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 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.
Several hikes 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 starting our journey.
The problem was that there wasn’t a cash box in the parking lot; therefore, we didn’t pay.
When I returned 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 your car’s dash. 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.
I recommend proper shoes, poles, and sunscreen for this hike. 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 on 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 begins 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. 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 don’t like 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 found 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 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 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 slightly, and we either walked 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 fears 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 because the edges of the overhang have a downward slant, and there was a large crack in the middle.
One wrong step and things could/would go very badly.
After a few photos, I met with Peter, got my phone, and turned around to take a few final photos. Meanwhile, Peter ventured off, and we got separated 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 a slope to see what was further up the trail.
As I progressed toward the parking lot, he was standing near Little Trolltunga, wondering where I was.
We were becoming 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; 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. Using 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.
I will have bad dreams of you on that cliff tonight!