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Hike to Vettisfossen: A Complete Guide

With a free fall of 275 meters Vettisfossen is Norway's largest protected/unregulated waterfall and we have to admit that the waterfall is quit powerful. It is located in a protected area in Utladal, near Øvre Årda.

When hiking to the Vettisfossen waterfall, you will not only be rewarded with this powerful beauty, but you can also enjoy many other beautiful waterfalls along the way: Hjellefossen, Avdalsfossen and many other little waterfalls spread throughout the valley.


About the hike


13 km

Height difference

200m (hike to bottom)

Total elevation

500m (hike to bottom)


3,5 to 4,5 hours


Out & Back Trail

difficulty level

Easy - Moderate - Difficult - Expert

General information

You can choose to either walk to the top or to the bottom of the waterfall. The total hike, both to the top and to the bottom, is around 13km (6,5km one way). The first part of the hike is easy and quit flat, but don’t underestimate the second part. Let us tell you more about the hike to this magnificent waterfall through the gorgeous Utladal Valley. We only hiked to the bottom of the waterfall so we will only focus on this hike.

The hike can be divided into two parts. The first part goes from Hjelle to Vetti Gard and it’s the easy part of the hike. Both hiking to the top and to the bottom have this trail in common.

Find the best hotels close to Vettisfossen here


The hike

Hjelle to vetti gard

You start your hike at the impressive Hjellefossen. From here you follow a well groomed road for about 5,5km until Vetti Gard.
After the first 600m you will pas Utladalen Naturhus, where you can have a look at some artifacts of the history of the area. The hike continues along the Utla river. One kilometer further than Utladalen Naturhus, you will pass another gigantic waterfall: the Avdalsfossen.

After hiking two kilometers from the Avdalsfossen you will see the third major waterfall along the trail, called Hyljefossen. This is where the first (short but steep) ascent begins. When you reach the top, the path descents again and you will hike in the middle of this beautiful valley with multiple waterfalls plunging down into the valley.
After walking another 20 minutes you will have to ascent a second time to reach Vetti farm.

Vetti Gard to Vettisfossen

When you’ve reached Vetti farm, you have the choice to continue your hike to the bottom or to the top of Vettisfossen. From this point we decided to hike further to the bottom of the waterfall, because we wanted to see the full size of it. 
You follow the arrow indicating the path to the bottom (1km). This path continues between the trees, where eventually you start descending along a very steep and rocky path. When you have reached the level of the Utla River, the path flattens out again. After hiking on this flat but rocky path for about 30 minutes you will arrive at a plume of mist and the impressive Vettisfossen will appear behind the cliff.  

The return

To get back to the beginning, you will have to hike the same way back. Keep in mind that the part from Vettisfossen to Vetti Gard will be tougher than the way out, as you will now have to climb the steep and rocky path. After the climb you will arrive back at Vetti Gard, from where you follow the groomed road back to the car park at Hjellefossen. The way back is as interesting as the way out as you will see this impressive valley from the other way around and notice even more waterfalls plunging down into the valley. 

12 most beautiful places in south-norway

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When to hike

The best time to hike to Vettisfossen is from June until September, or even early October. Hiking conditions will be pleasant, depending on the weather conditions and the amount of snow. 

How to get there

You can park your car at Hjellefossen waterfall. From here you can start walking into the direction of Vetti Gard and Vettisfossen.

Rent your car in Norway here

via RentalCars

Tips & Safety considerations

Important hiking tips!

Wear proper shoes as you'll have to clamber over slippery rocks

There are no facilities along the way so bring enough food and water with you

Sun protection is a must on sunny days as you'll have to walk a while whitout shelter

The weather in the mountains can change quickly. Always check the weather predictions before you start hiking.

7 beautiful waterfalls to visit in Norway

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However, you still pay the same and therefore have no extra costs! So a win-win for everyone. This way, we can continue to add even more travel inspiration and tips to this blog for your next adventure. Thanks a lot!

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