Around Lake Bygdin in four days
Bygdin rundt is a four-day hike around Lake Bygdin. It is mostly easy, but day 2 and 3 around the western end of the Lake are of intermediate difficulty with some rocky terrain. The entire hike is above the tree line.
We suggest that you use the mountain cabins for sleeping along the route, but you are by no means limited to them. There are plenty of nice camp sites to be found on all legs (again, day 2 and 3 are partly rocky). If you want to camp in the direct vicinity of one of the huts, you are supposed to pay a camping fee there and use their facilities in order to limit human waste around the huts. Please hike responsibly, stay on the trails, minimize your impact on vegetation and wildlife and take all your garbage with you.
Day 1 - Bygdin-Yksendalsbu
Distance: 20.5 km
Ascends: 790 m; descends: 800 m
Highest point along the route: 1366 m.a.s.l.
The first leg starts right across the Sami camp along road 51, approx. 1 km south of Bygdin Høifieldshotel. For several kilometers, the terrain is quite flat, with bushy salix vegetation. After 1 km, the trail towards the summit of Bitihorn turns left, but you keep going straight ahead in the direction of Yksendalsbu. After passing Lake Seksin you start gaining height and the trail ascends towards the small summit of Marabotthornet. Up here you are rewarded with a great view across Lake Bygdin towards the ragged peaks of Torfinnstindane and Galdeberget further west. For a while, you hike along this broad ridge, high and free, with some high points around 1350 m elevation and small lakes, to the high point of Skjeldrehornet. Now you leave the ridge and descend to the northwestern shore of Lake Olefjorden, over a small saddle and up the Yksendalen Valley to the self-serviced mountain cabin Yksendalsbu.
Day 2 - Yksendalsbu-Fondsbu
Distance: 16.5 km
Ascends: 1100 m; descends 1080 m
Highest point along the route: 1424 m.a.s.l.
Day two is the toughest as it incudes two quite steep ascends of 400 and 200 meters respectively. The first one starts right behind the hut. Later, you descend into Vølodalen Valley and ascend right out of it again on the other side. Here you reach the eastern shore of Lake Dryllin. If you are in good shape and used to navigating off marked trails, we highly recommend a side trip to the summit of Dryllenøse (1510 m.a.s.l.) for an exceptional view towards the Gjende Alps north of lake Bygdin. You can leave your backpack by the trail.
The trail now continues in easy terrain over the highland and down the valley Vennisstøldalen to the western end of lake Bygdin with the full-serviced cabin Fondsbu. Despite the easy terrain, the cairns with the trail markings are low and far between, so you need to pay attention in order to not to lose the trail.
Day 3 - Fondsbu-Torfinnsbu
Distance: 20 km
Ascends/descends: 680 m
Highest point along the route: 1545 m.a.s.l.
At Fondsbu, follow the gravel road until you cross over the River Mjølkedøla where the road turns into a trail. Now you hike 3 km along the shore of Lake Bygdin to the River Høystakka. In 2019 the route to Torfinnsbu was rerouted on a new bridge over the Høystakka river mouth and around the southern foot of Galdebergtinden to avoid the terrible boulder fields north of the mountain in the Uksendalen valley. The new route now ascends slowly up to the Langedalen valley east of Galdebergtinden where it meets the old route before descending again to the lakeshore. The last two kilometers are easy along the shoreline to the self-serviced cabin Torfinnsbu.
Day 4 - Torfinnsbu-Bygdin
Distance: 13.5 km
Ascends/descends: 270 m
Highest point along the route: 1124 m.a.s.l.
The last day of the trek around Lake Bygdin is the easiest and shortest. The trail follows more or less the shoreline all the time, with the exception of three smaller ascends over some rocky parts. The last three kilometers from Bygdisheim back to Bygdin Høifieldshotel are on a gravel road closed for motorized traffic.
Alternatively, legs 3 and 4 can be done by boat during the summer season.
The entire hike can be booked as a tour package with all accommodations, boat legs and transport by bus from Oslo to Bygdin through Jotunheimen Travel (tailormade inquiry).
Tel: (+47) 61 35 94 10