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Backpacker Magazine – January 2013

Norway: Home of the Giants

Norway's Jotunheimen National Park bristles with glacier-clad peaks amid northern Europe's highest mountains, but a five-star hut system makes it a place you can bring your kids. And mom.

by: Michael Lanza

Rauddalen (
Rauddalen ("Red Valley") (Photo by Vegard Roine Stenerud)
Trail Junctions are well marked (Photo by Blick Winkel/AGE Fotostock)
Trail Junctions are well marked (Photo by Blick Winkel/AGE Fotostock)
Author with his Mom (Photo by Michael Lanza)
Author with his Mom (Photo by Michael Lanza)
Jeff Wilhelm Leaving Olavsbu Hut (Photo by Michael Lanza)
Jeff Wilhelm Leaving Olavsbu Hut (Photo by Michael Lanza)
Scrambling up Besseggen Ridgen (Photo by Michael Lanza)
Scrambling up Besseggen Ridgen (Photo by Michael Lanza)

Trip Planner

Get there Fly to Oslo, bus to Gjendesheim, and from Spiterstulen back to Oslo. Bus drivers accept major credit cards, except for the segment from Spiterstulen to Lom (bring about 50 Norwegian kroner in cash per adult). Bus info: nor-way.no
Season July to September (but summer snow cover can vary greatly from year to year)
Huts Staffed shelters serve meals (and sell sack lunches). Self-service huts provide stoves and cookware and have nonperishable food for sale (or BYO). Parties of fewer than five don’t need reservations (recommended at Gjendesheim, which is popular). Norwegian huts will not turn away trekkers, but overflow guests get a mattress on the floor.
Cost Expect to pay about 555 to 660 Norwegian kroner per person ($100 to $115; less for children) for lodging and three meals at Norwegian Trekking Association huts (includes discount for $100 membership; contact below). Huts accept major credit cards.
Route Trails are signed and easy to follow. Numerous options let you design a route to suit your group. Get a GPS track of the author’s route at backpacker.com/jotunheimen.
Maps Jotunheimen 1:50,000 two-map set (about $42; bit.ly/norwaymaps) is available at staffed DNT huts, including Gjendesheim.
Guidebook Walking in Norway, by Connie Roos ($19; cicerone.co.uk)
Info english.turistforeningen.no (Norwegian Trekking Association) and visitnorway.com




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