How Long Does It Take To Hike Besseggen? (Find OUT)

Hiking Besseggen is one of Norway’s most iconic hikes. It’s an 8-km (5-mile) stretch of mountain ridge between two fjords and takes about six hours round trip. 

That said, it also depends on a number of factors such as your fitness level, hiking experience, and route chosen—which can affect how long it takes you to complete this hike.

Full Besseggen Ridge Hike Overview & Review – YouTube
Hiking the Besseggen Ridge is a popular and challenging adventure in Norway’s Jotunheimen Mountains.
The duration of the hike can vary, but it generally takes around 6 to 8 hours to complete.
The Besseggen Ridge hike is moderately difficult, requiring good physical fitness and proper hiking gear.
It is recommended to hike the trail during late June to September when the weather is more favorable.
Safety precautions, such as carrying water, checking weather conditions, and staying on the marked trail, should be taken.
There are alternative routes and variations available for those looking to customize their Besseggen Ridge hike.

How Long Does It Take To Hike Besseggen?

A day hike of Besseggen usually takes five to 6-8 hours.

The main trail is about 11 miles long, but there are shorter trails you can take or even just hike part of the way. You can also take a ferry across the lake for a shorter hike, which will cut your time by about five hours.

If you’re camping overnight, you’ll need more time as well!

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How Much Time Do You Have?

When planning your hike, the most important thing is to be realistic about how much time you have and how fast you are able to hike. 

If you want to take it slow and enjoy the views at every turn, then plan on spending two days hiking. If you’re in a rush or traveling with others who are, then plan on spending one day hiking.

If this is your first time hiking in Norway, I’d suggest taking two days so that you can get used to the terrain and find out what works best for your body whether that means stopping for breaks often or eating a lot of carbs!

Time AvailableRecommended Activities
Less than 1 hourQuick workout, meditation, short walk
1-2 hoursYoga session, reading a book, outdoor cycling
2-4 hoursHiking, swimming, exploring a local park
4-8 hoursDay trip to a nearby city, visiting a museum, beach outing
Full day or moreRoad trip, camping, attending a sports event

Which Route You Take

If you’re hiking the Besseggen ridge and want to get a view of the fjord, then you can take the northern route. It will be longer (and therefore harder) than the southern route, but it’s worth doing if you want to see Sognefjord as you walk along.

If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a mountain view with lots of open spaces and less vegetation blocking your view (as well as fewer people), then taking the southern route is your best bet. 

This option isn’t as popular because it’s slightly longer than the northern one—but what do people know anyway?

Do You Want A Fjord View Or A Mountain View?

A fjord view is more scenic, but the mountain view is more challenging.

The fjord view is easier to see the mountains than the mountain view is to see the fjords.

The mountain view will be more challenging and rewarding than the fjord view, so if you’re feeling adventurous, go for it!

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Your Level Of Fitness

Your level of fitness will also affect the time it takes you to hike Besseggen. If you are in good shape, you can move faster and take fewer breaks. On the other hand, if your body isn’t used to hiking at all, then expect that your pace will be much slower as well as more frequent stops for rest breaks.

The Weather Conditions

Besseggen is very exposed to the elements, and it’s important to keep an eye on the forecast before you head out into the mountains. 

There are many different conditions you could encounter during your hike: rain, snow and wind can all make it more difficult to climb or descend safely. 

Fog can obscure your views and possibly lead to dangerous situations where you get lost or accidentally cross into another country’s territory.

Weather ConditionsRecommended Gear
Sunny and hotSunscreen, sunglasses, hat, lightweight clothing
Cloudy or overcastLight jacket, hat, comfortable shoes
Rainy or drizzlingWaterproof jacket, umbrella, rain boots
Cold and windyInsulated jacket, gloves, scarf, beanie, warm layers
Snowy or icySnow boots, thermal clothing, gloves, beanie, traction devices

How Much Gear You’re Carrying

How much gear you’re carrying can also affect how long your hike will take. If you’re planning on staying overnight at a mountain hut along the way, then chances are that your pack won’t be too heavy (since you’ll be leaving most of the food and supplies in one place). 

But if you’re planning on camping out in tents, or cooking your meals while hiking, then it’s safe to say that this will add up to quite a bit more weight added onto your back.

