If you are looking for the perfect sunrise spot or an off-the-beaten-path hike in Norway with amazing Fjord views then consider summiting Bakkanosi. See the most beautiful view of UNESCO’s Nærøyfjord along the Bakkanosi hike.
10 things to know about the hike to Bakkanosi
This was my first solo overnight adventure in Norway, with my dog Jasper in tow. After my friend’s recommendation, who spent a few months living and working in the nearby Flåm village, I put the hike to Bakkanosi at the top of my list of to-do hikes in the Norwegian Fjords.
In this post, I share with you all my tips about the trail to the summit of Bakkanosi, based on my own experience.
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Bakkanosi day hike: the stats
- Distance roundtrip: 17.5 km / 10.87 mi
- Time required: 6-8 hours
- Total Ascent: 940 m / 3084 ft
- Type of hike: out and back
- When to go: end of June – September
- Parking: 60.884169, 6.722160
- Parking fee: 100 NOK
1. Where is the Bakkanosi hike?
Nærøyfjord translates to Narrow Fjord. When it comes down to naming places Norwegians like to call them simply as they are.
Extrapolating Nærøyfjord takes its name from the fact that it is narrow: 18 kilometers in length and at times only 500 meters wide. In 2005 Næroyfjord along with Geiranger Fjord has been listed as World Heritage Site.
The nearest settlements are the tiny village of Gudvangen built on the Southern Tip of the Fjord, and Bakka built on its western shore.
A popular tourist destination – Flåm is also only 30 minutes away from the trailhead.
2. The map of the Bakkanosi hike
Above you can see the path I followed from the car park to the summit of Bakkanosi. I measured the distance, elevation gain, and route with my Garmin Fenix 6S pro watch.
Garmin Fenix series is designed specifically with hikers and outdoor people in mind and some of its versions have built-in maps. This feature came in very handy when I struggled to stay on track whilst hiking to Bakkanosi because of the snow still covering some parts of the trail.
3. How difficult is the hike to Bakkanosi?
For every kilometer of the trail, you gain approximately 100 meters of elevation which makes the hike quite gentle and very enjoyable.
The elevation gain isn’t steady though. Some parts are steeper than others. The middle part of the trail leads through a valley, where the incline is minimal (pictured below), whereas other parts climb steeply along rocky slopes.
Despite the fact that I carried camping equipment with me including my tent and sleeping bag, I found the hike very reasonable and not too strenuous.
4. The best time of year to hike Bakkanosi
Bakkanosi is a popular ski touring trail even in the winter, but if you are coming in the summer season, the hiking window for this trail is between the end of June and mid-October.
As mentioned previously I still had quite a bit of snow in some parts of the trail and I hiked it exactly on the last day of June.
I was thankful I had a map on my watch. On the way to the summit, I followed footprints on the snow left by previous hikers, which turned out to be slightly off the path. On the way back I followed the exact trail on my GPS map.
5. How to get to the Bakkanosi trailhead
The trailhead is located near the school/community center in the tiny settlement of Jordalen along the Jordalsvegen road which branches off the E16 – one of Norway’s main national roads.
The turn-off for the road is right near the VANG campsite. You will also have to drive through a long and dark tunnel.
There is a parking area off the side of the road, right opposite the school. The parking fee is 100 NOK/day. You can either pay it with VIPPS (for Norwegian residents only), which is the equivalent of American Venmo, or simply put cash into a box provided.
Like in many other places in Norway, parking operates on an honesty scheme. Don’t try to cheat the system. 100 NOK isn’t much for the epic trail you are about to venture on.
TIP: BRING CASH FOR TO PAY FOR THE PARKING
6. The highlights of the Bakkanosi hike
Thanks to the fact that I camped near the summit and woke up at 4 AM to photograph the sunrise I had the summit all to myself.
I could not have asked for better light conditions. It was one of the very few bluebird days I experienced in Norway. Around 1 hour into the day the sun aligned perfectly with the Fjord.
The views from the actual summit aren’t the best. You have to hike around 100 meters further, slightly downhill to get the perfect view of Næroyfjord.
Take really good care! The other side of the mountain is almost vertical. I have also seen plenty of dangerous cornices at the summit. Do not try to walk on those!
TIP: If you want to see the sun rise directly above the Fjord, try to schedule this hike for the end of July
7. Facilities along the Bakkanosi trail
There are no toilets directly on the trailhead or anywhere along the trail. Remember to always bring out with you what you brought in.
