The day hike along the Romsdalseggen ridgeline near Åndalsnes was still relatively unknown up until a few years ago. Today it has risen to the status of an unmissable day hike in Norway, on par with Trolltunga or Preikestolen.
Everything to know about the Romsdalseggen hike in Norway
I have finally ticked off this hike during my last visit to Norway and my third stopover in Åndalsnes. The first two times it was either a poor weather forecast or a high amount of snow that stopped me from trekking along the Romsdalseggen.
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1. Romsdalseggen day hike: the stats
- Total distance: 9.34 km / 5.8 mi*
- Time required: 5-7 hours*
- Total Ascent: 912 m / 2994 ft
- Total descent: 612 m / 2009 ft*
- Type of hike: One-way relocation
- When to go: July – September
- Parking: 62.566845, 7.691285
- Bus station: Åndalsnes Stasjon
*From trailhead to the top of the gondola station
2. Where is the Romsdalseggen hike?
Romsdalseggen starts near the Venjedalen (Venje valley), circa 15 minutes drive from Åndalsnes, Norway’s top tourist destination. The bottom of the gondola station in Åndalsnes marks the end of the hike.
The whole area lies in the Møre Og Romsdal county known for its dramatic mountains, beautiful alpine lakes, and of course many famous Fjords.
The Romsdalseggen ridgeline divides two valleys: Romsdalen to the West and Erstaddalen to the East.
3. The map of the Romsdalseggen hike
Above you can see the path I followed from the car park to the summit. I measured the distance, elevation gain, and route with my Garmin Fenix 6S pro watch.
Click on the arrow in the top left corner to see different points of interest and facilities along the hike as well as the route.
4. How difficult is the hike along Romsdalseggen?
The difficulty level of Norwegian day hikes is rated by color. Green is easy, blue is moderate, red is challenging, and black is reserved for experts only.
The official difficulty rating of the Romsdalseggen day hike is red, which means it is certainly not a beginner trail. You should only attempt it if you have a good head for heights and don’t mind some light scrambling along the way.
The challenge also lies in the capricious Norwegian weather. Forecasts tend to be very unreliable so coming prepared for all types of weather is essential.
I personally experienced 3 seasons on the day I hiked along Romsdalseggen: torrential downpour at the start, light snowfall in the middle, then sunny and humid towards the end.
Hiking Romsdalseggen with a dog
My dog Jasper accompanied me along this hike and to be honest with you, I wouldn’t have taken him again.
Unless your dog is light enough to be lifted up, you might struggle when hiking Romsdalseggen with a dog. If it wasn’t for the fact that my partner hiked with me and helped me with lifting Jasper I would have had to turn around.
Having my dog strapped to my hiking harness at all times was also terrifying along the exposed sections of the trail. One bad move would have sent us tumbling down a cliff in no time.
Dogs have to be leashed at all times and there are signs every few hundred meters reminding you of that rule.
5. The best time of year to hike Romsdalseggen
I hiked the Romsdalseggen ridgeline in the middle of July and there was still quite a bit of snow in some places.
Whilst it was safe to pass, it was definitely a good indication of how long the snow remains at higher elevations in Norway.
To be on the safe side don’t bet on hiking this trail any earlier than July. September marks the official end of the Romsdalseggen hiking season, but the first couple of weeks of October is often still ok for tackling this trail.
6. How to get to the Romsdalseggen trailhead
The best and most environmentally friendly option to get to the trailhead of the Romsdalseggen hike is to take a bus. There is a special bus line that operates between Åndalsnes and the trailhead during the summer season.
Buses leave daily from the Åndalsnes bus station right near the visitor center in the town center. I marked it on the map.
The journey takes around 20 minutes and costs 200 NOK/person. Jasper, my dog, was allowed on board with me and traveled free of charge.
You can pre-book the tickets on the bus company’s website. Type in Åndalsnes stasjon as the starting point and Venjesdalssetra (Romsdalseggen) as the endpoint.
I took the first bus of the day at 7:30 AM and there were only a handful of other hikers traveling with us, but as the day morning progresses buses get busier.
If you are traveling by car you can park it here and walk 500 meters to the bus station to catch the bus. The parking cost for the whole day is 150 NOK.
7. The highlights of the Romsdalseggen hike
If you have been following my blog for a while you will know that I have done hundreds of hikes in my life. The Romsdalseggen day hike quickly became one of my top 5 favorite hikes I have ever done. It has the most dramatic views any hiker can wish for.
Ridgeline hikes are the best because you are constantly graced with amazing views. When it comes down to Romsdalseggen it’s no different.
The vistas include the intensely green Romsdal valley with the turquoise river Rauma flowing through it.
The triangle-shaped Romsdalhorn and the sheer drop of the Trollveggen – the highest vertical cliff in Europe, are the most impressive views along this hike. During the last stage, you will also get a panoramic view of Åndalsnes and the Isfjord. A true feast for the eyes.
READ MORE: 30 Best Day Hikes and Via Ferratas in the Fjord Region of Norway
8. Facilities along the Romsdalseggen trail
There are paid toilets at the train station near the bus stop in Åndalsnes. You will also find toilets at the trailhead and in the gondola station at the end of the hike.
Apart from the above-mentioned, there are no toilet facilities or bins along the hike, and since it’s a very exposed trail, finding a hidden spot for a pee isn’t easy.
The ‘leave no trace’ policy applies on the trail. Pack away any trash including toilet paper, tissues, and any fruit peels or other food rests!
9. In which direction is best to hike Romsdalseggen
You can hike the trail in both directions and there are advantages and disadvantages to both options.
