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Photo Gallery: Trekking Norway’s Jotunheimen National Park

Photo Gallery: Trekking Norway’s Jotunheimen National Park

By Michael Lanza

We hiked hut-to-hut for a week through a rugged, Arctic-looking landscape vibrantly colorful with shrubs, mosses, and wildflowers, where cliffs and mountains look like they were chopped from the earth with an axe. Jotunheimen National Park—the name translates as “Home of the Giants”—contains the highest European mountains north of the Alps, starkly barren peaks rising to more than 8,000 feet. Thick, crack-riddled glaciers pour off them like pancake batter that needs more water. Braided rivers meander down mostly treeless valleys, and reindeer roam wild.

But best of all, a trek in Jotunheimen combines pristine wilderness with the most luxurious huts I’ve ever stayed in—many featuring private rooms, hot showers, and restaurant-caliber meals—as well as flexible route options and side trips. See the photo gallery below from that trip, then read my full story about it, with more photos and a video and detailed trip-planning information.


About The Author

Michael Lanza

A former field editor and primary gear reviewer for Backpacker Magazine, Michael Lanza created The Big Outside to share stories and images from his many backpacking, hiking, and other outdoor adventures, as well as expert tips and gear reviews to help readers plan and pull off their own great adventures.


  1. Avatar

    Tremendous trip with your family Michael! My wife and I have 4 days in Jotunheimen NP in 3 weeks.
    May I request a recommendation for an area to concentrate? We are very experienced, fit hikers who live not too far from Leominster, Longmeadow. Thank you for your time and insight.
    All best,

    • michaellanza

      Hi Bob, nice to hear from a Mass. native. With 4 days, I’d suggest you get a bus to either the first hut on my trek, Gjendesheim, or the last hut on my trek, Spiterstulen. From Gjendesheim, make sure you have a good forecast for the day you hike Besseggen Ridge to Memurubu Hut, which is a big day with incredible views, but it’s in the clouds in wet weather. Then you can hike or take the ferry to Gjendebu Hut and stay there and day hike from there, and take the ferry back to Gjendesheim.

      From Spiterstulen, wait for a day with a good forecast to day hike Galdhøpiggen, which is just as spectacular as Besseggen Ridge. The next day, hike up to Leirvassbu Hut, a very comfortable place with great food and private rooms with showers and beautiful surroundings. The hike of the peak above Leirvassbu, Kyrkja, takes a few hours, with some steep, exposed scrambling. The hike past Kyrkja partway to Olavsbu Hut brings you to a gorgeous, lake-filled valley, a good turnaround point to return to Leirvassbu and Spiterstulen.

      Either would be very nice. Both are popular, so make hut reservations asap. Good luck, have fun.


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Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside and former Northwest Editor at Backpacker magazine. Click my photo to learn more about me and my blog. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter. Join The Big Outside now to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. And click here to learn how I can help you plan your next trip.

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