The nearest public toilets are near the gas station in Gudvangen where you can also find shower facilities.
There are plenty of possibilities to fill up the water as you will be hiking along the stream. Just be aware of grazing animals. I drank water directly from the stream and never got sick, but I have built up quite a tolerance over the last years.
8. Bakkanosi trail description
The trail divides nicely into 3 even sections. The first one takes you on a gravel road to a high alpine pasture with some old farmer’s huts. Sheep often graze this area so if like me, you hike with a dog then keep it leashed.
You then enter a wild valley, the road disappears and you enter a narrow path. The trail is quite muddy, especially early in the season, but try to stick to the path to avoid creating any more erosion. This is the easiest part of the trail.
Keep an eye out for the wild reindeer population roaming in this area.
The third and last part climbs steadily all the way to the summit. At times the trail is quite rocky and shaky underfoot so make sure to come well-equipped. You don’t really get any views of the Fjord until you get to the summit, but the anticipation will be worth it.
9. What to bring and wear on the Bakkanosi hike
For this hike, I opted for my high-ankle boots and it was the right call.
When hiking through the valley there were some really muddy sections and at times my entire boot sank in the mud.
Luckily thanks to my Hanwag Alverstone boots my feet always stayed dry.
I am a big fan of osprey backpacks and own a couple myself. For day hikes I highly recommend the Osprey Kyte 36.
It’s also big enough to do an overnight camping trip or hut-to-hut trek.
When it comes down to Trekking poles only one brand exists for me and that’s Black Diamond.
I am a huge fan of their Carbon Z-Poles and I already own a second pair after accidentally leaving my first one near the trailhead of the hike to Saksa in Norway.
Garmin InReach mini
If you hike on your own or in areas with no reception as is the case for Bakkanosi, I recommend that you carry some kind of emergency communication system with you.
Garmin In Reach Mini satellite phone is the perfect companion to keep you safe.
10. Where to stay nearby
If you are road-tripping Norway in a campervan I can wholeheartedly recommend the Nærøyfjorden Camping site in Bakka located right at the footstep of Bakkanosi. You can even see it from the summit.
It is run by a very friendly local. The facilities have been recently renovated and the campsite has some parking spots directly on the shore of the Næroyfjord.
As for hotel stays I recommend that you check out Flåm or Aurland. Both are great places to stay and explore the nearby attractions. I talk about them at the end of the post
Great for single travelers and budget-conscious groups. Great and central location close to the train station and ferry terminal.
Very cozy atmosphere with wood-paneled rooms. Reserve a room with a balcony overlooking the Fjord and watch the cruise ships and trains come and go from the terminal.
Wangen Apartments (Aurland)
Beautiful and modern apartments with a Scandinavian feel. When looking through the windows of the apartment you will feel like you are floating on the fjord.
11. Other hikes and activities to experience nearby
The area around Næroyfjord and the nearby Aurlandfjord are popular Norwegian outdoor destinations. Below I recommend a few more top activities in the area.
Hike to Prest
Prest is the perfect answer if you are not a morning person and are looking for a great sunset spot. The Røyrgrind viewpoint on Mount Prest gives impressive views of Aurlandfjord.
Hike through Aurlandsdalen
The hike through Aurlansdalen will take you back in time at least a century. Discover Norway’s pristine nature: lakes, waterfalls, and gorges in the Aurland valley.
The famous Stegastein viewpoint platform was built 650 vertical meters above the Aurlandfjord. You can either take a bus from Flåm or Aurland or drive up there yourself. It’s on the way to the previously mentioned Prest.
Flåmsbana – Flåm’s scenic train
The Flåm Railway is considered one of the most beautiful train journeys in the World. This leading Norwegian tourist attraction features the finest aspects of the stunning scenery of Norway. The train runs from Flåm station built at the end of Aurlandsfjord up to the high mountains at Myrdal station.
Flåm Fjord cruise
Travel from Flåm to Gudvangen on the emission-free cruise ship. The Future of the Fjords ship is fully electric and battery-power operated. This also means it is very quiet so you can enjoy the sounds of nature on the cruise.
Kayaking on the Fjord
Flåm is one of the best places in Norway to join a paddling trip. The 3-hour kayaking trip will let you enjoy Aurlandfjord from the water. If you love water activities this one should be on the top of your list.