Volefossen and the Oldedalen Waterfalls

Briksdal Glacier, Sogn og Fjordane County, Norway

About Volefossen and the Oldedalen Waterfalls

Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2005-06-30
Date last visited: 2019-07-19

Waterfall Latitude: 61.66058
Waterfall Longitude: 6.80555

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Volefossen (I’ve also seen it spelled Vålefossen) was a very tall and commanding presence at the head of the valley Oldedalen.

It was kind of the culmination of a very scenic drive through the valley from the town of Olden.

Briksdalbreen_079_06302005 - Volefossen at the head of Oldedalen Valley as seen on our first trip in 2005
Volefossen at the head of Oldedalen Valley as seen on our first trip in 2005

And it was a sign of more things to come as it also sat at the car park and trailhead for the hike up to the terminus of the Briksdal Glacier.

According to my Norgeskart measurements, it could have a height of a whopping 355m over its steepest parts, but if you count the whole run down the mountainside, its cumulative drop could exceed 600m!

In any case, this was the last of the waterfalls that I noticed in the Oldedalen Valley, which meant there were many others that I encountered en route.

Other Waterfalls in Oldedalen Valley

Briksdalsbreen_108_07192019 - Next to Volefossen was another cascade on the Svadåna Stream
Next to Volefossen was another cascade on the Svadåna Stream

While Volefossen was the most prominent of the named waterfalls in the Oldedalen Valley, Julie and I saw countless more tumbling down both sides of the valley walls.

Some looked very significant and may have names. Others seemed like run-of-the-mill temporary snowmelt types which would be significant in most places except here in waterfall-rich Norway.

From what I was able to tell on the Norgeskart map, the officially named waterfalls were Hundefossen, Sjølskorfossen, Melkevollfossen, and Volefossen (there could be others I’ve missed).

That said, some of the unnamed ones seemed to have better flow than the named ones, and there could be even names not marked officially marked in Norgeskart that have local names after the farms they’re near.

Briksdalbreen_010_jx_06302005 - This fairly thick waterfall might be the one on Sulkja, which was near the head of Oldevatnet. A local informed me that it was called Kvamsfossen
This fairly thick waterfall might be the one on Sulkja, which was near the head of Oldevatnet. A local informed me that it was called Kvamsfossen

For example, beyond the headwaters of Oldevatnet near the head of Oldedalen Valley was Rustifossen, which I used to think was the labeled Melkevollfossen even though it was not fed by the Melkevollbreen Glacier.

Instead, this waterfall was on a seemingly unnamed watercourse fed by a highland tarn or lake left behind by the receding glacier Flatebreen.

Melkevollfossen was on the next drainage north of that for Volefossen, which itself was also fed by other lakes and tarns left behind by the receding Flatebreen Glacier in back of the Blåfjellet Mountain.

As for the rest of the waterfalls on this page, I really had a difficult time identifying and associating our photos with place names on the maps.

Briksdalbreen_090_jx_06302005 - This impressive waterfall is what I used to believe is Melkevollfossen until a local corrected me and said is Rustifossen, which is behind the Rustøy farm
This impressive waterfall is what I used to believe is Melkevollfossen until a local corrected me and said is Rustifossen, which is behind the Rustøy farm

So I just decided to clump them on this page and at least showcase just the kind of waterfalling eye-candy we were in for during our pass through Oldedalen.

That said, we thought the real highlight of Oldedalen was the chance to get right in front of the picturesque glacier Briksdalsbreen, where we have a dedicated writeup for the associated waterfall excursion that took us there.


