I never saw a need to go on a hike to see it in a different manner.

That was unfortunate because apparently there was such a trail that started by a bridge over its stream and was said to take only 15 minutes on a sherpa-made path.

I’ll have to come back here and do that if fortune smiles upon us and lets us have another chance at experience this place.

Other Waterfalls in Fortundalen

Lustrafjorden_020_jx_06282005 - Åsafossen when we first saw it back in late June 2005 from the Vassbakken Camping area
Åsafossen when we first saw it back in late June 2005 from the Vassbakken Camping area

Technically, Åsafossen and “Liingafossen” were merely a couple of waterfalls tumbling into the scenic Fortundalen.

This valley rose sharply towards the town of Turtagrø, and throughout the drive along the narrow Fv55, we encountered many unnamed waterfalls en route.

I can’t single specific waterfalls along this drive, but I thought they would be worth a mention since we inevitably noticed them (though had trouble finding any infrastructure to appreciate them better).

Perhaps the most noticeable of these waterfalls leading up to Turtagrø was on the Farningselvi, which was 2.8km before reaching the town of Turtagrø.

Rv55_050_07212019 - The waterfall that I believe is on the Farningselvi as I was driving uphill on the Fv55 towards Turtagrø
The waterfall that I believe is on the Farningselvi as I was driving uphill on the Fv55 towards Turtagrø

There was a very slight informal space to pullover to get a somewhat clean direct view of the waterfall here.

Julie and I have also noticed another gushing waterfall within the Bergselvi.

However, we couldn’t find a place to properly appreciate it, and all we have is a partial view of it taken from Julie as the shotgun photographer.

When we made it up to Turtagrø, we then turned right to go onto the Fardalen/Tindevegen Mountain Road, which required a toll.

Rv55_042_07212019 - Fleeting and partial view of a waterfall on the Bergselvi while driving uphill on the Fv55 towards Turtagrø
Fleeting and partial view of a waterfall on the Bergselvi while driving uphill on the Fv55 towards Turtagrø

In case you’re wondering, the Fv55 continued climbing beyond Turtagrø, but we have a separate write-up covering the famed Sognefjellet Road through the heart of the Jotunheimen Mountains.

Other Waterfalls on the Fardalen/Tindevegen Mountain Road

The Fardalen/Tindevegen Mountain Road covered the high mountain pass between the towns of Turtagrø and Øvre Årdal.

Like with the Fortundalen Drive, I couldn’t pick out any particular named waterfall to specifically stop for, but we noticed many cascades tumbling into both the Berdalen on the north side of the pass and the Fardalen on the south side of the pass.

If there had to be one waterfall to single out as the most interesting of the bunch, I’d say it was the unnamed one somewhere near what the Norgeskart calls Nedregjerdet or Muregjerde.

Fardalen_002_jx_06282005 - This gushing waterfall beneath the power lines might be what Norgesglasset called Brekkefossen or just an unnamed waterfall by Muregjerde or Nedregjerdet. This picture was taken in 2005
This gushing waterfall beneath the power lines might be what Norgesglasset called Brekkefossen or just an unnamed waterfall by Muregjerde or Nedregjerdet. This picture was taken in 2005

Other than that, the waterfalls pretty much act like scenic backdrops to this otherwise surreal stretch of road, which I’d imagine would be only open in the Summer when it’s mostly snow free.

