12-Step-Guide To Molden Day Hike, High Above Luster Fjord In Norway

Molden, Molden, you’re so golden. I kept singing this version of Harry Styles’s song when hiking up to the summit of Molden. Truth be told, this really is a golden hike amongst the Norwegian Fjords.

Everything to know about the summit hike to Molden in Norway

Molden is a very popular day hike amongst the locals, and we got to experience higher-than-usual traffic when my friend and I hiked to the summit on a sunny Saturday morning.

Those sunny days are a rarity during the Norwegian ‘summer’ season, and everyone tries to soak up as much sun as possible when it does show up.

1. The hike to Molden: the stats

Molden Day Hike Norway 10
  • Distance roundtrip: 8.4 km / 5.2 mi
  • Time required: 3-4 hours  
  • Total Ascent: 600 m / 1950 ft
  • Type of hike: Out and back
  • When to go: June – October
  • Parking: 61.33319, 7.2720

2. Where is the hike to Molden?

Molden Day Hike Norway 11

Molden is a summit in the Luster Municipality of Norway. The mountain rises from Lusterfjord, a branch of the Sognefjord, one of the most famous Fjords in Norway.

3. The map of the Molden day hike

Above, you can see the path I followed from the car park to the summit of Molden. I measured the distance, elevation gain, and route with my Garmin Fenix watch.

4. How difficult is the hike to Molden?

Molden Day Hike Norway 6

Molden is one of Norway’s most popular day hikes, and the well-prepared path proves it. With 600 meters of elevation gain over 4.2 kilometres, the path is neither too steep nor strenuous.

The trail to Molden’s summit is very well marked with signs and red paint markings in the shape of the letter “T.”

In some sections, stone steps have been laid out to facilitate walking and minimize trail degradation.

This is a common practice on some of the most popular trails in Norway, including Saksa in the Sunmore Alps, Reinbringen in the Lofoten Islands, and the famous Preikestolen. Many of those routes were laid out by Nepalese sherpas who were commissioned by the Government.

5. The best time of year to hike to Molden

Molden Day Hike Norway 19

Because the trail is very well sun-exposed and never too steep, it is possible to hike from early June.

Depending on the year and the snowfall, it might even be possible to go as early as May, although keep in mind that trails in Norway during springtime are very muddy.

If the weather permits, the hiking season in Molden can last as late as November. However, if you are planning a road trip to Norway, August is the safest month with the least amount of rain.

During winter time, Molden is a popular ski touring route.

6. How to get to the Molden trailhead

Molden Day Hike Norway 7

The only way to the trailhead is by car or bike. It takes around 15 minutes to drive from Gaupne, the nearest town, to the Molden trailhead.

Follow road no. 55 towards the Sogn Ski Centre, then turn left onto a gravel road. The turnoff is very well signposted, with a big “Molden” sign. Type in Parking Krossen into your GPS and let it guide you.

The gravel road is well-maintained, and I had no trouble driving it with my campervan.

An ample free parking area is at the end of the road, right near the trailhead. However, I recommend bringing some cash in case new fees are introduced. Just because it was free doesn’t mean it still is.

7. The highlights of the hike to Molden

Molden Day Hike Norway 13

There is no better view of Lustrafjord than from the summit of Molden. While hiking up, you will view the Southern Arm of The Fjord. Once at the summit, a beautiful panoramic view of the northern arm will appear.

On a clear day, you can see as far as the village of Skjolden, which lies at the northern tip of the Fjord, as well as some of the peaks of the Jotunheimen and Jostedalsbreen National Parks.

On a sunny day, Lustrafjord is a beautiful turquoise color. This is because many rivers that originate at the Jostedalsbreen glacier field carry rock flour sediment with them and empty into the Fjord. The particles reflect in the sun, giving the Fjord its beautiful colour.

8. Facilities along the Molden trail

Molden Day Hike Norway 15

Flushable toilets near the trailhead and a small stone shelter at the summit (pictured above) can be used if weather conditions turn bad.

On all trails in Norway, the policy is to always bring out what you brought in. This means that you need to pack away all trash and food scraps, including banana peels, egg shells, etc.