Option 1: Venjedalen to Åndalsnes
The Romsdalseggen hike is slightly less strenuous if you start it in Venjedalen. The trailhead in Venjedalen is 300 vertical meters higher than the one in Åndalsnes, which means less elevation gain (900 meters vs 1200 meters).
You also finish the hike in Åndalsnes which means you can head back to your hotel for a shower or grab a quick bite straight after.
Since you will be taking the shuttle in the morning, another positive is that you are not bound to a bus schedule when you finish the hike.
This is the route I followed.
Option 2: Åndalsnes to Venjedalen
This is a better option if you decide to first take the gondola up and start hiking from the upper station.
This way you will save yourself 600 meters of going up and your total elevation gain and loss on the trail will be ca. 600 meters up and ca. 900 meters down.
I also thought when hiking Romsdalseggen that the views would have been better when hiking from Åndalsnes to Venjedalen as they would be in front of you.
I had to stop every time to glance back at Romsdalshorn and Troll Wall when hiking from Venjedalen. Of course, it was only a mild inconvenience.
The downside is that you will be tied to the bus schedule because you will need to take the shuttle back to Åndalsnes after completing the hike.
10. Romsdalseggen trail description
The whole Romsdalseggen hike is very well signposted with trail markings (red T-shaped guiding signs painted on rocks) or guiding poles, like in the photo above. Navigation is very easy.
When you first leave the parking lot in Venjedalen you will start with a gentle ascent until you reach a small plateau. This is the easiest part of the Romsdalseggen hike. You will gain ca. 400 meters in the first 2.4 kilometers. This part took me around 1h 15 mins to complete.
For the next 1 hour and 800 meters of distance, you will ascend circa 300 vertical meters until your reach the ridgeline. This part is quite steep and you gain elevation quickly.
Once along the ridgeline, you follow an undulating trail. Crossing the entire ridgeline takes around 3 hours.
In certain parts, the path becomes very narrow with a few hundred meters drop on either side. If you are scared of heights you will have a very hard time. Chains have been placed in the steepest parts to help hikers get across.
11. How to shorten or extend the Romsdalseggen hike
There are quite a few variations of the Romsdalseggen day hike and ways to make it shorter and easier below are the two most notable.
Extension to Mount Blånebba
Once you reach the ridgeline instead of going right you follow the signs for Mount Blånebba. Going to the summit will add around 200 vertical meters to the hike and 2 extra kilometers. Return the same way to where you veered off the trail and continue along the ridgeline.
Since there was still a lot of snow on the summit of Mount Blånebba I decided to skip this extension.
Returning to Åndalsnes with a gondola
The last part of the Romsdalseggen hike between the upper gondola station and Åndalsnes runs within a treeline with a few occasional viewpoints towards the Fjord, Rampestrekken being the most notable of all.
This is not the most enjoyable section with steep parts and roots sticking out from the ground. The trail also becomes very slippery in wet conditions.
After reading a few other trip reports and speaking to my friend, who hiked Romsdalseggen a few years back, I decided to skip the last part and take the gondola down. I didn’t feel like I missed out on anything.
12. What to bring and wear on the Romsdalseggen hike
During my road trip around Norway, I had two pairs of hiking shoes with me which I alternated, depending on trail conditions and weather:
- The Hanwag Alverstone Hiking Boots – better for muddy and challenging trails
- The Salewa Wildfire Edge Approach Shoes – better for easier trails, via ferrata and warmer days
Because of the challenging level of the Romsdalseggen hike, I opted to wear my high-ankle Hanwag boots and it turned out to be a good call.
I often get asked what my favorite backpack for day hiking use is. Since I lead a minimalistic lifestyle I own a 36-liter Osprey Kyte backpack which I use for both day hikes and had with me on all of my hut-to-hut treks in the Dolomites.
I also always carry a 3-liter HydraPak Shapeshift water bladder and a pair of ultralightweight Black Diamond Carbon Trekking Poles with me.
Getting dressed for hiking in Norway is never easy. You can often experience 3 seasons in one day. On the day I hiked Romsdalseggen, we started in the pouring rain only to later bake in full sunshine.
For this type of weather, a pair of zip-off hiking trousers come in very handy. I always wear Merino-wool t-shirts (Icebreaker and Ortovox are my favorite brands) and have my Patagonia down jacket as well as a weatherproof shell jacket. I can either put it over my down jacket or wear it on its own.
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Best accommodation options in Åndalsnes
There are quite a few accommodation options in Åndalsnes to meet any budget and below are a few I recommend. If you use the links below, I receive a small commission which helps me write more helpful content for you.
Trollstigen Camping and Cabins
What guests loved about it
- Right near the bottom of Trollstigen road
- Beautiful surroundings
What guests loved about it
- Well-equipped cabins with parking
- Very quiet surroundings
For Luxury Fans
What guests loved about it
- Walking distance to the gondola station
- Clean and modern rooms
Other hikes, activities, and places to experience near Åndalsnes
The best vantage point of the famous Troll Wall can be reached within just 30 mins. Don’t miss out on the great views of Romsdalhorn and the serpentines of the turquoise river Rauma seen from high above by hiking to Litlefjellet.
Via ferrata Romsdalstigen
A great half-day activity for true adrenaline junkies. Via Ferrata Romsdalsstigen was the hardest ferrata I have ever done. If you love to challenge yourself then you should definitely give it a go.
Who hasn’t seen at least one picture in their life of the famous serpent road called the Trolstigen? It just so happens that it leads to Åndalsness. It’s definitely one of the must-do experiences in Norway.
This one is still on my list and I will definitely be back in Norway to tackle it. The challenging trail leads to a viewpoint of the Troll Wall and according to the Travel Norway website, the Trollveggen hike is the best option to see it from above.