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Steep mountains and deep valleys – a Norwegian adventure on the MASSIV-Ruta

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Steep mountains and deep valleys – a Norwegian adventure on the MASSIV-Ruta

Hiking Collection by Renée

17-38

days

3-6 h

/ day

217 mi

30,475 ft

29,700 ft

Do you long for adventure and the vastness of Norway? Does carrying a backpack up steep mountains without seeing anyone for days sound like fun? Then I have a Tour suggestion for you: The MASSIV-Ruta. This hike takes you through Norway’s four main mountainous regions, past its highest peaks, to crystal-clear mountain lakes, through barren, rocky deserts and through wooden valleys. The 18 stages take you 350 kilometres (217 mi) from the impressive Breheimen National Park, past the imposing snow-capped peaks of Jotunheimen, along rugged trails in Skarvheimen and through the vast plains of Hardangervidda with breathtaking views. On this Tour, no two days are the same.

The MASSIV-Ruta is a demanding long-distance hiking trail with long stages and significant elevation gain. Surefootedness and a head for heights are needed on the stony and rough trails and during some passages. However, you don’t need to bring any mountaineering equipment, hiking gear is enough. This is, apart from the third stage on Fannaråki, which leads over a glacier. You can hire a guide and rent the essential equipment for the crossing. Attempting this stage without the appropriate skills and equipment is very dangerous There’s also an alternative route around Fannaråki which rejoins the main trail a day later.

The stages are planned so that, at the end of each day, you will find a cosy mountain hut for shelter. Most of the huts belong to the Norwegian Hiking Association ‘Den Norske Turistforeningen’, in short ‘Turistforeningen’ or ‘DNT’. A membership saves you 30% each night and there are often discounts for DNT members at privately-owned cabins too.

Most huts are open during the summer. You can also get dinner and breakfast for an extra charge. Alternatively, there are some self-service huts along the route. To access them, you can pick up a key from the DNT for a deposit. The huts have bunk beds, a stove and a small pantry of food. As their usage is based on trust, it’s important to treat them with respect so that hikers in the future can benefit from them too. You can pay by card or through the Hyttebetaling app.

Due to the length of this route, it’s a good idea to carefully plan your food and shopping opportunities. You can make a detour to Tyinkrysset, a village with a small supermarket, on the seventh stage. There is also food at the DNT huts. Otherwise, you could send a supply package to one of the managed huts (Fondsbu and Finsehytta), but I would inquire in advance.

This adventure is also perfect for campers. The Scandinavian Allemannsretten allows you to pitch your tent almost everywhere en route. This allows you to freely divide the stages and extend or shorten them as you wish. It can be difficult to find good camp spots in some places, especially from Breheimen to Skarvheimen, because of the rocky ground.

To reach the start of the hike, catch a train or bus from Trondheim or Oslo (via Otta/Sel) to Bismo. From Bismo, a bus runs to Sota Sæter on Fridays and Sundays during the summer season. You should book in advance on vy.no. For more information, see: sotaseter.dnt.no/adkomst. You can contact the huts if you have any questions. You can join and leave the hike at Sognefjellshytta, between Slettningsbu and Sulebu, at Skarvheim hut and in Finse. From the finish in Haukeliseter, there is a bus to Oslo.

The best time to hike the MASSIV-Ruta is in July and August into September. The serviced cabins usually open between the end of June and the beginning of July, and before that, there is still too much snow to hike, especially at higher elevations. The summer bridges in the Hardangervidda are usually only built at the end of June. From September on, however, the first snowfalls can occur and some of the huts close between the end of August and mid-September. If you don't mind the cold and are travelling with a tent, it is still possible to hike in the mountains in September. You can find all information about the huts on ut.no. The guided tour on Fannaråki is offered from the end of June to the beginning of September.

In this Collection, I describe the official course from north to south, but it is also possible to reverse the route. You can pick up speed in the relatively flat Hardangervidda and steadily increase your altitude metres to Jotunheimen and Breheimen, the most challenging sections.

No matter if you run the Tour from north to south or vice versa, whether in July, when summer is in full swing and it hardly gets dark, even at night, or in August to September, when autumnal hues colour the land and the blueberries are ripe – the MASSIV-Ruta is a varied long-distance hiking trail that you will not forget for the rest of your life. Let's go! Lace up your hiking boots and hit the trail!

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SignaTUR MASSIV-Ruta

217 mi

30,900 ft

30,125 ft

Last updated: December 9, 2021

Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.

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Tours & Highlights

  • Difficult
    07:40
    14.9 mi
    1.9 mph
    3,200 ft
    2,575 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Finally here you are. You stand in the valley in front of the cozy DNT hut Sota Sæter and look up into the mountains. There are 18 exciting stages ahead of you through the highest mountains in Norway. Full of anticipation, you shoulder your rucksack and set off.