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

Briksdalsbreen_002_07192019 - Looking towards the mouth of the Oldedalen Valley during my July 2019 visit. This photo and the next several ones took place on this day
Briksdalsbreen_016_07192019 - The Fv724 road leading deeper into the Oldedalen Valley
Briksdalsbreen_019_07192019 - Looking over Oldevatnet towards the head of the Oldedal Valley
Briksdalsbreen_031_07192019 - Driving around the Oldevatnet towards the head of the Oldedal Valley
Briksdalsbreen_038_07192019 - Looking over the hamlet of Sunde towards what appeared to be what's left of the Sundsbreen
Briksdalsbreen_041_07192019 - Zoomed in on some cascades backing some of the farms or homes belonging to the hamlet of Sunde
Briksdalsbreen_043_07192019 - Looking back towards the narrowest part of the Oldevatnet where there were tall cascades tumbling behind the hamlet of Sunde
Briksdalsbreen_050_07192019 - Context of some buildings belonging to Sunde backed by the depression of the former glacier of Sundsbreen
Briksdalsbreen_054_07192019 - Looking upwards towards the Brenndalsbreen
Briksdalsbreen_063_07192019 - Looking head towards the head of Oldedalen Valley where Volefossen can be seen tumbling while Melkevollbreen looms above
Briksdalsbreen_072_07192019 - Context of the drive heading towards the head of Oldedalen Valley
Briksdalsbreen_080_07192019 - Looking across the head of the Oldevatnet towards a cascade that I think could be either Sjølskorfossen or on the Nesleelva (Neslefossen?)
Briksdalsbreen_087_07192019 - Still on the Fv724 approaching the head of the Oldevatnet as both Volefossen and Melkevollbreen appear closer
Briksdalsbreen_091_07192019 - Looking towards a waterfall on Høgalmeelva, which made me think that Norgeskart might have the location of Melkevollfossen incorrect
Briksdalsbreen_094_07192019 - Another look at the context of Melkevollbreen and Volefossen
Briksdalsbreen_473_07192019 - Descending from the head of Oldedal Valley and heading back down towards the Oldevatnet
Briksdalsbreen_480_07192019 - Looking up towards the glacier that I think might be the Brenndalsbreen
Briksdalsbreen_486_07192019 - View of Høgalmeelva Waterfall going in the opposite direction
Briksdalsbreen_490_07192019 - Looking directly across Oldevatnet towards what I think could be either Sjølskorfossen or Neslefossen
Briksdalsbreen_495_07192019 - Looking towards more cascades as the Fv724 road curves around the western shores of Oldevatnet
Briksdalsbreen_508_07192019 - Looking towards the cascades that appear to be tumbling towards the hamlet of Sunde at the narrowest part of Oldevatnet
Briksdalsbreen_516_07192019 - Back across the bridge over Oldevatnet and driving in the direction of some cascade tumbling behind Sunde
Briksdalbreen_005_jx_06302005 - Passing alongside Oldevatnet as we went deeper into Oldedalen during our first visit back in late June 2005. This photo and the rest of the photos in this gallery took place on this day
Briksdalbreen_006_jx_06302005 - Looking directly over the scenic Oldevatnet as we continued driving deeper into Oldedalen on our first visit back in 2005
Briksdalbreen_008_jx_06302005 - This picture should give you a good idea of how narrow the local road Fv724 was as we pulled over to allow this fellow to pass by us
Briksdalbreen_009_jx_06302005 - Looking ahead at what appeared to be the Melkevoll Glacier (Melkevollbreen) way up the valley with Volefossen starting to be visible on the right. This picture was taken in 2005 so you can see how much bigger the glacier was compared to 2019
Briksdalbreen_012_jx_06302005 - Driving along a fairly open part of Oldedalen with what appeared to be Melkevollbreen and Volefossen up ahead
Briksdalbreen_013_jx_06302005 - Side view against the late afternoon sun at what I once thought was Melkevollfossen (based on what Norgeskart had marked), but now that I have GPS logs, I know for sure this couldn't be it unless Norgeskart made a mistake on its whereabouts
Briksdalbreen_019_jx_06302005 - This thin multi-tiered waterfall might be the one between Volefossen and Melkevollfossen or it could be the one just north of Melkevollfossen on the Myklebustsetra
Briksdalbreen_020_jx_06302005 - Driving up towards the end of Oldendalen where Volefossen was up ahead of us in 2005
Briksdalbreen_025_jx_06302005 - Looking up at Volefossen as we were approaching the tolled car park in 2005
Briksdalbreen_026_jx_06302005 - Frontal view of Volefossen from the car park in 2005
Briksdalbreen_076_06302005 - View of Volefossen from the Briksdal Glacier trail, which gives you a better idea of how tall it was
Briksdalbreen_003_06302005 - Back at the base of Volefossen after the hike to Briksdalbreen Glacier in 2005
Briksdalbreen_085_jx_06302005 - As we were heading back out of Oldedalen Valley, we started paying more attention to the waterfalls around us.  I used to think this one was Melkevollfossen, but a local said it's called Rustifossen, which fronted the Rustøy farm
Briksdalbreen_088_jx_06302005 - Looking across the valley, this waterfall appeared to be the one on the Brenna Stream so the falls could very well be called Brennafossen
Briksdalbreen_093_jx_06302005 - Looking back across the lake Oldevatnet towards the east-facing cliff, this thin waterfall might be on Nesleelva so it might be called Neslefossen
Briksdalbreen_095_jx_06302005 - Finally, this waterfall that we saw closer to the mouth of Oldedalen might be the one on Sulkja was said to be Kvamsfossen according to a local

Volefossen sat at the very end of the 22km county road Fv724 south of the town of Olden.

You can route to Olden since it’s a big enough town to have some tourism infrastructure while also showing up on apps like GoogleMaps or AppleMaps or whatever you choose to navigate with on your mobile or dedicated satellite navigation system.

This drive would typically take about a half-hour, but you do have to watch for blind corners since a good chunk of the drive was on single-lane road.

Briksdalsbreen_101_07192019 - Context of Volefossen and the car park beneath the Briksdal Fjellstove
Context of Volefossen and the car park beneath the Briksdal Fjellstove

That said, there were enough places to compel you to stop and admire the scenery (as you can see from the write-up on this page), and that could easily make this drive take longer.

For some geographical context, Olden was 17km (well under 30 minutes drive) south of Stryn, 92km (over 90 minutes drive) south of Geiranger, 103km (over 90 minutes drive) northeast of Førde, 122km (under 2 hours drive) north of Sogndal, and 277km (under 5 hours drive with a ferry crossing) northeast of Bergen.

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360 degree sweep from a bluff overlooking Briksdal Valley while also examining all of the interesting features from Volefossen to Tjotafossen to Briksdalsbreen

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Tagged with: olden, oldendalen, briksdal, briksdalbreen, glacier, loen, nordfjord, stryn, sogn og fjordane, norway, waterfall

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