There is a rock cairn on the summit with a log book where you can sign your name and the date you visited.

9. Molden trail description

Immediately after leaving the car park, you will start hiking an ascent on a narrow forest path. After ca. 15 minutes, the path joins a wider gravel road.

Another 10 minutes, close to the Skjodnaklanten Lookout, the path branches off again into a narrow forest path.

A few wooden platforms have been placed along the path in the wettest sections. This was tremendously helpful in keeping our feet dry.

The higher you go, the scarcer the forest will be. Eventually, you will emerge onto a small plateau with a large wooden barn. First, views towards the Southern branch of the Lustrafjord will appear. The barn is around 60% of the way to the summit.

Continue uphill on the stone steps for another 45 minutes until you reach the summit. The highest point of Molden doesn’t offer the best views.

The summit of Molden is ample, and there are plenty of paths on top. I recommend doing a small circuit around the summit to get the best views of the northern part of the Fjord.

The descent is along the same path as the ascent. My total hiking time was less than 4 hours, with a good hour spent at the top enjoying the views.

10. What to bring and wear on the Molden hike in Norway

Molden Day Hike Norway 8
salewa womens wildfire edge approach shoes detail 6

Salewa Wildfire Edge Approach Shoes

My go-to pair of hiking shoes for easier trails or via ferrata, where I don’t need extra ankle support. They provide excellent grip on the rock and are very durable.

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710T6PmcwQL. AC SL1500

Black Diamond Trekking Poles

I never leave on a trail without a pair of my trusted Black Diamond Carbon Z Poles. At 300 grams a pair, they are hard to compete with.

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51y975lX+wL. AC SL1080

HydraPak Hydration Bladder

There is no better way to stay hydrated on the trails than to have constant and direct access to your water without taking your backpack off. Thanks to its slim design, the hose coming out of the side of the bladder, and a magnet clip that makes the hose attachment easy, I find the HydraPak the best water bladder on the market.

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71lTXFMwn L. AC UX679

Merino Wool Socks

I always carry two pairs of socks in my day pack and always have them on me during multiday backpacking trails. Merino wool fibres and their unique properties are resistant to odours.

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patagonia womens granite crest jacket waterproof jacket

Hardshell Rain Jacket

You would be mad not to bring a rain jacket to Norway on a hiking holiday trip. Patagonia’s sustainability efforts make it my go-to outdoor clothing brand.

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91kfKZtkJnL. AC SL1500

Osprey Hikelite 18 Liter Backpack

Osprey backpacks have accompanied me since the humble beginnings of this website. They offer the perfect fit without sacrificing usability.

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11. Where to stay nearby 

I highly recommend basing yourself in Gaupne or Sogndal, particularly if you follow one of my itineraries. It will be a great place to explore other nearby hikes, which I will discuss in the next paragraph.

If you are travelling around Norway in a campervan like me, consider spending the night at the Sandvik campsite in Gaupne. It’s in a lovely setting and has nice facilities.

If you are travelling in a regular car, below are a few hotel choices nearby.

12. Other hikes and places to experience nearby

Austerdalsbreen Day Hike 9

Nigardsbreen

Nigardsbreen is a glacier located in Jostedalsbreen National Park. It is known for its beautiful blue ice and stunning mountain scenery. You can hike to Nigardsbreen’s viewpoint or join a guided tour and walk on the glacier.

Austerdalsbreen

Just like Nigardsbreen, Austerdalsbreen is another tongue of the Jostedalsbreen glacier field. Regarding hikes that lead to glacier viewpoints, Austerdalsbreen is my favourite.

Sognefjellet Scenic Road

The Sognefjellet scenic route is a picturesque road that runs through the Jotunheimen National Park between Gaupne and Lom. It stands out with its natural scenery and the highest mountain pass in Europe, and it has been included on the list of Norway’s National Tourist Roads.

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Marta
Marta

Hi! I am the photographer and creator of www.inafarawayland.com. I come from Poland, but I've been living, travelling and working around the globe since I turned 18. A few years ago, during one of my trips to Scotland, I bought my first DSLR and my adventure with photography began. When I am not stuck to my computer editing photos, you can find me hiking somewhere in the mountains.