As I mentioned before: if there is an opportunity for me to drop my pack off at a hut and get someone else to carry it for me, then I’m all about it. The less weight on my back means less chance of injury down the road!

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Whether You’re Hiking Solo Or In A Group

Whether you’re hiking solo or in a group, it’s important to have the right gear. Self-sufficient hikers will need to carry all of their own food, water and shelter on their back. 

Groups will need to be able to communicate effectively with each other so that they can share equipment like water bottles and first aid kits.

How Well-Rested You Are When You Start Your Hike

If you’re well-rested when you hike Besseggen, it will be much easier for you to enjoy the experience. 

You’ll be more alert and able to appreciate the views, and if your body is well-rested, it will feel better throughout the hike. If you start out tired, however, then your enjoyment of the hike will suffer greatly.

Rest LevelHiking Performance
Well-restedPeak performance, sustained energy, improved endurance
Moderately restedModerate performance, manageable energy levels
Adequately restedAverage performance, may experience some fatigue
Partially restedDecreased performance, decreased energy levels, shorter endurance
Sleep-deprivedImpaired performance, decreased energy, increased risk of accidents

If You’re Planning To Camp Overnight

If you’re planning to camp overnight and spend time on the trail, there are a few things to consider before setting off. First and foremost, you will need to start early in the morning in order to make it all the way to Besseggen before sunset. 

This means that if you want dinner and breakfast after setting up camp, you’ll have plenty of daylight left for exploring once your tent is up.

The second consideration is weather. If there’s any chance of rain or snow—or even high winds—carrying an extra tent (or two) with some extra space in your backpack will be necessary so that everyone stays dry and warm overnight. The last thing anyone wants is wet gear when they wake up in their sleeping bag at 2:00 AM!

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If You’re Bringing A Dog Along

If you’re bringing a dog along, keep in mind that they must be on-leash at all times. In addition to that, dogs should have their own food and water as well as an emergency plan in case of injury or illness. Make sure you are prepared for any challenges that may arise!

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Remember that a Besseggen hike can be as long or short as you want it to be. If you have just one day, then take the easy route and hike from Skjeggedal Hotel to Vangsnes Hotel or even just walk around in the valley. 

You can also choose between different routes that have varying levels of difficulty, elevation gain, and length. 

Do some research before starting out so that you know what kind of experience you’re looking for!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources for further reading on the Besseggen hike:

  • Visit Norway: Hiking the Besseggen Ridge: Discover detailed information about hiking the Besseggen Ridge in the Jotunheimen Mountains of Norway, including trail descriptions, difficulty level, and stunning scenery.
  • Katie’s Away: Besseggen Ridge Hike: Join Katie as she shares her personal experience and insights from hiking the Besseggen Ridge. Get practical tips, beautiful photos, and firsthand accounts of the trail.
  • Pauline Travels: Besseggen: Dive into Pauline’s travel blog where she recounts her adventure on the Besseggen hike. Read about the challenges, highlights, and recommendations for tackling this iconic trail.


Here are some frequently asked questions about hiking the Besseggen Ridge:

How long does it take to hike the Besseggen Ridge?

The duration of the Besseggen hike can vary depending on factors such as fitness level, weather conditions, and trail conditions. On average, it takes around 6 to 8 hours to complete the entire hike.

Is the Besseggen Ridge hike difficult?

The Besseggen Ridge hike is considered moderately challenging. It involves steep ascents, rocky terrain, and sections that require good physical fitness and proper hiking gear. It is recommended for experienced hikers or those who are comfortable with hiking in mountainous terrain.

When is the best time to hike the Besseggen Ridge?

The best time to hike the Besseggen Ridge is typically from late June to September when the trail is clear of snow and the weather conditions are more favorable. However, it’s important to check weather forecasts and trail conditions before embarking on the hike.

Are there any safety precautions to consider while hiking the Besseggen Ridge?

Yes, it’s important to take certain safety precautions when hiking the Besseggen Ridge. These include carrying sufficient water and food, wearing appropriate hiking gear, checking weather conditions beforehand, and staying on the marked trail.

Are there any alternatives or variations to the Besseggen Ridge hike?

Yes, there are alternative routes and variations to the Besseggen Ridge hike, such as hiking the trail in reverse, exploring nearby peaks, or combining it with other trails in the Jotunheimen National Park. It’s advisable to research and plan according to your preferences and hiking abilities.