Authorities

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

Rv55_002_07212019 - Almost immediately east of Skjolden was this view over Eidsvatnet towards Åsafossen and 'Liingafossen' from the Nymoen Leirplass Camping area. This photo and the next several shots were taken in July 2019
Rv55_006_07212019 - Driving east of Skjolden along the Fv55 with Åsafossen clearly visible through much of the drive
Rv55_008_07212019 - Context of the Fv55 passing before the Åsafossen
Rv55_025_07212019 - Following a truck on the narrow Fv55 with some waterfall in the background covered in low clouds
Turtagro-Over_Ardal_mtn_pass_rd_005_07212019 - Looking in the distance towards some thin waterfall as I was climbing up Bergdalen on the Fv331 leading southwards towards Øvre Årdal from Turtagrø
Turtagro-Over_Ardal_mtn_pass_rd_005_07212019 - Looking in the distance towards some thin waterfall as I was climbing up Bergdalen on the Fv331 leading southwards towards Øvre Årdal from Turtagrø
Turtagro-Over_Ardal_mtn_pass_rd_009_07212019 - Climbing high up the road through Bergdalen on the Fv331 with some random cascades tumbling around the road
Turtagro-Over_Ardal_mtn_pass_rd_011_07212019 - Continuing on the Fv331 towards Øvre Årdal from Turtagrø with more random cascades by the road
Turtagro-Over_Ardal_mtn_pass_rd_014_07212019 - Looking back at the context of the Fv331 toll road in the direction of Turtagrø
Turtagro-Over_Ardal_mtn_pass_rd_027_07212019 - Going high enough on the Fv331 toll road to start seeing small glaciers still clinging onto the mountaintops
Turtagro-Over_Ardal_mtn_pass_rd_029_07212019 - Looking in the distance towards some thin waterfall as I was climbing up Bergdalen on the Fv331 leading southwards towards Øvre Årdal from Turtagrø
Turtagro-Over_Ardal_mtn_pass_rd_031_07212019 - A good look at the narrow mountain pass road between Øvre Årdal and Turtagrø
Turtagro-Over_Ardal_mtn_pass_rd_032_07212019 - The mountain pass road starting to descend towards Øvre Årdal with some cascades tumbling alongside the Fardalen Valley
Turtagro-Over_Ardal_mtn_pass_rd_035_07212019 - Cascade tumbling before this bend in the road in Fardalen
Turtagro-Over_Ardal_mtn_pass_rd_040_07212019 - Following an RV using the single-lane road leading down to Øvre Årdal in Fardalen
Vassbakken_007_07212019 - View of Åsafossen from the Vassbakken Camping and Kro car park
Turtagro-Ovre_Ardal_mtn_rd_046_07212019 - Approaching some waterfall in Øvre Årdal right at the start of the Fardalsvegen as I was headed back up this road in the opposite direction towards Turtagrø
Turtagro-Ovre_Ardal_mtn_rd_047_07212019 - Looking over towards an impressively gushing waterfall that I wasn't sure if it was Brekkefossen or if it was some unnamed waterfall near the head of Fardalen
Turtagro-Ovre_Ardal_mtn_rd_049_07212019 - Driving back into the Luster Municipality after paying the toll and driving towards Turtagrø with some cascade tumbling in the background
Fardalen_001_06282005 - Some obscure waterfall we noticed while driving up above Øvre Årdal to the moors of Fardalen on our first trip to Norway in 2005. The rest of the photos in this gallery took place on that trip
Fardalen_003_jx_06282005 - Some tall waterfall sliding beneath the snow level as we continued our drive through Fardalen in 2005
Fardalen_004_jx_06282005 - Now we were beyond the valley portion of Fardalen and into the mountain pass where there was still some snow as seen on our first trip in 2005
Fardalen_006_jx_06282005 - Driving between a short wall of snow while the clouds seemed to be very low overhead
Fardalen_010_jx_06282005 - Now, the highland moors route started to descend while the clouds also started to part during our first trip in 2005
Fardalen_011_jx_06282005 - This was the view of the curvy switchbacks as we made our way down towards Turtagrø on our first visit to Norway in 2005
Lustrafjorden_001_jx_06282005 - Angled view of some waterfall as we made our way towards Skjolden from Turtagrø, which I think could be the waterfall on Farningselvi as seen in 2005
Lustrafjorden_003_jx_06282005 - Pretty view of the Fortundal valley as we were headed down towards Turtagrø during our first trip to Norway in 2005
Lustrafjorden_007_jx_06282005 - Angled view of Åsafossen ('Vassbakkfossen') as we were approaching it from the east during our first trip to Norway in 2005
Lustrafjorden_011_jx_06282005 - Contextual view of Åsafossen ('Vassbakkfossen') over Eidsvatnet as we were headed from Skjolden to our dinner spot by Vassbakken camping in 2005
Lustrafjorden_015_jx_06282005 - Focused on the thin-flowing Liingafossen from the shores of Eidsvatnet as seen on our first trip to Norway in 2005
Lustrafjorden_018_jx_06282005 - Approaching Åsafossen ('Vassbakkfossen') from the west on our first trip to Norway in 2005
Lustrafjorden_041_jx_06282005 - After our dinner at Vassbakken Kro, we made a visit to Jostedalen, but on the way back to Skjolden later in the evening, we got this view looking towards Skjolden
Lustrafjorden_044_jx_06282005 - This was our late evening look towards Åsafossen ('Vassbakkfossen') over Eidsvatnet before we finally retreated back to the gorgeous Skjolden Hotel

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In 2005, the route that Julie and I took pertaining to this write-up began from the town of Øvre Årdal (Upper Årdal).

In 2019, on multiple occasions, I did this drive from Skjolden as well as back in the other direction from Øvre Årdal.

You can use any available routing apps to get to either endpoint.

Rv55_039_07212019 - Driving on the single-lane, cliff-hugging road along the busy Fv55 towards Turtagrø
Driving on the single-lane, cliff-hugging road along the busy Fv55 towards Turtagrø

We’ll pick up the driving route starting from Skjolden.

So heading east on the Fv55 for 15.6km towards the town of Turtagrø, we then took the toll road starting as the Fv331 towards Årdal.

Along this initial stretch of road, the Vassbakken Camping and Kro (and trail access to Åsafossen) was about 3km from its junction with the Fv333 turnoff for Mørkrid.

We then followed this road for 30.6km eventually descending (as Fardalsvegen or Fv302) into the town of Øvre Årdal.

The road ultimately joins up with Storevegen in the town of Øvre Årdal.

Turtagro-Ovre_Ardal_mtn_rd_048_07212019 - The automatic toll boom on the mountain pass road through both Bergdalen and Fardalen
The automatic toll boom on the mountain pass road through both Bergdalen and Fardalen

By the way, the automatic toll boom, where I had to use my credit card to make a payment and pass through, was at about 12.4km south of the turnoff at Turtagrø or 18.1km north of the start of the Fardalsvegen Road at Øvre Årdal.

Overall, this driving route would take at least an hour, but given the slow rate of speed (especially with slower drivers on the single-lane roads), I’d say this drive would be more like 90 minutes at a comfortable pace.

For geographical context, Skjolden was about 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, 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.

Checking out the Asafossen waterfall from the parking lot of the Vassbakken Kro


Sweep from one of the vistas over the valley deep below along the Rv55 showing some of the waterfalls spilling across the way

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Tagged with: skjolden, fardalen, luster, sogn og fjordane, lustrafjorden, vassbakken, fureasfossen, liingafossen, ardal, turtagro, sognefjorden, aselvi, eidsvatnet, norway, waterfall



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