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The Knutshøe Hike in the Jotunheimen park

The Knutshøe is a mountain in Jotunheimen Park on the other side of the Gjende lake, where you find the more famous Besseggen hike. It is a 1517 metre-high-peak from where you have marvelous views over the surrounding peaks and lakes. The Knutshøe is often referred to as the little brother of the Besseggen hike.

We wanted to do a hike in the Jotunheimen Park but the boat you have to take for the Besseggen hike was not sailing yet while we were there. We heard this hike was a great alternative and we did not regret going on this hike at all.

In the meantime we also did the Besseggen hike. We found them both very beautiful, but the Besseggen hike was tougher. If you have the time we guess it's worth doing them both.


About the hike


12,6 km

Height difference


Total elevation



4 to 5 hours



difficulty level

Easy - Moderate - Difficult - Expert

General information

The hike is quite challenging and there are two parts where you will have to climb with both hands and feet. The trail follows a narrow ridge and is therefor not suitable for people who are afraid of heights, nor people who are not in good physical shape.

The trail is unmarked, so there are no signposts along the way. Most of the time the path is quit clear and easy to follow. There are some parts where you can’t see a proper path but just keep going in the same direction and try to find the path again. Try not to go too far from the path as you will find some exposed and dangerous areas. 

The first part is the most demanding one with some steep sections. During this hike you will have to cross several peaks, so the path regularly rises and then descends again or flattens out. This makes it pleasant because every time you can get a little bit of rest along the way.

The best advise we can give you is doing this hike counter-clockwise so that you can do the climbing parts uphill. We did it the other way around and we regretted it a few times. 

The hike

You start the hike at the Vargebakken parking lot. From here there’s a little path that will take you towards the mountain. You have to cross a little bridge over the Varga river and keep following the path until you hit a crossroad. Here we recommend you going to the right first (hike counterclockwise). By doing so you will do the climbing parts uphill, which is more safe than have to climb those parts down.

After turning right, you will start ascending to the first peak. You first have to climb two parts with hands and feet. Once at the top, the walk starts over the ridge and you will hike up and down for a couple of times. The views you get from the ridge over the surrounding peaks, lakes and fjords are really fantastic!

After the last peak you start descending to the other side of the mountain, be careful as there are a few steep sections here as well.

The last part of the trail is an easy stroll along the mountainside back to crossroad, where you went right first. Don’t forget to look up to your left side a few times during this stroll: Yes, you were really hiking up there.

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When to hike the Knutshøe

The best time to hike the Knutshøe trail is during summer/late summer, from Mid June to the end of September. 

As there are some steep sections and parts that require gripping both hands and feet, this hike is not recommended in bad weather conditions. This hike is best done on a sunny and clear day. 

We did the hike end of May on a sunny day and there were still parts with snow along the trail. 

How to get there

You can park your car at the Vargebakken parking. This is where the trail starts. It’s a small parking lot and it’s totally free. 

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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.

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