Our third and final hike in the Hardangerfjord region was to Vikedalsnebbet, also known as Little Trolltunga.
Since we were not going to hike Trolltunga, Little Trolltunga (English: troll tongue) was the next best thing.
This hike was on the same side of the fjord as our hotel and it was an easy 30-minute drive up the western shore of Hardangerfjord to the parking lot. No ferries were required!
Parking and trailhead amenities
The parking lot was 700 m / 2,300 ft above the main road. The gravel access road to the parking lot was 5 km / 3 mi long and full of switchbacks. Without a clue from a Google Maps review, we would’ve never found the parking lot.
There are several hikes that begin at the parking lot and in Google Maps, the parking lot has the title of one of the other hikes.
The parking fee is reportedly 60 NOK and is to be paid in cash. We prepared for this by getting the exact change before we set off on our journey.
The problem was that there wasn’t a cash box in the parking lot, therefore we didn’t pay.
When I went back to the Google Maps review, it stated that there was a “toll booth” somewhere along the gravel road, perhaps even at the intersection of the main road and gravel road.
It’s apparently at the toll booth where you drop the cash into the cash box.
Additionally, you fill out a form and put it on the dash of your car. I don’t know if any of this is true because I only learned this after the fact and we didn’t see a building resembling a toll booth or official shed-type structure.
For this hike, I recommend proper hiking shoes, hiking poles, and sunscreen. There is no shade on the hike and the trail is on top of a mountain plateau, so…
The hike could be done in trainers/athletic shoes but I wouldn’t recommend it because the rocks and mud can be slippery.
Due to the short length of this hike, we didn’t pack any food or snacks.
After the hike, we stopped at a roadside cafe for a bite to eat.
We sat at a picnic table overlooking the fjord. I ate an ice cream sandwich and Peter drank a bottle of local cider (10% alcohol).
It was the hottest day of our vacation the day we completed this hike with temperatures reaching 28°C / 83°F.
As mentioned above, there is no shade on this hike and it was blazing sunshine on the day we hiked, so it was pretty hot.
The hike begins at the trailhead with a super steep walk up the gravel road to what appears to be a small upper parking lot.
The hike sets off at the big stone in the corner of the upper parking lot. The trail is flat for about three seconds and then the incline begins. Fun.
It’s a long, uphill slog that is mentally exhausting more than anything. I estimate that 90% of the hike to the troll’s tongue was at an incline. There’s no break from the incline, it just keeps coming!
Twenty or so minutes into the hike, we came to a pond/tiny lake and the area around the pond was a soggy and spongy mess.
I was thankful to whoever laid the planks because I hate walking in wet shoes and socks.
At the 30-minute mark, we found ourselves next to a big boulder on the edge of the mountain overlooking the fjord. I declared victory that we had reached the end of the hike.
I really wanted that point to be the end of the hike. I was hot and for whatever reason, I was finding the hike more difficult than it should have been.
We drank some water and continued on the trail down the mountainside and around the corner.
If there’s one thing that I dislike more in a hike than a constant incline, it is a rollercoaster hike where you go up and down. All that work to go up only to go down and have to go up again. Ugh, it’s so frustrating!
The good news for this hike is that there was only one “down section” on the outbound journey and, consequently, one “up section” on the return journey.
After a short downhill, we started uphill again and found ourselves surrounded by pockets of snow. There was a lot of snow remaining for it being the end of June but that’s a good thing, I suppose.
The last 10 minutes of the hike were the most enjoyable part of the hike. The terrain flattened out a bit and we were either walking on a slanted rock where boards were drilled into the rock to help with our footing or on flat, rocky soil.
We climbed up one final small incline and there he was, Little Trolltunga.
Peter has a fear of heights and would not go anywhere near the overhang. The photo at the top of this blog is of me standing on the overhang. I admit, my heart was racing a little bit and that’s because the edges of the overhang have a downward slant and there was a large crack in the middle of it.
One wrong step and things could/would go very badly.
After a few photos, I met up with Peter, got my phone, and turned around to take a few final photos. Meanwhile, Peter ventured off, and, well, we got disconnected from one another.
I assumed he started walking back to the parking lot so I started walking back to the parking lot. The reality was that he had walked in the opposite direction of the parking lot and descended down a slope to see what was further up the trail.
As I was making progress toward the parking lot, he was standing near Little Trolltunga wondering where I was.
We were becoming further and further apart with every step I took and after about 15 minutes of me hiking (with no Peter in sight), I realized he might actually be behind me.
I stopped and looked back and there he was, just a tiny speck on the land.
That’s how easy it is to lose someone even when you’re standing in an open space and are the only two people on the mountain. All it took was two minutes of us not paying attention or communicating and bam!
Once reunited, we resumed hiking and arrived at the parking lot about 20 minutes later.
This hike gets a difficulty rating of 3/10.
It’s a long, uphill trek to the overhang but Little Trolltunga is a pretty good payoff.
It took us 90 minutes to hike roundtrip and we spent 20 minutes taking photos at the Little Trolltunga.
What we’d do differently
What would we do differently if we were to do our hike over again?
We would have made a valiant attempt to locate the “toll booth” and pay for parking and I would have used my hiking poles. The use of hiking poles can ease hiking by as much as 20 percent. They really do make a difference!
Below is a list of resources we used to prep for the hike.
|Norway’s weather forecasting system||Link|
|Bergen365 – Vikedalsnebbet||Link|
|Google Maps – Vikedalsnebbet||Link|
Next: Norway’s quaint port city, Stavanger.