    

    The first stage of the MASSIV-Ruta leads

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  • Difficult
    07:10
    14.1 mi
    2.0 mph
    3,500 ft
    1,975 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Wonderful views and the modern Sognefjellshytta await you on the second stage of the MASSIV-Ruta. Right at the start you can decide whether you want to follow the official route on the hiking trail or walk the first two kilometers comfortably on the gravel road. This ends in a hiking trail that brings

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  • Intermediate
    03:30
    6.18 mi
    1.8 mph
    2,350 ft
    250 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    At less than ten kilometers, today's stage is the shortest of the entire tour, but with the glacier crossing and the highest hut on the DNT it is also one of the most exciting. The section over the glacier is offered as a guided tour and you can also rent equipment on site so that you don't have to bring

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  • Intermediate
    04:27
    6.97 mi
    1.6 mph
    150 ft
    4,150 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The fourth stage of the MASSIV-Ruta bends its knees because it is (almost) all downhill. You climb more than 1,200 meters in altitude on the short, eleven-kilometer stage down into the valley. You walk through several levels of vegetation and can watch how the landscape around you is constantly changing

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  • Difficult
    06:52
    14.3 mi
    2.1 mph
    2,550 ft
    1,800 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Well rested, you start the fifth stage of the MASSIV-Ruta. Your path today leads you into the heart of Jotunheimen and through one of the most beautiful valleys on your tour. You start the ascent and first hike through the dense birch forest. Be careful at the second crossroads, because both paths lead

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  • Difficult
    06:41
    14.4 mi
    2.2 mph
    2,100 ft
    1,275 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The sixth stage takes you comparatively flat along the extensive Tyin - beautiful views of the water and the peaks of Jotunheimen are free on top of that. From the Fondsbu you first follow the gravel road to the Tyin. At Tyinholmen Høyfjellsstuer, turn right and follow the road along the water. After

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  • Difficult
    05:27
    11.3 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,750 ft
    1,675 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Today you say goodbye to Jotunheimen. After almost a week on tour, you have already hiked through two of the four mountain regions. In the next few days you can expect the stony and scrap Skarvheimen. You can take a detour to reach Tyinkrysset - the first opportunity to shop during the tour.

    

    The trail

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  • Difficult
    05:47
    12.3 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,375 ft
    2,300 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    You start the second week of your adventure motivated. Today you can run in comfortably, because there are not many vertical meters waiting for you on the first three and a half kilometers. You circle the Øvre Sulevatnet with its many small islands and then set off on the ascent of the Suleskaret. From

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  • Difficult
    05:06
    8.16 mi
    1.6 mph
    2,075 ft
    375 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    The ninth stage is comparatively short, but leads you steadily uphill to Bjordalsbu. For the first two kilometers you follow the slope, then the hiking trail turns right. You gain height quickly. Turn around every now and then, because the view of the valley below is really nice.

    After four kilometers

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  • Difficult
    05:44
    9.67 mi
    1.7 mph
    925 ft
    2,525 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Today you can take it easy again, because there are no major climbs ahead of you and only 15 kilometers to the rustic Iungsdalshytta. Your path first leads you along the banks of the Bjordalsvatnet. A path is barely recognizable between all the stones, only the stone towers with the red T's mark the

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  • Difficult
    10:30
    17.2 mi
    1.6 mph
    1,975 ft
    1,500 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    With almost 28 kilometers, this stage is the longest of the entire tour. After 15 kilometers, however, you will reach the small self-service hut Kongshelleren, so that you can easily divide the stage into two sections. On the way you will also find several ways to pitch your tent.

    

    From the Iungsdalshytta

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  • Difficult
    05:58
    9.40 mi
    1.6 mph
    1,450 ft
    1,525 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Today the last stage awaits you in Skarvheimen. From Geiterygghytta you walk southwest into Såtedalen. Along the water you hike past Geitryggvatnet and through an extensive river and lake landscape. Then the path turns slightly to the left and leads you steadily uphill.

    Even in autumn you will come across

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  • Difficult
    07:33
    14.3 mi
    1.9 mph
    1,075 ft
    1,250 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    After almost two weeks on tour you have now reached the Hardangervidda and left Skarvheimen behind you. In front of you is the largest plateau in Europe and thus a completely different landscape than in the past few days.

    You leave the hustle and bustle in Finse and hike to the east end of the huge Finsevatnet

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  • Difficult
    06:37
    12.2 mi
    1.8 mph
    1,275 ft
    1,000 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Although Skarvheimen has only been a day behind you, you can already clearly see how your surroundings in Hardangervidda are changing. Instead of rugged mountains and stone deserts, gentle hills and grassy plains now dominate the landscape.

    

    You follow the hiking trail back a little and then turn left

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  • Difficult
    05:56
    12.6 mi
    2.1 mph
    750 ft
    675 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    After all the altitude meters in the last two weeks, this stage will feel very comfortable. Just a little more than 200 meters in altitude has to be overcome on the 20 kilometers. Now you have really arrived in the Hardangervidda.

    

    From the Stigstuv you hike over a swampy plain and past small lakes to

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  • Difficult
    06:49
    15.2 mi
    2.2 mph
    975 ft
    1,125 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The mood of farewell is slowly spreading. Only three more stages separate you from your destination in Haukeliseter. Two summer bridges take you to the other side of the river between the lakes Nordmannslågen and Laken. You climb a little bit up the slope over swampy meadows. From there you have a wonderful

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  • Difficult
    05:59
    10.2 mi
    1.7 mph
    1,375 ft
    1,450 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Again the landscape around you has changed noticeably. The wide plains that you hiked through two days ago are being replaced by steeper mountains and you will also notice this in your legs. But after more than 300 kilometers you can’t get hurt.

    

    You can reach the other bank of the river via a summer bridge

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  • Difficult
    07:41
    13.2 mi
    1.7 mph
    1,675 ft
    2,275 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    The last stage of the MASSIV-Ruta - pride about your performance of the last days and weeks and a portion of the pain of parting mix together. With this emotional cocktail you set off in the morning towards the Haukeliseter. Today there are another 21 kilometers and a few meters in altitude ahead of

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Questions and Comments

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    18
  • Distance
    217 mi
  • Duration
    115:28 h
  • Elevation
    30,475 ft29,700 ft

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Steep mountains and deep valleys – a Norwegian adventure on the MASSIV-Ruta

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